Thomas Merton was very excited about the zeal for new directions advocated by the Second Vatican Council on liturgical reform. This collection of essays and addresses focuses on the seasons, or cycles, of the liturgical year. The audiences included theological and philosophical students, Cistercian Novices, and Monastic Community members. In a piece titled "Liturgy and Spiritual Personalism," Merton writes:
"Liturgy is not just the fulfillment of a natural duty. It is the celebration of our unity in the Redemptive Love and Mystery of Christ. It is the expression of the self-awareness of a redeemed people."
Among these essays, you will find articles on Advent, Ash Wednesday, Christian Self-Denial, and Easter. Merton also explores light and the Virgin Mary, the community of pardon, the name of the Lord, "In Silentio," and the Good Samaritan. His contemplative perspective adds a luster to these essays.