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Catholic Spiritual Direction

Time for God – Book Recommendation

January 7, 2010 by  
Filed under Books, Centering Prayer, Dan Burke, Meditation, Prayer, Resources

Time for God by Father Jacques Philippe: Book Recommendation

Someone once said that true genius is not in understanding complexity but in the ability to communicate complex issues in simple terms that anyone can understand. Father Jacques Philippe accomplishes in a very short easy read what most require volumes to explore and explain about the spiritual life, and specifically the life of prayer.

Father Philippe begins this fantastic book by laying the foundations of the heart of Christian mental prayer and  meditation – God’s grace. He then provides a very clear and helpful contrast between Christian prayer and conflicting spiritual traditions that have recently made their way into Catholic spirituality. Through the remainder of the book he does a masterful job of drawing from the rich depths of the Carmelite tradition (St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, etc.) to provide a meaningful review of key principals of meditative prayer.

If you are seeking to better understand mental prayer, contemplation, how to deepen your own prayer life, how to overcome struggles with prayer, you can’t go wrong with Father Philippe’s faithful and coherent treatment of these topics.  This really is a must read for both spiritual directors and those seeking greater depths in their prayer lives.

Major topic headings for the book:

  • Mental Prayer is Not a Technique but a Grace
  • How to Use the Time of Mental Prayer
  • The Development of the Life of Prayer
  • Material Conditions for Mental Prayer
  • Some Methods of Mental Prayer

To purchase this book and support this site, click here.

Seek Him – Find Him – Follow Him


PS: You might wonder why I have this book categorized in “Centering Prayer.” The reason is that the book provides the most concise, coherent, and charitable treatment of the modern synthesis of Catholic and non-Christian prayer practices.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the founder of Catholic Spiritual Direction, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and author of the award winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. Beyond his “contagious” love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN’s National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN’s Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Angela

    Dan: I think you’ve been scanning my book shelf and ‘to read’ wish list! All of your book recommendations are on there. I also highly recommend Fr Philippe’s “Interior Freedom” — especially for those who suffer. It brings everything into focus.

    • Dan Burke

      Angela: I am glad to hear it – thanks for the recommendation in return. Now you have identified a book on my wish list.

  • Marie

    Angela & Dan:
    I have to agree with both of you that the book recommendations coming from this site are “right one”. I was given Time For God by my spiritual director at the end of our first meeting. It is a wonderful book on mental prayer. Currently I am in the midst of completing Fr. Philippe’s “Interior Freedom” book and the other book of his that looked good was on the Holy Spirit…I think it is called “In the School of the Holy Spirit”.
    Thanks to both of you for sharing your information.

  • Joan

    Thank you, Dan! I have this book and agree with you, it is a must have. I also highly recommend another by Fr, Philippe, Searching for and Maintaining Peace, A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart. Fr. Philippe has a wonderful gift of packing so much into these little books. They are profound!

  • Guest

    Dear Dan, though the book you recommend sounds fantastic, I am afraid it might not be available in our local Catholic Bookshop here in Nairobi, Kenya.
    Could you, in the coming articles, give us some useful quations from it – that is, if the Author agrees to this – so that we may benefit from its teachings?
    God bless you

    • Dan Burke

      As a matter of fact – I have asked for permission already!

  • Caz

    Thank your for this book recommendation! Do you think this book is suited to reading/discussing in a group format? There is a group of Young Adults (20s to 30s) that I’m think would benefit from it.

    • Dan Burke

      Absolutely – it is very straight forward and would work well in that kind of setting. I actually had the same thought after reading it.

  • William

    I agree that this book is a great read and that he packs so much into so little.  

    • Dan Burke

      I agree with your agreement William!