Beneath the Mask of Holiness: Thomas Merton and the Forbidden Love Affair that Set Him Free

Hardcover | November 10, 2009

byMark Shaw

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Thomas Merton is the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century, called the "most important spiritual writer of the twentieth century." To his legion of followers, he appeared to be a peaceful, contented monk advocating the contemplative life, but in 1966 he was a troubled, lonely monk-sad, demoralized, guilt-stricken, and depressed over past sins. Despite being promoted by the Catholic Church as its great teacher and philosopher, Merton struggled with his irreverent behavior toward women and never having learned how to love, and be loved.

Only when the suffering Merton fell madly in love with a student nurse, a forbidden, erotic affair condemned by the Catholic Church, would he discover whether his devotion to God was stronger than his dedication to the woman he called "a miracle in my life." Truly an inspirational story based on Merton's personal journals, new information and sources such as fellow monks, Beneath the Mask of Holiness presents a unique portrayal of the famous man, one never revealed in its entirety before.

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Thomas Merton is the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century, called the "most important spiritual writer of the twentieth century." To his legion of followers, he appeared to be a peaceful, contented monk advocating the contemplative life, but in 1966 he was a troubled, lonely monk-sad, demoralized, guilt-st...

Mark Shaw is the author of fifteen books. He holds a Masters degree in theological studies and is a member of the International Thomas Merton Society. A former defense attorney and columnist for the Aspen Daily News, he has been a television legal analyst for ABC, CBS, and ESPN. He lives in East Lansing, Michigan.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.75 inPublished:November 10, 2009Publisher:St. Martin's PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230616534

ISBN - 13:9780230616530

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Table of Contents

Prologue * Book I * Chapter One: "Perfect Freedom Equals Perfect Love" * Chapter Two: Margie
* Book II * Chapter Three: The Orphan * Chapter Four: Visions of my Father * Chapter Five: Franciscan Denial * Chapter Six: Searching for the True Merton * Chapter Seven: Freedom Seeker
* Chapter Eight: People Think I Am Happy * Chapter Nine: Dancing in the Waters of Life * Book III * Chapter Ten: The Other Side of the Story * Chapter Eleven: Calamity at Cambridge * Chapter Twelve: The Columbia Days * Chapter Thirteen: Tears of Rage * Book IV * Chapter Fourteen: Questions and Answers * Chapter Fifteen: Merton the Christian * Chapter Sixteen: Substitute Mothers and Lovers * Book V * Chapter Seventeen: We Are Terribly In Love * Chapter Eighteen: Margie Loves You and Will Always Love You * Chapter Nineteen: Margie or God * Chapter Twenty: Broken Vows * Chapter Twenty-One: The New Merton * Chapter Twenty-Two: Merton's Legacy * Acknowledgments * Bibliography

Editorial Reviews

"[This book] can only deepen and add weight to our respect for this scrupulous, devoted, and tormented man." -Ron Carlson, author of Five Skies"An accurate portrayal of Thomas Merton. He had a great need for love." -Dr. Rudy Bernard, Merton's fellow monk at Gethsemani"This book will provide people with a new view of the deeply human, but transcendent, love story of Thomas Merton--loving God and loving a woman. [It will be] a great contribution to the spiritual journey of thousands of people." -Dr. Lewis Rambo, Professor of Pastoral Psychology at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and conversion expert"This book permits us to find what is inspirational about Merton--his strength and determination to overcome, and at times accept, his human frailness and vulnerability all while battling for self-discovery and solace." -Patrick Hasburgh, author of Aspen Pulp