The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedGraham Greene
Title QuotedQuiet American
Date (Year/Month/Day)1956/05/02
Imprint[S.l.] : [s.n.]. 1955
QuotationFirst of all, here are a couple of poems "¦ Matthew Scott is sending the long one to Graham Greene [called "The Sting of Conscience," with the subtitle "Letter to Graham Green"]. I hope Greene will be appropriately edified at the effect of [his novel] The Quiet American on a Trappist monk. Come to think of it, it is not the kind of book that is usually read in the monastery. Somehow I reacted"”responded, what have you"”strongly to the basic moral point. It touched off something very deep in me, that whole business that is boiling around down there. Resistance against the beautiful moral façade which gets built up in front of our very iniquity"”including perhaps my own. Our wonderful capacity to eat our cake and have it, especially when it is cake righteously taken away from someone else who is starving to death. Our ability to ruin others in order to feel clean ourselves... P.S. The thing I can most think of, after The Quiet American, is that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth but not necessarily the Spirit of big catchwords and bright slogans. And that is why we need His protection against the noise all around us everywhere.
JournalWitness to Freedom: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1994, p. 134
Link to Merton's Copy