Contemplative Prayer

by Thomas Merton

Other authorsThich Nhat Hanh (Introduction)
Paperback, 1996



Call number



New York: Doubleday, 1969.

User reviews

LibraryThing member StephenBarkley
Merton is one godly man. I’ve read many books on prayer that have left a vague aftertaste of unlived academia. Contemplative Prayer, on the other hand, is a book of personal experience informed by a brilliant mind.

This is not a book for beginners. It would have been almost worthless to me back in Seminary when I was more interested in being correct than communicating with God. Even now, there were many times during Contemplative Prayer where I felt like I’m just beginning my journey with God in prayer. In God, there are always deeper places to journey.

One of the highlights of this book was his recurring use of St. John of the Cross’ Dark Night. Merton constantly reminds us that real contemplation is not focused on the effects of prayer. There are times in prayer when we feel no divine consolations. Many times contemplation is a journey through the desert.

If you’re serious about and committed to a life-long journey of contemplative prayer, Merton’s a wise and reliable spiritual adviser.
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LibraryThing member homericgeek
Read from March 13 to April 03, 2014, read count: 1

There are concepts in this book that can be used by people in any tradition. It's not my favorite of the book of Thomas Merton which I've read, but I'm glad I read it. I'll probably re-read it later, after reading some of his earlier stuff. I think this is one of his latter works.… (more)
LibraryThing member bell7
Thomas Merton's final book is a contemplation of contemplative prayer. It's primarily written to monks, but could be useful for anyone interested in deepening his or her understanding of prayer.

I was at a bit of a disadvantage being neither a monk nor a Catholic nor very clear yet on what "contemplative prayer" means in practice. Merton's advice is still very practical, and I like the emphasis he gives on the fact that what's learned in silence and solitude should translate into visible action and love of fellow men. I wrote down several quotes to mull over further and would read it again in the future.… (more)
LibraryThing member danhammang
A sad farewell to a great voice. It was even better the second time. These essays, put together after his death, lack the editing and integration he might have done but nonetheless bring a modern voice to an ancient tradition. He gives much to savor and ponder.
LibraryThing member deusvitae
A series of meditations by Merton regarding the life of contemplative prayer.

The author spends time discussing some of the mechanics of the contemplative prayer life, explores some of its historical figures, and speaks of the challenges of the false self attempting to use contemplative prayer to justify its own ends, as well as the challenges of maintaining balance in a contemplative position.

Worth consideration and reflection.
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Original publication date



0385092199 / 9780385092197

Local notes

Originally Published as The climate of monastic prayer

Call number



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