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Thomas Merton

A Book of Hours

A Book of Hours

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.

The editors manipulated a wealth of Merton's poetry, letters, canticles and journal entries to meld into a liturgically poetic book of hours or opus dei for the every day. The reader is presented with a week's worth of prayers and meditations organized in the traditional monastic style. However, instead of the seven hours or calls to prayer in the day, the editors shaped the daily prayer into four notable "hours:" Dawn, Day, Dusk, and Dark.

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