top of page






Merton and Me - A Living Trinity is an intimate act of storytelling, a spiritual journey which explores the struggles of youth, the complexities of faith, and the universal search for meaning and identity in an increasingly chaotic and divided world.  Written and performed by Douglas Hertler, aka Doug Lory, and Inspired by his life changing encounter with the writings of Thomas Merton, most notably Merton's classic No Man Is an Island, the audience is challenged to reflect on two of the most humbling and elusive of all questions, “Who am I?, and “What am I supposed to do with my life?”  While Douglas Hertler and Doug Lory struggle to understand the true nature of their respective identities, Thomas Merton appears and reappears, creating a synergy of spirit and psyche that serves as a mirror into the soul.

"When suffering comes to put the question,

Who are you?, we must be able to answer

distinctly and give our own  name." MERTON

“In 2002, I wandered into a Barnes & Noble

in NYC and a man named Thomas Merton

reached off the shelf and grabbed hold of me

and wouldn't let go.”  ME

  • The performance portion of this event runs 80 minutes without an intermission

  • The post-performance Q&A typically runs 30 to 60 minutes

  • Should you wish to book this performance as part of a one-day retreat program, click here

This performance does not require the use of a traditional stage nor any lighting effects.

Any variety of intimate venues may serve as a comfortable setting such as a: Conference

room, church hall, large classroom, etc.  Audio requirements are minimal.

  "Are they moved by a sense of human need for silence, for reflection, for inner seeking?  So they want to get away from the noise and tension of modern life, at least for a little while, in order to relax their minds and wills and seek a blessed healing sense of inner unity, reconciliation, integration."  - Thomas Merton

If you would like to spend such time together, experiencing the intimate dynamics of live story telling while also engaging in periods of silent reflection, meditation and dialogue, this performance is easily integrated into a one-day retreat program. 


While Doug's personal spiritual journey is rooted in the Catholic Christian tradition, the play speaks to the universal search for meaning and identity and resonates with audiences of various faith traditions and spiritual paths. Any environment that seeks to cultivate and nurture the human spirit in mind, body, heart, and soul is an ideal setting for such a retreat, whether a Centering Prayer or Christian meditation program, a Buddhist or Zen monastery, Church, University or any other such setting.


*This retreat is also appropriate for those groups who are unaccustomed to traditional periods of meditative silence.  Even sitting together quietly for just a few minutes can create an atmosphere more conducive to exploring the themes that Merton and Me explores. 

"For language to have meaning, there must be intervals of silence somewhere, to divide word from word and utterance from utterance.  He who retires into silence does not necessarily hate language.  Perhaps it is love and respect for language which imposes silence upon him.  For the mercy of God is not heard in words, unless it is heard, both before and after the words are spoken, in silence." - Thomas Merton



January 31, 1915 - December 10, 1968

     Thomas Merton was a force of nature while he lived, and remains a force of nature 50 years after his death.  His combined books, journals, letters, & articles, along with his photography and calligraphy, create a body of work so breathtaking in scope, as to illuminate virtually every facet of the human condition.  His writings on spirituality, civil rights, social justice, nuclear war, institutional corruption, and inter-religious dialogue remain as resonant today as the day he wrote them.  From his birth in France, to his years at Columbia University, to his monastic calling deep in the hills of rural Kentucky at the Abbey of Gethsemani, Thomas Merton’s passionately lived life continues to reveal the breadth and depth of the human soul’s search for its’ truest self in relationship to the Living God, and the necessity of practicing both contemplation and action in transforming the face of humanity.


Merton and Me - A Living Trinity, strives to honor the following Mission Statement:

     It is my prayerful wish to serve greater humanity by creating a spiritually, psychologically, and artistically compelling body of work as: an actor, author, public speaker, retreat leader, tour guide, and any other role yet to be discovered, which opens the hearts and minds of its audience and invites them to reflect more deeply on their own humanity as well as their relationship to universal humanity and the natural world.


     It is also my prayerful wish to continue to nurture my own spiritual life and to forever be a student of compassion, integrity, charity, and humility, and to cultivate deeper relationships with family and friends and every stranger that I meet, striving always to be an authentic reflection of faith, hope, and love in action in this confused and troubled world. 



For additional information and to bring this program to your:

retreat house, university/college, monastery, religious community, ITMS Chapter, or any other venue, kindly fill out the contact form.

And Thank You for visiting!

Success! Message received.

bottom of page