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
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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.
Art for this post on Time for God Book Recommendation: Cover of Time for God by Fr. Jacques Philippe used with permission, all rights reserved.