Throughout Lent this year, I am going to re-read Thomas Merton’s classic Thoughts In Solitude.


In the early 1950’s Merton had been asking his abbot Dom James Fox for permission to spend more time in solitude.

In 1953 the abbot gave Merton permission to spend part of each day in an abandoned toolshed which he fixed up as a hermitage and named St. Anne’s.

It was during his hours in St. Anne’s that Merton wrote Thoughts In Solitude which would eventually be published in 1958. Although the book contains much thought about solitude, the title is Thoughts In Solitude, reflecting Merton’s life experience at the time of writing. He was increasingly drawn into solitude and mining the deep riches of his own experience in these quiet solitary times.

Reading Thoughts In Solitude, it is important to feel the tone and energy of Merton’s words as much as the content.

As I reflect on this little book over the next six weeks, it is my intention to post quotes from the book and my own short reflection.

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