By John Eudes Bamberger, 132 pages Cistercian Publications.
The Cistercian John Eudes Bamberger worked closely with Thomas Merton at the monastery in Kentucky in looking after the novice monks. He therefore has an insider's account of the spiritual master.
Bamberger does us a service by setting the record straight: Thomas Merton was not a theological rebel, though Mertonists—usually post-Christian spiritualists with a need to ground their thinking in something substantial—usually are. The author sums up Merton quite nicely:
“In considering Merton's contribution to the Cistercian heritage in light of the signs of our modern times we find once again that his role was to disclose the relevance of its essential values for contemporary monks and Christians in general. Exposure to Oriental meditation and assimilation of much that he found pertinent in that tradition did not result in displacing the fundamental importance that had so much influenced St. Bernard, William of St. Thierry, and the early generation of Cistercians.”