My friend Fr. Bill called me a few months ago with great excitement.
“I just finished reading the best book ever about Thomas Merton,” he said. Then my friend Fr. Pat came to visit from Ireland and, one of the first things he said was, “I just finished the best book ever written about Thomas Merton.”
While having breakfast with my friend Trappist Br. Patrick Hart -- who was Merton’s secretary -- at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky recently I asked him about the book.
He didn’t miss a beat. “The best book ever written about Thomas Merton,” Hart said.
The book? Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton by Christopher Pramuk.
An assistant professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Pramuk has broken new ground with this scholarly masterpiece. The book explores Merton’s life and writings through his discovery of Holy Wisdom as a path -- in a time of “unspeakable violence” -- into the mystery of God, and thus the mystery of being human.