The central theme of Seasons of Celebration is the liturgical renewal with which clergy and laity are now struggling with varying degrees of success. Merton's thesis is that the liturgy, and especially the reform of the liturgy, is both a demand for and a means of achieving a spirit of openness among the people of God. It is that spirit of openness that will make the priest open to his people, the people open to the priest, and both priest and people open to the workings of the Spirit: ""It means learning to experience the mystery of oneness in grace."" Within that context, the author discusses, among other topics, the relation between liturgy and spiritual personalism, Advent, the Nativity, Holy Week, Easter, the Virgin Mary, and monastic prayer. Merton's writing is, as usual, as polished as it is persuasive. He deals, however, mainly with principles at a time when many would opine that the most pressing need is for a practical science of application; moreover, his persuasiveness is rather neutralized when, upon finishing the book, the reader recalls that the author has not bothered really to demonstrate conclusively that the ""renewed"" liturgy is more conducive to ""oneness"" than was the old. Still, Merton's authority, popularity, as well as his spiritual insight recommend his work to the reader of whatever liturgical persuasion.