The Road to Joy


The second of five volumes of Merton’s letters is a celebration of the significance of friendship. The title to the volume was inspired by a picture of a house sent to Merton by five-year old Grace Sisson followed five years later with another drawing entitled “The Road to Joy”. Merton, thanking her for the drawing wrote,

“I hope you and I together will secretly travel our own road to joy, which is mysteriously revealed to us without our exactly realizing. When I say that, I don’t want you to start thinking about it. You already know it without thinking about it.”

The Road to Joy by Thomas Merton.

Conference papers presented at the Tenth General Meeting of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland
held at Oakham School, Oakham from 4th - 6th April, 2014.

Various conference papers from the Tenth General Meeting were subsequently published in editions of The Merton Journal and other places.

Main Conference Addresses:


Christine M. Bochen - "From Solitude to Communion: Writing Letters, Making Friends."

Gary P. Hall - "Moved by Grace: The Joy of Escaping and the Misery of Creativity."

Daniel P. Horan, OFM - "The Joy of Writing, The Road to Friendship: Following the Path of the Unpublished Correspondence of Thomas Merton and Naomi Burton Stone."


Concurrent Session Papers:


William Apel - "Hiroshima Notes: The Merton and Morishita Friendship."

Nass Cannon - "Travelling the Road to Joy: Thomas Merton’s Pursuit of the True Self."

James Cronin - "An 'Apostolate of Friendship': Thomas Merton’s Letters to Fellow Writers, 1958-61."

Detlev Cuntz - "Merton and the Poetic Experience of the Duino Elegies."

Stephen Dunhill - "Merton’s Poetic Recovery of Paradise."

Peter Ellis - "Like a Demented Woodpecker."

Fiona Gardner - "'Both IT and NOT IT ...This is the way I look at it...' Exploring Personal Experiences of God."

Mairanne Hieb - "Road Marks and Turning Points: Integrating Conference Themes with Visual and Verbal Journaling Prayer."

Paul M. Pearson - "'I love beer, and, by that very fact, the world' – The Humour and Humanity of Thomas Merton."

Sonia Petisco Martinez - "Silence as the path to joy in the poetry of Thomas Merton and T.S. Eliot."

Gosia Poks - "The One-Person Revolution as a Way to Joy: Thomas Merton, Ammon Hennacy, and Christian Anarchism."

Maurizio Renzini & Mario Zaninelli - "Thomas Merton’s Influence on Young Italian Friends – Walking Their Road to Joy."


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