Sunday, January 31, 2021

Review: Ten Ways to Pray


About the Book:

Whether you are just beginning to develop a consistent prayer practice or are looking for a new approach to spiritual growth, Ten Ways to Pray will explore a variety of traditional forms of Catholic prayer that enable you to draw closer to God and the communion of saints.

This practical introduction to ten traditional forms of prayer from the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame will help you develop a richer spiritual life that draws you closer to the triune God and the communion of saints. Carolyn Pirtle provides intriguing bits of history, engaging spiritual and theological commentary, and step-by-step guidance for trying ten distinct ways of praying that Catholics have utilized across the centuries and around the world in order to develop your own prayer practice.

These include praying:

with scripture
to consecrate time through the Liturgy of the Hours and the Angelus
through experience in the Examen
through action in the Works of Mercy
through the beauty of nature, art, and music
through silence

My Comments:

Every year I make New Year's and/or Lenten resolutions to improve my prayer life.  In keeping with those resolution, I often obtain a book, and many of them languish on my bookshelf or NetGalley queue because I'm going to get to them when I have time to read them or whatever the excuse of the week is.  Since Ten Ways to Pray was a NetGalley offering in January, I grabbed it.  

It really is one of those "no excuses: books.  The writing style is conversational and easy to read.  The book is broken into chapters for each type of prayer.  Each chapter begins with "What is this form of prayer", a section that describes the form. Next is "Why might a person pray this way?" that gives you an idea of whether this form of prayer might be for you.  "When and where can one practice this form of prayer" is pretty self-explanatory, but it addresses real issues people have in their lives--you aren't going to be able to spend 30 minutes in contemplation if you are the only adult in charge of three small children who are awake.   The next section in each chapter is "How does one pray this way in practice" which gives concrete ideas for doing this type of prayer.  For example, the section on praying with Scripture gives the five steps for lectio divina.  

While the book has an extensive bibliography to allow readers to more fully explore topics of interest, this book is only 192 pages and is a quick easy read.  Since the Bible is my book for the year (see Do You Prefer Your Bible Fast or Slow) I'm going to focus on the section on praying with Scripture.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B+

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