Today the church remembers Thomas Merton, Contemplative and Writer, 1968.Thomas Merton was born in France in 1915. His family left France as the first world war enveloped Europe, and he was reared in the United States, England, and, later, in peacetime France. Nominally an Anglican, Merton was not involved in the life of the church. After studying at Clare College, Cambridge, Merton received a graduate degree from Columbia University in New York City. While living in New York, he converted to Roman Catholicism and expressed a desire to enter the priesthood. Merton found some difficulty sorting out which path to follow in his exploration of vocation. Finally, he entered the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. There Merton discovered an additional vocation as a writer, eventually writing some seventy books. Later in his life, Merton became interested in eastern forms of spirituality and meditation, especially Buddhism. He became involved in Christian-Buddhist dialogue. While in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1968, Merton was accidentally electrocuted. May we, guided by the witness of Thomas Merton, seek your way and your love, Lord Christ. Amen.
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Gracious God, you called your monk Thomas Merton to proclaim your justice out of silence, and moved him in his contemplative writings to perceive and value Christ at work in the faiths of others: Keep us, like him, steadfast in the knowledge and love of Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.