The Tradition of Catholic Prayer  -     By: St. Meinrad Monastery
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The Tradition of Catholic Prayer

Liturgical Press / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Description

Catholics have a rich and ancient prayer tradition that informs contemporary practice. People gather every morning for private devotions or participate communally in the Liturgy of the Hours. People continue to go on pilgrimages and have shrines in their homes. In this book the monks of Saint Meinrad recount the tradition of Catholic prayer. In the early chapters they explore prayer chronologically. The central chapters look at prayer in the communal contexts of the Mass, the Liturgical Year, and the Liturgy of the Hours. Final chapters shed more light on topics that deepen our understanding of the Catholic imagination and the place of prayer in the lives of the faithful.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0814631843
ISBN-13: 9780814631843

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Publisher's Description

Catholics have a rich and ancient prayer tradition that informs contemporary practice. People gather every morning for private devotions or participate communally in the Liturgy of the Hours. People continue to go on pilgrimages and have shrines in their homes. Over time, monastics, saints, and scholars developed theologies and prayer practices that are distinctive to the Catholic imagination. By exploring the historical contexts from which these theologies and practices emerged, we can invigorate our own prayer lives and better understand our faith.

In this book the monks of St. Meinrad recount the tradition of Catholic prayer. In the ealy chapters they explore prayer chronologically, from Old Testament psalms, New Testament models, and ealy church theologies, through the period of the Counter-Reformation. The central chapters look at prayer in the communal contexts of the Mass, the Liturgical Year, and the Liturgy of the Hours. Final chapters shed more light on particular topics that deepen our understanding of the Catholic imagination and the place of prayer in the lives of the faithful. Readers at any level will come away from this book with a renewed sense of prayer as a key component of Catholic formation and growth.

Publisher's Weekly

A novice monk's interest in the tradition of prayer led to this book by the monks of St. Meinrad Archabbey in Indiana. Although Hagan, a priest and one of the authors and editors of the volume, had envisioned having various monks write such a book, it wasn't until his biweekly meetings with Raab, a novice he was guiding, that the project began to take shape. Beginning with prayer as found in the Hebrew scriptures, the monks traverse the history of Catholic prayer into modern times, spanning Christianity's early centuries, the monastic movement, medieval spirituality and the Counter-Reformation. They go on to cover such practices as liturgical and fixed-hour prayer, ending with chapters on what they call the "scenic landscapes" of prayer: lectio divina (holy reading), Mary and the saints, praying with images of Jesus and prayer's role in conversion. The guide reads like a textbook in places, but it is full of interesting details, particularly those drawn from sources dating to Christianity's earliest days. For example, Cyprian Davis, in "Prayer as a Battle," cites Evagrius of Pontius, a fourth-century deacon who advocated cultivating inner calm and warned how it can be upset by logismoi, obsessive thoughts fostered by demons. Students and practitioners of prayer will find this to be most enlightening reading. (Dec.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

This book would be a cherished addition to the library of anyone who is serious about prayer. Monastics and Oblates, and newcomers in formation, will find much of value in it. It could well be used as a textbook in a liturgy or spirituality course. It is a volume I am sure to return to in the future…. Pick it up and see for yourself. You’ll be glad you did.
Cistercian Studies Quarterly

[T]he book is profoundly Catholic and displays the breadth and depth of our traditions of prayer, which cater for so many temperaments and situations. Most importantly, it is itself an encouragement and inspiration to pray.
The Downside Review

This book shares wisdom about prayer that these monks have attained concerning the Jewish-Christian tradition of prayer, a wisdom gained through the daily practice of prayer and through serious study. This is not a collection of pious aphorisms about prayer; rather it is a report, well conceived and clearly expressed, about the corporate experience of these monks and their insightful study of the tradition of prayer. . . . homilists will find in this book excellent background to their own experience and study of prayer.
Catholic Books Review

Fifteen monks have contributed finely researched and readable essays . . . the fact that each essay has been carefully researched and edited by brothers of the same community means that the book reads as a seamless whole.
Horizons

This book, rather like seminary formation, comes from the place where the academic and the spiritual meet. The personal experiences of prayer and study engaged in by these monks has produced a wonderful text that not only covers the history of prayer, but the history of the transformative power of prayer in the lives of the People of God. It is a model of collaboration not only at the level of the whole book, but within many of the essays as well. . . . This book is enthusiastically recommended for all libraries serving adults.
Catholic Library World

A great read; easy to understand; and a great overview of prayer throughout the ages. Not a book one reads to ‘finish.’ Rather, a book that invites the reader to pause, to reflect, and to pray in the form of prayer that is being described. While anyone familiar with prayer may know most of the forms of prayer that are described, the beauty of this book is the historical context in which each prayer form is placed. Whether it is scriptural, devotional, or official prayer, the reader learns (perhaps once again) the historical culture and circumstances that allowed the prayer form to come to prominence and perhaps later to fade, recede and then be reclaimed by another generation. Even though the book is a collection of essays written by a whole variety of monks, the various chapters fit together nicely, flow from one era to another, and avoid duplication. It is obvious that the authors are not studying prayer as simply an exercise in historical research, but rather an explanation of praye
I think that whenever you get a group of monks together to talk about prayer you are in for a treat. The Tradition of Catholic Prayer is a treat. It is a rewarding book if you care about the history of how Catholics pray, and it is a profound book if you actually care about connecting to that tradition. By profound I mean that at some point while reading the book you to realize you are being seduced into prayer. You plod along, thinking you are reading about how others have prayed when it occurs to you that this reading is itself a prayer. It is prayer as seminar. It is as though these monks decided to call a meeting of saints to talk about prayer and invited you to sit in, and before it ends you find yourself in the middle of a conversation with God, who, of course, just happened to be there, too.
Dr. Jon Paul Dilts, Associate Professor in the School of Journalism, Indiana University

What a well-written and well-organized book. Oh, to have had this resource when I was teaching high school religion! Kudos and thanks to all the Benedictine monks who contributed to this major work. It has filled in a lot of the blanks for me and made me acutely aware of the depth of our faith.
—Former high school theology teacher

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