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The Hidden Ground of Love:
Evelyn Waugh, at the start of Thomas Merton's monastic career, advised him to "write serious letters", and also urged him to make an art of it. This advice flowered in the sixties, especially after his monastic superiors ordered him to cease publishing anything on war and peace. "Monk concerned with peace. Bad image", Merton seethed in a letter, and launched his series of privately circulated mimeographed "Cold War Letters", one-third of which are published for the first time in this book. The Hidden Ground of Love is a rich collection of Merton's letters in a period of his greatest concern about religion's seeming powerlessness against global violence and nuclear war. Though the book concentrates primarily on the last decade of his 27 years as a Trappist, it opens with a few early letters to Catherine Doherty before he became a monk. His extraordinary growth as a mystic and religious thinker, deeply concerned about the materialistic world's drift toward the abyss, is revealed in these pages. [via]