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A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  337 ratings  ·  34 reviews

A 365 daily with inspirational and provocative selections from the journals of Thomas Merton combined with drawings and photographs by Merton.

This volume of daily inspiration from Thomas Merton draws from Merton's journals and papers to present, each day, a seasonally appropriate and thought-provoking insight or observation.
Each month will begin with one of Merton's deligh

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published December 28th 2004)
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  337 ratings  ·  34 reviews

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A short and sweet review:

Thomas Merton: well-read; a deep thinker. I loved sharing his thoughts with him. Every day something to read, contemplate and live by.

5 stars
Brisni (בריטני)

Okay, so this, again (along with my "year with C.S. Lewis), was one where I have read bits and pieces over time, re-reading much at the beginning over again, but finally finishing despite the date. These journal entries were well curated and are rich and thought-provoking. I feel very kindred to Merton in many ways... as a writer, as a believer, as a photographer, and as an artist. (This collection featured some of his photos and drawings along with his writings.)

Most of all, I would say it
Jan 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: daily-readers
I've been reading this day book off and on for a couple months now, enjoying each 4-5 paragraph reading. My hope in reading has been to see what made Merton who he was in the ordinary. I've read and been captivated by several of Merton's books now and each book has a handful of sentences that extend beyond a normal person's spiritual experience. As I read, I feel myself pulled into something new, something living.

In _A Year with Thomas Merton_ I have the privelge to see the "normal" Thomas Mert
Michael John
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have spent a lot of time with Merton in this book over the past several years. His journal entries make the reader feel as if they know him very well. Topics go from philosophical inquiries to observations of nature. I feel kinship with Merton and was able to read this despite my loss of confidence in organized religion.
Michael Cody
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much great stuff here for daily reading. And how much the US in the 1960s seems like the US in the latter half of the 2010s. See for yourself: “. . . I have undergone my dose of exposure to American society in the ’60s. . . . I love the people I run into, but I pity them for having to live as they do, and I think the world of U.S.A. in 1967 is a world of crass, blind, overstimulated, phony, lying stupidity. . . . The temper of the country is one of blindness, fat, self-satisfied, ruthless, mi ...more
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three hundred and sixty-six excerpts from the diaries of Thomas Merton, designed to be daily meditations; I started just after Lent last year and finished today. For me it was less meditative and more like companionship, a familiarity with the most influential Christian contemplative of the 20th century.

The excerpts range from the commonplace, daily life, to the profound. I'll miss our daily meetings. But next it's Frederick Beuchner.

A quote, as an example of the profound (nothing better than so
Dec 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I had hoped to use this book as a kind of daily meditation source, but found that it didn't work that way for me. Instead, I read several weeks' worth at a time. I have previously liked later writings by Merton as he became more influenced by the civil rights and social justice movements and as his religious views were expanded through acquaintance with Eastern religions (1960s). However, many of the excerpts from his journals collected in this book are from from early writings (1940s and 50s) t ...more
Pam Cipkowski
This devotional contains entries gathered from all of Thomas Merton’s published journals. Reading the passages day by day gives you a taste of Merton’s typical musings. Following along, you see Merton in prayer, in solitude, in joy, and in frustration. Merton is a master of description, and his words are a delight to read. (“There are drops of dew that show like sapphires in the grass as soon as the morning sun appears, and leaves stir behind the hushed flight of an escaping dove.”) If you wish ...more
Jimmy Locklear
Dec 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love this daily reading book. It is personal and candid and reveals the struggles of a young and old monk who is finding his way as a contemplative. Because the excerpts from Merton's actual journals cover some 25 years, you see different levels of maturity from day to day. Some readings are irrelevant to my journey, but most are spot on. Inspiration is through the roof and if you are needing a them or a truth to ponder, there are plenty to find in Brother Thomas's beautiful heart. Highly reco ...more
I read this throughout 2018 -- it's an absolutely interesting look at the monastic life, and great way to understand Merton. However, the entries jump all over year to year, so there's no consistency. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but can be jarring to jump from one concern to something completely different if you're looking for reconciliation of thoughts. I really enjoyed doing this project through the year. ...more
Mike Morris
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thoughtful reflections on daily life. Merton seems conscious of leaving a record to be read later, or at least using the journal to practice the craft of writings, as he paints pictures of a placid existence at Gethsemane. In a lot of the entries, he rebukes himself, and while the equally thoughtful reader thinks he might be too hard about his own faults, this is the aspect of the book that calls us to emulation: acknowledging our own flaws on a day-to-day basis.
Dec 31, 2020 rated it liked it
So I spent this last year with Thomas Merton's journals...and it confirmed my opinion that people's diaries/journals/letters don't really make for great reading. They are not intended for publication, after all. Nothing against this book, and I appreciate the work of the editor in making these selections...I'd just much rather read some of the brilliant and insightful things that Merton wrote with the purpose of sharing. ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
Thomas Merton's journal helped me to realize the profane in the mundane and everyday life. To take notice of the small things. That just noticing your environment can be a great teacher. As well as his great thinking and opened me up to other writers that influenced him. An inspirational daily read! ...more
Stanley Turner
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This work started out promising but at times Merton seemed to get a little lost in his writing. I believe it was more the editors choosing from Merton’s diary that seemed to lose track. Some very good materials at times and some materials that caused me to scratch my head. I got several book recommendations. Overall a good devotional...SLT
Nov 23, 2019 rated it liked it
A Bit Disjointed

