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Merton in Love Print E-mail

Merton in Love: A Novel (2022)

by Thomas Larson

8F3AoQePMargie Smith 1966     








This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or, if real, used fictitiously. The character of Tom, Father Louis in his monastic life at Gethsemani, is inspired by his writings. Stylistically, Merton in Love emphasizes the monk and the nurse’s physical and intellectual intimacy. Both elements of their affair are presented via texts and conversations invented by the author. This includes letters, phone calls, journal and diary entries, and Merton’s poems to her. These are the novelist’s creations as is the character of the nurse, Christine Bell.

Make Me Love Him More Print E-mail

James fox ocso

(Written 2022)

(A short story about the retiring Abbot of Our Lady of Gethsemani Trappist monastery, James Fox, and the first night in his hermitage alone, armed and undergoing a trial by snakes. He is rescued the next morning by his dear dark friend, Father Louis. The year is 1968.)

Nose – buried in his A-initialed hanky – dust like Arabia billowing from the retreating Jeep – the abbot hoists a duffel of sacraments and a .410 shotgun – snug in its own leather long pouch – up the six steps to the cabin’s side porch and front door. He slides the long glass door open – six miles from Gethsemani (he’s been dropped off telling the monk to retrieve him in twenty-four hours exactly). This will be his life’s last home – his penitent new abode – his hermitage. (He thinks and writes and prays everything in clipped, unfinished phrases.) He calls his new home, Calvary. It’s mostly finished, roof on, windows set, screened, and spray-wiped. The electricity hums from a small transformer – in a shed of its own – like a chapel of power.

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