Liturgical Feasts and Seasons: Novitiate Conferences on Scripture and Liturgy 3

By Thomas Merton and Patrick F. O'Connell (editor)

The third volume of Thomas Merton’s conferences, deeply rooted in Merton’s understanding of Scripture.

ISBN: 9780718897352


Liturgical Feasts and Seasons, in this third volume of paper, from Thomas Merton’s conferences during his decade (1955-1965) as novice master at the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani, his insight into the liturgical pattern of the Christian year and beyond is presented in fresh detail. Merton’s own commitment to this central dimension of Christian life is clear, and nowhere more so than in his work introducing students to the patterns that would mark their lives as monks.

Though dating from the period just before the liturgical reforms of Vatican II, Merton’s commentaries remain pertinent. The thoroughly annotated text is preceded by an extensive introduction situating this material in the context of Merton’s lifelong writing on liturgy. Moreover, as his former student Br. Paul Quenon notes in his foreword, this context is one deeply rooted in Merton’s understanding of Scripture. ‘These notes . . . take us into one man’s lifetime of reflection and seasoned experience of the Church Year.’

In the Liturgical Feasts and Seasons: Novitiate Conferences on Scripture and Liturgy 3, Patrick F. O’Connell deeply rooted in Merton’s understanding of Scripture.

Additional information

Pages 608

Trade Information LPOD

About the Author

Thomas Merton, Roman Catholic convert, Cistercian monk and hermit, poet, contemplative, social critic, and pioneer in interreligious dialogue, was a seminal figure of twentieth-century Christianity. Among his many books are his best-selling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain and the modern spiritual classic New Seeds of Contemplation.

Patrick F. O’Connell, a founding member and former president of the International Thomas Merton Society, edits the ITMS quarterly publication The Merton Seasonal and is co-author of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia. He has edited thirteen previous volumes of Thomas Merton’s writings, including Selected Essays, Early Essays, 1947-52, Cistercian Fathers and Forefathers, and most recently A Monastic Introduction to Sacred Scripture, the first of three books in the series Novitiate Conferences on Scripture and Liturgy.


Foreword by Br. Paul Quenon, OCSO

Liturgical Feasts and Seasons, Part I
Liturgical Feasts and Seasons, Part II
Additional Materials
Appendix A: Versions of the Text
Appendix B: Textual Notes

Scriptural Index
General Index


Endorsements and Reviews

This readable emolument is a timely reminder of how Merton was shaped by the liturgical year and his own immersion in the monastic offices. It is wonderful to have it available to a new audience. Lawrence S. Cunningham, University of Notre Dame

In these conferences, Thomas Merton exhorts his novices to ‘absorb the meaning’ of the chants they sing and to participate in the liturgy ‘with intelligent faith and enlightened love.’ The text consists of the notes Merton used to prepare the novices to celebrate various liturgical feasts and seasons. Patrick O’Connell’s meticulous scholarship and comprehensive familiarity with Merton’s thought is evident throughout his extensive introduction to the book and in the notes he provides to the text. Theresa Sandok, former director of the Thomas Merton Center, Bellarmine University

Introduced with meticulous care by Patrick O’Connell, Liturgical Feasts and Seasons is a wonderful opportunity to journey with Merton through the liturgical year as his novices once did-to be guided by Merton not only as a monastic teacher but also as a contemplative teacher for all of us. Merton’s explication is at once deep and clear, but also at times strikingly personal and immediate-as much as he illuminates the liturgical seasons and their biblical roots, he connects them to who we are and our own spiritual journeys. Tom Del Prete, former president, the International Thomas Merton Society