Prophecy and Contemplation: Thomas Merton as Spiritual Icon
Thomas Merton, although a monk, remained a "guilty bystander," distraught by the anxieties and sufferings of the world, incensed by oppression and injustice, outraged by racism, nuclear violence, imperialism, and the mad zeal that brings the world close to extinction. As a young man drawn to the work of Dorothy Day and Catherine de Hueck Doherty, working with the poor of inner city New York, and later as a monk impressed by the civil rights heroism of John Howard Griffin, Merton increasingly saw the role of the monk as in part prophetic, defined by its empathetic marginality and heightened compassion. The monk is called to engagement.
Higgins, M. W. (2018). Prophecy and contemplation: Thomas Merton as spiritual icon. In E. Clitheroe & S. B. Anderson (Eds.), Spiritual voices (pp. 12-27). (n.p.): Eleanor Clitheroe/S. Brooke Anderson.