How to read a spiritual conversion story?

Father, I want to become a Catholic”, said Thomas Merton to a priest.

It’s taking me a long time to finish the book The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton. It’s an autobiographical account of a Trappist Monk on how he, from being a self-confessed “atheist”, became a Catholic and a monk. I just borrowed the book from our teacher since he mentioned it class and I asked for a copy. It is 500-plus pages long and I don’t mind taking a leisurely pace in reading this book. You might accuse me of being lazy since I really am. The book has been with me since June and I have been able to finish a number of books ahead of Merton’s book. Whenever I feel like reading the book, I pick it up and just read it until I get hooked then just stop and reflect. When I read a spiritual book, I change my reading habit. In this book, though I read slowly, my interest doesn’t wane easily and I reread some parts and just ponder. It’s unlike any other books where I read them like I’m just listening to a song. With The Seven Storey Mountain, it’s like I’m reading poetry. Merton mentioned a lot of poets but I would like to focus on Gerard Manley Hopkins, a convert to Catholicism who later on joined the Jesuits as a priest. I think Merton, a self-confessed “atheist”, was inspired by the poems and the life of Hopkins that it pushed him to finally become a Catholic. I have yet to read what happens next since I’m only halfway of the book. I’ll be writing again once I got “struck” again.

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