St. Irenaeus of Lyons wrote:
What is the problem with other Merton books? Haven't read any yet, but have "Ascent to Truth" on the shelf.
Merton, particularly in his later years, tended to be something of a syncretist..
Please give examples. I've read about seven books by Fr. Merton and think Life and Holiness
, No Man Is an Island
and New Seeds of Contemplation
(I especially liked the chapter "The Woman Clothed with the Sun" explaining many reasons why, according to Catholicism, the Virgin Mary is important) are very good to excellent.
Perhaps a year or two ago on this site, someone did furnish a single line from a poem that seemed heterodox at best and more likely wrong, but I've not seen anything else.
Why bother with him at all is my attitude? There are plenty of spiritual writings written by holy men and women who ended their days without scandal, without falling from their vocation. God alone knows Merton's soul, but a man who could not be faithful to his vocation, or even to celibacy* is hardly one to recommend as a spiritual guide. Even before he went that far, he continually disobeyed his abbot, went around him and still had him to thanks that his emotional immaturity and personal instability did not completely overcome him in the 60's.
Now I assume you have seen the book mentioned earlier her about "Zen and..." and are aware of his promotion of "Zen asceticism" as well as his violation of his vocation to be politically active? So even if there were no obviously heterodox aspects of his writings, why both? Read something of a saint if you want sure direction to holiness. Pray for Merton, but do not trust his writings as a spiritual guide.
*I have heard the defense of this, but for a monk in his fifties to be "sexually intimate" with a girl in her twenties is outrageous even if not "consummated". That he continued the affair and wrote love poems and such is just ludicrous.