In this book, author Esther de Waal draws on the life and writings of Thomas Merton to accompany her on a seven day spiritual journey. And so, in setting out on their own journeys, readers not only have Merton‟s insights but also the personal experience of the author for assistance.
Each one of the seven days of retreat covers a step towards greater harmony with God – from “the call” (day one) through to “integration” (day seven). Monochrome photographs taken by Merton are included at significant stations in the journey which complement the words and help the reader to achieve a more focused contemplation.
While reading a chapter at the start of each of the seven days, this reader at all times felt that he was not alone – there was a strong sense of being accompanied and supported throughout. This is a beautiful book. Simple in structure, brief in length and pleasing in presentation. And yet it contains such a rich source of inspiration which will be of benefit to anyone who feels the call to retreat but perhaps does not have the luxury of time or money to spend away from daily life.
Foreword by Henri Nouwen and updated introduction by the author, the book also contains a brief overview of Merton‟s life, explanatory notes and references and a comprehensive bibliography for further research if desired.
George Dow – Trustee, Christian Ecology Link
A Retreat with Thomas Merton by Esther de Waal is published by Canterbury Press, 2010 (3rd Edition) ISBN: 978 1-84825-066-6