Great article on Merton and true conversion. Excerpt below:
Like any believer, Merton wrestled with the concept of true Christianity throughout his life. In March of 1959, after ruminating about monastic obedience, he wondered about real and personal values, under the pretense of love, before asking, “When will we ever become Christians?” After a scintillating conversation with [friend] Robert Lax and [publisher] Robert Giroux when they visited in May of that year, Merton decided he must face the disturbing fact that he was “not really a monk and a Christian. . . .” even though he believed monastic existence was the life of a real Christian.
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