Books » Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours

Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours

Stunning illustrations illuminate this beautifully conceived & intelligently executed contemporary psalter, a resource that presents Merton entirely as a source for daily prayer & contemplation. Prayer, prose & poetry are interwoven with graceful illustrations to form a spiritual tapestry.

Author(s): ,
Year: 2007

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Thomas Merton was the most popular proponent of the Christian contemplative tradition in the twentieth century. Now, for the first time, some of his most lyrical and prayerful writings have been arranged into A Book of Hours, a rich resource for daily prayer and contemplation that imitates the increasingly popular ancient monastic practice of “praying the hours.”

Editor Kathleen Deignan mined Merton’s voluminous writings, arranging prayers for Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Dark for each of the days of the week. A Book of Hours allows for a slice of monastic contemplation in the midst of hectic modern life, with psalms, prayers, readings, and reflections.


“A gorgeous book.”
“A Book of Hours reveals in ways I have never experienced the hidden wellspring of Merton’s contemplative life and art. This is a gorgeous book, beautifully conceived and intelligently executed. Deignan has woven a tapestry of Merton’s prayer, prose, and poetry at their most ardent so as to re-educate our awareness that God is Beautiful and most worthy of our daily praise. This five-star book will snugly fit the pocket of your heart.

Jonathan Montaldo, Editor of A Year with Thomas Merton

“Marvelous, inspiring.”
“One of the modern writers of the monastic tradition, of course, is Thomas Merton, and, though I might be one who thinks that Merton has been sized up, quoted, used and reused in every imaginable way, I was pleasantly surprised recently when I came across Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours, compiled by Kathleen Deignan. It is a marvelous, inspiring, comforting, jolting, consoling little volume that organizes Merton’s writing into prayers for dawn, midday, dusk and night of each day.”

Tom Roberts, Editor of the National Catholic Reporter

“Open any page of this wonderful book and you will find a mind-stopping, heart-catching phrase that will remind you, in Merton’s unique way, that God is here, all around, right now, and in that moment everything will be different and you will be changed.”

Sylvia Boorstein, Author of It’s Easier Than You Think

“A treasure trove.”
“What a delight to contemplate Thomas Merton’s Book of Hours, compiled from the monk’s enormous corpus of prose and poetry. Kathleen Deignan’s selections and commentary draw the reader ever deeper into the mystery of God’s love. A treasure trove to be prayerfully savored.”

Br. Patrick Hart

“An intricately wrought chalice.”
“The human heart thirsts for stillness. Kathleen Deignan, a true Sister and soul mate of Merton, guides us to wellsprings of stillness in the depths of his writings and puts an intricately wrought chalice to our lips: living water.”

David Steindl-Rast, O.S.B., Author of The Music of Silence

“A lovely book.”
“A lovely book, beautifully designed with a wonderful and thoughtfully chosen selection of excerpts from Merton’s most contemplative poetry and prose. I wouldn’t hesitate to give it as a gift, particularly to someone who is new to Merton.” (See the full review here.)

Carl McColman, Author of The Big Book of Christian Mysticism

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