Beneath the Mask of Holiness
Thomas Merton and the Forbidden Love Affair That Set Him FreeBook - 2009
A profile of the famous Catholic monk and writer draws on personal writings and interviews with his associates to describe his loving relationship with a nurse for whom he struggled between pursuing a secular life and remaining true to the celibate tenets of his faith.
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.