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Liturgical Press

The Tradition of Catholic Prayer

The Monks of Saint Meinrad; Christian Raab, OSB, and Harry Hagan, OSB, Editors

The Tradition of Catholic Prayer SEE INSIDE
The Tradition of Catholic Prayer

ISBN: 9780814631843, 3184

Details: 304 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 10/01/2007
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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 early chapters they explore prayer chronologically, from Old Testament psalms, New Testament models, and early 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.

ISBN: 9780814631843, 3184

Details: 304 pgs, 6 x 9
Publication Date: 10/01/2007


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.

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

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

This book by the monks of Saint Meinrad offers the homilist reliable, clear, and richly textured presentations in a wonderfully broad swath of the prayer tradition.
Catholic Books Review

A deeply spiritual as well as a meticulously analytical history.
Midwest Book Review

The book's variety and unity undulate and redound but do not overwhelm. They lift us up.
Review for Religious

Congratulations to the Benedictine Monks of St. Meinrad Archabbey who have put together a comprehensive history and theological reflection on prayer in the Judeo-Christian Tradition. Thorough, and eminently readable, this book is a true find for both searchers and educators. All will find it a treasury of information about the history of prayer in both personal as well as communal forms. The Tradition of Catholic Prayer is good news for people in our contemporary Western world who are trying to understand what prayer is all about.
Archbishop Roger L. Schwietz, O.M.I, D.D., S.T.L., Anchorage, Alaska

To have members of a monastic community write a book on the theory, history, and, above all, the practice of prayer is a splendid idea. To carry it off with learning, devotion, and insight is an authentic gift. That is what the Saint Meinrad monks have done for us. The Christian community can only express its gratitude for their labors. This work exemplifies Saint Benedict's urging to `listen readily to holy reading' and to `devote oneself often to prayer' (RB 4.55-56).
Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology, The University of Notre Dame

This is not a how-to book to add to your collection of prayer books and commentary, but a solid, intelligible, readable reference. We needed this scholarship for sources of our own tradition to be in dialogue with the many ways of praying of our times.
Mary Margaret Funk, Our Lady of Grace Monastery, Beech Grove, Indiana