The 231163 Files:
Thomas Merton.



Religion Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. was an American Catholic writer, theologian and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.

Notice how this entry must have been written before the full facts were made available and just as is the case now, people were scrambling for explanations.  The next entry in the volume is from the 1st December so we can't be sure how he felt about Oswald's death on the day this entry was apparently written.

James W. Douglass, a successor in the field of theology would use Merton's writing as a prism in his own meditation on JFK's assassination.

November 23rd, 1963

When I came in from the woods yesterday, Brother Aidan met me in the door of the novitiate and told me the president had been shot and died, in Texas, an hour and a half before.

The whole thing leaves one bewildered and slightly sick.  Sick for the madness, ferocity, stupidity, aimless cruely that is the mark of so great a part of this country.  Essentially the same blind, idiot destructiveness and hate that killed Medgar Evers in Jackson, the Negro children in Birmingham.  I do not know what was the motive of this absurd assassination - whether it was over the race question or not, or just fanaticism.  The country is full of madness, and we are going to know this more and more.

[Source: MERTON, Thomas.  2001.  The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals.  Bravo Ltd.]

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