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Customer reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
16
Book Of Hours
Format: Hardcover|Change


on 18 February 2017
I had never even heard of Thomas Merton when I was a Protestant. So far as a Catholic convert I have yet to read any of his books, though I am looking forward to having a look when I can get around to it. As I am a sucker for prayer books, especially those containing a daily office, I bought this.

This is not quite what I expected. I was expected that it would follow the tradition of a Medieval Book of Hours, with Psalms and Scripture readings, interspersed with meditations from the writings of Thomas Merton. However, while it follows the structure of a daily office, with Psalms, canticles, readings and collects, the material is entirely taken from Thomas Merton's writings. Given that Merton was a monk who prayed the Psalms daily, I have my doubts that he would have approved the replacement of inspired Scripture with his own words.

Some of Merton's words are very beautiful and inspiring. However, a lot of the time his profound thoughts leave me scratching my head, confused as to what he is actually saying. There is a time for reading opaque and challenging spiritual writings, but I do not think morning and evening prayer is that time. A daily office is all about routine, consistency and simplicity. When one has just cleaned one's teeth and needs to set off for work in twenty minutes one is better off reading the Psalms. There are people of a poetical and mystical temperament who will relish this book. This may be the book they want; but it is not necessarily the book they need.

One thing I did really appreciate was the emphasis on Sophia, divine wisdom in the Saturday office. This fits nicely with the tradition of Marian devotion on Saturday. When one has time on one's hands, it may be worth using this book of hours for a few days.
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on 13 October 2012
Merton wrote in a most thought provoking and quirky way. A contemplative, he shares his experience in a unique style; not ramming sanctity and puritanical values down the reader's throat, but humorously, poetically, simply. The reader can feel nature singing all around, from the humble husk of the fruit to the hills and the sun above. He observes human and Divine nature in a subtle but truly deep manner that amuses and delights.
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on 5 December 2015
Merton at his best.
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on 10 November 2012
I have been a Merton man since Elected Silence (Seven Storey Mountain) in the late 1940s.He even sent me into a Cistercian monastery for a few years. But now I am afraid he has lost me. I find his poetry is beyond me. I am sad to say this,I just don't understand a lot of it. So now in my 80 s I am obviously past it.
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on 2 July 2015
purchased this for my dad on his birthday, came pretty quickly and was well packaged, my dad seems to love it so i will give i a thumbs up
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on 3 September 2014
great for meditation
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on 17 June 2015
As requested
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on 4 February 2015
A book I use everyday.
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on 25 April 2016
Just beautiful. Soul and day
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on 15 August 2013
Great to have on Kindle. Tightly packed and very reflective - truly a book to sit with and ponder over.
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