The Lord's Prayer accompanies the lives of Christians. When we are happy or sad, when we eagerly wait for a child to be born or silently keep watch as an elder dies, alone in the woods or together in liturgy, filled with gratitude or emptied by grief, driven to praise or dragged to repent, the Our Father finds its way to our lips.
To Dare the Our Father recognizes and respects these experiences but it envisions praying the prayer as a more sustained and challenging undertaking. How does praying the Our Father inform our thinking, feeling, willing, and acting? How does it become for us a transformative spiritual practice? John Shea explores these questions and more to discover what it looks like to become people of prayer.
John (Jack) Shea is a consultant with decades of experience in providing theological and formation services to parishes and faith-based organizations. He has published over twenty books of theology and spirituality (including Liturgical Press's popular Spiritual Wisdom of the Gospels series), three novels, and three books of poetry. He lectures nationally and internationally on storytelling in world religions, faith-based health care, contemporary spirituality, and the spirit work movement. Visit jackshea.org to learn more.
To Dare the Our Father would be an excellent book for faith-sharing groups to read and ponder together, for parents and catechists who give children their first introduction to the Our Father, for neophytes undergoing the mystagogical period of the RCIA, for retreatants looking to renew their awareness of being a daughter or son of God, indeed for all persons wishing to grow in their sense of Christian identity and mission.
This meditation on the Our Father is vintage Shea: theologically astute, spiritually alert, deeply attuned to the needs and aspirations of the human heart. Anyone interested in cultivating a more intentional relationship to God should read this book.
Bishop Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles
This is inspiring spiritual reading accessible to a wide range of readers who are seeking to deepen their faith.
The Bible Today
Jesus left us one prayer as the root for all prayer, the Our Father. In this marvelous, very readable book, John Shea shows us how that prayer is embedded in our very DNA and how it can bring God's presence into every moment in our lives, from saying `good night' to each other to standing at others' death beds. A great read. Few authors write with the depth of John Shea.
Ronald Rolheiser, OMI, is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas
John Shea is fooling us-like always. He is not just helping us open to the Our Father as a transformative spiritual practice. He is providing a richly detailed, deep, comprehensive understanding of Spirit and how we can savor imagination, vulnerablity, joy, social action, faith, and communion in order to travel the path of spiritual development.
Mike Carotta, religious educator, author of Unexpected Occasions of Grace