Monastic Observances

"Initiation into the Monastic Tradition, 5"
Thomas Merton; Edited by Patrick F. O'Connell

eISBN: 978-0-8790-7921-5, MW025E
Details: 360 pgs , 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Publication Date: 12/01/2010


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In this set of novitiate conferences from the late 1950s, Thomas Merton provides a vivid and detailed introduction to the traditional pattern and practices of the monastic day during the period immediately preceding the momentous changes that would be introduced in the wake of the Second Vatican Council. Combining practical instruction with spiritual and theological reflection, this fifth volume of Merton's teaching notes brings the reader into the choir and chapter room, scriptorium and cloisters of the Abbey of Gethsemani, and provides insight into the ecclesial, contemplative, paschal, and Trinitarian dimensions of Cistercian life.

Patrick F. O'Connell is professor in the departments of English and theology at Gannon University, Erie, Pennsylvania. A founding member and former president of the International Thomas Merton Society, he edits The Merton Seasonal and is coauthor (with William H. Shannon and Christine M. Bochen) of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia. He has edited four previous volumes of Thomas Merton's monastic conferences for the Monastic Wisdom series: Cassian and the Fathers; Pre-Benedictine Monasticism; An Introduction to Christian Mysticism; and The Rule of Saint Benedict.

Thoughtful and edited and compiled masterfully by Patrick F. O'Connell, Monastic Observances is a solid addition to any theology collection.
The Midwest Book Review

However much some critics may want to paint the later Merton as a contradictory voice on the margins of monasticism, these conferences reveal the mind and heart of someone who had ingested and treasured the entirety of monastic spiritual practices in a fashion that had no rival for the time in which it was written.
The American Benedictine Review