1. Thomas Merton
Much of Merton’s increased public profile was observed after he began living as a hermit in a cabin located in the woods on the monastery grounds. Just as his desire to be removed from the world became greatest, so did his need to speak out on social problems. In his writings, he attempted to explain this paradox as much to himself as to others.

2. Career
Instructor in English, Columbia University Extension Division, New York, NY, 1938-39, and St. Bonaventure University, Allegheny, NY, 1939-41; Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemane, near Bardstown, KY, Roman Catholic monk of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists), 1941-68, ordained Roman Catholic priest as Father M. Louis, 1949, master of scholastics, 1951-55, monastic forester, beginning 1951, novice master, 1955-65, lived as a hermit on grounds of monastery, 1965-68. Artist; drawings exhibited in Louisville, KY; St. Louis, MO; New Orleans, LA; Milwaukee, WI; and Santa Barbara, CA, 1964-65.

3. Further
Merton says that language must be used “to awaken in man the lucid anguish in which alone he is truly conscious of his condition and therefore able to revolt against the absurd. Then he will affirm, over against its ‘unreasonable silence,’ the human love and solidarity and devotion to life which give meaning to his own existence.”

1-2. ^ http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/thomas-james-merton
A preliminary exploration by Angus Stuart