Over the holidays I finally began reading Thomas Merton's classic, The Seven Storey Mountain (in a lovely 50th anniversary edition that my gracious neighbors gave me several years ago). Reading it was just what I had hoped: a veritable retreat between two covers, the itinerary of a soul in the best Augustinian tradition. (Indeed, while Merton talks more about Thomas and his neo-scholastic heirs, Gilson and Maritain, it seems to me he absorbed an Augustinian sensibility--the parallels to the Confessions are striking.)
This was a significant book for me, so I'm going to try a little experiment here: blogging The Seven Storey Mountain as a way of revisiting it and paying homage to the book. My goals are quite minimal: simply to highlight some passages of Merton's charmed writing, with little if any commentary, across the sweep of the book, over the next several weeks. I hope these snippets might be an invitation for others to pilgrimage with Merton's masterpiece.