Some of the entries were good, while others were humdrum. Plus I think it would be better to read about a volume of Merton's journals than read a difficult entry each day.
Corie Sanford
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my daily reading books this year (accompanied, once again, by daily Rilke, which made for a lovely pairing), and I've got to say, it did not disappoint - a perfect reflective moment to begin each day. ...more
M.E. Syler
Jul 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inspirational
Merton’s journal is a true journey through his theological and philosophical mind. Writings from each day from his journals that go to his early life and to his last. Merton writes with clarity and explores the spirituality of humankind.
Laura Luzzi
Apr 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Every morning with Merton is a good way to start the day.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
I wish I knew more about Thomas Merton. Some good meditations.
Brian Tucker
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All day every day.
Carol Burris
Not exactly what I was expecting but an interesting insight into his life and work.
Lisa Kentgen
Jan 04, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
His style of writing in this one didn't appeal to me as some of his other writings. Still, Merton is a good companion to turn to during Covid for little hits of wisdom. ...more
Edward Dagenfield
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for the slow reader

I have to write twenty words but my recommendation is to explore the book yourself. And don’t agree to rate books ,,,
James Klagge
I had never before read a daily meditation book. Unfortunately my reading was not exactly daily, but sometimes more like weekly, or worse, as I missed days and then had to catch up. Nevertheless, I really loved the readings, and liked the practice of doing them--even if it will take more practice to do them daily. Merton lives near the outdoors, and has a lot to say about them. The readings are extracted from his journals (from the years 1948-1968) and they are selected so that ones written in a ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been coveting this gem of a book--I had it from the library for two months, and lucky me, I got it for Christmas. So, Thomas Merton is considered one of the most prominent spiritual writers in the modern world. What I like about him most is that he's pretty damn humble and oozes empathy for humanity. Jonathan Montaldo, the editor, combed through all of Merton's journals and selected entries from over 20 years of his life as a Trappist monk in Kentucky. Each day of the year has a brief excer ...more
These were selections from Thomas Merton's journals, so sometimes felt disjointed and muddy in presentation. Nonetheless, the exercise of typing them each day, adding a picture or Scripture verse or thought was a useful spiritual practice. There were gems amongst the clutter and I will always think of this book as a treasured memory. ...more
Feb 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
More like "Two years and a few extra days with Thomas Merton", but I did, I DID, finish it. :)
Sometimes his meditations seemed to be encrypted only for himself - makes sense since they are from his journals and not written with another audience in mind.
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014-2016
This is a good overview of Merton's thought. You can see a subtle evolution as the years pass. He does keep to his firm belief of Christ, "it is an old story, but as far as I am concerned, it is the one we get back to. There is no other." ...more
Kyle Arcement
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful companion to take with you through the year! Merton is best read in small snippets like these daily reflections. By doing so, one grows in appreciation of the possibilities each day offers...and helps notice things that wouldn't be noticed otherwise. ...more
Jun 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've given up daily horoscopes for a daily dose of Thomas Merton. I'm sure some would say that it's about an even trade. ...more
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Thomas Merton was one of the most influential Catholic authors of the 20th century. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, in the American state of Kentucky, Merton was an acclaimed Catholic spiritual writer, poet, author and social activist. Merton wrote over 60 books, scores of essays and reviews, and is the ongoing subject of many biographies. Merton was also a proponent of int ...more

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