Wednesday 24 March 2010

Time for God - Jacques Philippe - Scepter

Time for God
Jacques Philippe
Scepter Publishers
ISBN 9781594170669

This is the third translation of this book I have read. It has a greater power and strength than the SinagTala translation. And it seems to have a slightly more direct approach than the translation by Pauline Books & Media. Reading it this time through in this new translation, I am sure I have discovered things and found themes I did not in my previous readings. I have attempted to read the original French version, and though I enjoy it as an exercise, with not having used my French in almost 25 years, I miss much of the meaning in the text. As such I am
reliant upon translators. Helena Scott did this new translation for Scepter and it is an excellent translation. At some point i would like to do a side by side comparison between the Scepter and Pauline version. I enjoy both and believe that both versions will end up in my spiritual reading from time to time.

This is a great little book about the prayer life. It is not so much an instruction manual in that it does not list step by step what to do, but it does give general direction on methods to try and pitfalls to avoid in trying to develop a prayer life. Father Jacques Philippe takes us on a tour through history and Christian traditions to show us what works for establishing mental prayer and a consistent prayer life. His words flow as if guided by the Holy Spirit and are easy to understand and practical enough to start
implementing as you read. A few quotes from this edition of the book will illustrate that point:"Mental prayer is not a kind of Christian yoga." p.9

"The first, basic truth, without which we well not get very far, is that the life of prayer (or contemplative prayer, to use a different name for the same thing), is not the result of technique, but a gift we receive." p.9

"If the life of prayer is not a technique to be mastered but a grace to be received, a gift from God, then talk about prayer should not focus on describing methods or giving instructions, but on explaining the necessary conditions for receiving the gift." p.13

"It should be clear by now that the main battle in mental prayer is perseverance. God will give us the grace to persevere if we ask him for it trustingly and are firmly resolved to do whatever is up to us.´ p.23

"There is no spiritual progress without contemplative prayer." p.24

"If we make God our first concern, God will look after our affairs much better than we ever can. Let us acknowledge humbly that our natural tendency is to be too attached to our activities, to allow ourselves to be carried away by them till they fill our minds entirely." p.30
"As creatures of flesh and blood, we need the support of material things in order to attain to spiritual realities." p.58

"Realistically, though, we often do not have the option of praying at an ideal time, but must take advantage of the opportunities allowed us by our commitments." p.83

As can be seen for those few select quotes there is a lot of teaching packed into under 100 pages before the appendices. I find that Father Jacques Philippe writings are like a balm, they are soothing to the spirit and promoting healthy spiritual growth. He gives us the tools to become better at Christian. His extensive experience as a director at retreats has shaped his writings and crafted them to give the most support for the ordinary Christian trying to live life to the full. Rev. Jacques Philippe, ordained in 1985, he is a priest of the Community of the beatitudes.

Other Books By Fr. Jacques Philippe
From Scepter:

Called to Life
Time For God
Interior Freedom
In the School of the Holy Spirit
The Way of Trust and Love - A Retreat Guided By St. Therese of Lisieux
Thirsting for Prayer
Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness, and Trust

Fire and Light: Learning to Receive the Gift of God
The Eight Doors of the Kingdom: Meditations on the Beatitudes
Nine Days to Rediscover the Joy of Prayer
Nine Days to Welcome Peace
Priestly Fatherhood

St Paul's Alba House:
Searching for and Maintaining Peace
Discerning Your Vocation: A Catholic Guide for Young Adults (Forward)

Pauline Books and Media:

Time For God

Time For God
I Choose to be Free: the Power of Faith Hope & Charity (a different edition of Interior Freedom)

Books Contributed To:

(These are all his books I have been able to find in English; if you know of any others or how to get them, let me know please.)

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