Thomas Merton is perhaps the most popular American religion writer of the last hundred years. Despite appearances to the contrary, in 1966 he was a troubled, lonely monk; until he met a nurse who he fell in love with. At the same time, he struggled with the challenge of whether to choose her over complete devotion to God. When he finally chose God, he emerged renewed: stronger and surer than he would have been without being tested by such a shattering conflict. While thousands are familiar with Merton and his writing, here for the first time is a private side of the famous monk. Based on journal entries, new information and sources such as fellow monks, this compelling work offers a fresh perspective on the revered figure.