Books often surprise us, and The Saint Clare Prayer Book surprises with its richness of content, its story of a holy life, and through its presentation of words not only of Saint Clare but also of Saint Francis and others.
Many readers know of Francis, but fewer recognize Clare, who learned from Francis founded the Poor Clares, and became known for her wisdom. Following her conversion as a teenager, her life was a cloistered one of meditation and prayer. Much of her life she remained, by choice, behind a set of bars known as the "grille." Saint Clare lived as Saint Francis taught: "Preach with your lives, and when necessary, use words."
Readers familiar with contemplative prayer and the lives of saints will recognize the divine office as a prayer pattern, with defined times and selected readings. For each morning and evening of the week, there is a preparation, Gospel sentence, confession, psalm, Gospel reading, time of silence, prayers of the saints, and a collect. Saint Clare valued the Psalms, Song of Solomon, the prophets, Matthew, and the writings of Paul; hence, scripture selections are primarily from these sources.
A section of notes is worth attention. Recommended for church libraries, and particularly for persons interested in contemplative prayer and lives of the saints. Carolyn Egolf Congretional Libraries Today July/August 2007
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