Readers of my blog may find this interesting: the story of Randy De Trinis, who explored monastic life at Gethsemani Abbey in the 1950s under the spiritual guidance of Thomas Merton. Although he did not stay at the monastery, his memoir reveals what an impact Merton had on his young life.
In his own words:
This is an article by Randy De Trinis originally published in The Merton Seasonal, a quarterly of The International Thomas Merton Society. It is a memoir of my life especially focused on my years as a monk at the Trappist Monastery of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky where I was fortunate to have Merton as a spiritual director. I would like to hear from you: reactions good or bad or further discussion.
Read the article (in two parts) at Thomas Merton and the Quest: A Spiritual Odyssey.