Today marks the 98th birthday of the late Trappist monk and spiritual writer, Thomas Merton.

This is the beginning of the entry in Merton’s journal from January 31, 1968, the last birthday he would celebrate on this earth.

Clear, thin new moon appearing and disappearing between slow slate blue clouds – and the living black skeletons of the trees against the evening sky. More artillery than usual whumping at [Fort] Knox. It is my fifty-third birthday.

He spent the day, admittedly not working, but enjoying the unusual springlike afternoon around the monastery and near the pond. How will you celebrate Merton’s Birthday?

Photo: Merton Legacy Trust


  1. How will I celebrate Thomas Merton? By sharing his writings with persons who may have heard of him but have never read any of his works. His legacy is profound and one that will endure. He was a true prophet for our time.

  2. I watched this video the other day in which Father Robert Barron lists the some key texts for Catholics. From the 20th century, he mentions two writers: Chesterton and Merton.

    1. Thanks for posting this…Father Robert Barron mentions not starting with and not getting stuck on the “hot-button” issues…helpful for me at this time…

    2. Strange. The video keeps changing to the latest one. Now it’s on music. It seems that the Lord worked through this though. That’s awesome.

      Nevertheless, you may need to search the Youtube. for the video that I indicated.

  3. Remembering to be grateful that I am alive…and to enjoy it…Happy Birthday, Thomas Merton. I , too, look forward to getting to know him better…

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