Publisher: Franciscan Media (2016 - October 7)
eARC (640 pages)
Reading Challenges: Read 2016
Within the Catholic tradition, there are many ways to pray. Yet, while there are smaller books, books on praying with saints and contemporary figures, volumes assembling groups of individual prayers, or prayer within one particular strand of Catholic spirituality, there is no truly comprehensive work available on how to learn, practice, and teach ways of prayer in the broad Roman Catholic tradition. This handbook breaks new ground, offering forty important voices on forty essential topics for a comprehensive look at the learning, practice, and teaching of all that it means to pray in the Catholic tradition. Topics include:
• Types of spirituality (including Carmelite, Franciscan, Ignatian, Dominican and other major schools) and how they frame prayer and prayerfulness
• Liturgical prayer
• New Testament scriptural approaches to prayer
• Praying with the Psalms
• Liturgy of the Hours
• Conversational prayer
• Resistances to prayer
• Journaling as prayer
• Enhancing a spirit of prayerfulness
• Praying in Ordinary Time
• Praying through grief, suffering, loss and pain
• Dealing with distractions in prayer
• The essentials of Catholic prayer; and much more.
This book is not one that is meant to be read from cover to cover in one sitting (or even a few sittings). This really is more of a handbook. If you are interested in one part of prayer in the Catholic Tradition, you can flip to that part of the book and learn more about that specific prayer tradition. I will say that while this book is extensive, it is not exhaustive. I don’t think that any one book could claim to cover every kind of prayer that has ever existed in the Catholic Tradition.
There are sections on specific sections on traditional Catholic prayer, distractions and struggles that occur in prayer, contemplative prayer, spiritual direction, Marian prayer, lectio divina of the Gospels, praying with the Psalms and the Old Testament.
There are also sections on the following prayer traditions: Franciscan, Carmelite, Dominican, Benedictine, Salesian, Augustinian, Ignatian, and Mercy.
There are also sections on praying with spiritual guides such as Teresa of Ávila, John of the Cross, Thérèse of Lisieux, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Thomas Merton, and Henri Nouwen.
There are also sections on praying for specific groups such as the married, the military, and seminarians.
Then there are sections on liturgical prayer and praying with the liturgical seasons of the Church year.
Following this there are short reflections on prayer from various authors. As you can tell, this book covers A LOT of ground.
I would never recommend reading this book from cover to cover. This is meant to be a handbook, a guide, a reference book. I read sections of this as an ebook and would really like to get a hard copy to join my collection of Catholic reference books on my shelf.
I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley for
review consideration. This in no way affects my opinion of the title
nor the content of this review.