Sunday 8 December 2019

Learning to Love Journeys Through Life with the Rosary - Father Nigel Woollen

Learning to Love: 
Journeys Through Life with the Rosary
Father Nigel Woollen
Veritas Publications

This is the second volume from the masterful pen of father Nigel Woolen that I have read. In fact, as I write this review I am reading it through a second time. One sentence in the book stood out and felt like it was written directly to me:

“We sometimes feel that everyday we fall short of doing his will, but God loves a good trier and will never let us down, if we keep learning to trust on the way.”


"When we don't know what to pray, recite the lord's prayer it is enough, as it contains everything we need.Trying to pray is already praying - and God loves a good trier."

From the moment I picked up this volume, till I finished it the first time. I felt the words flowing into my heart and spirit. I struggle with reading physical books, but this one was worth the effort not only once but now almost a second time through. The chapters in this volume are:

Introduction: You Shall Love the Lord, Your God

I.  When You Sit in Your Houses:
Encountering the Lord – Joyful Mysteries
The Lord Comes to our House: Called and Chosen
1. The Annunciation: Learning to Receive
2. The Visitation: Bearing the Bearer of All Things
3. The Nativity: Glory to God and peace on Earth
4. The Presentation: The New temple
5. The Finding in the Temple: In My Father’s Company

II. When you Walk By the Way
The Apostles – Mysteries of Light
The Time of Missions: Sharing the Love We Have Encountered
1. The Baptism of the Lord: Learning to Walk
2. The Wedding Feast of Cana: Trusting in Him
3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom: Life in the Spirit
4. The Transfiguration: The Only Way is Up
5. The Institution of the Eucharist: You are What You Eat

III. When You Lie Down:
Sickness, Suffering, and Death – Sorrowful Mysteries
The Greatest Apostle of All: Blessed and Broken
1. The Agony in the Garden: Learning to pray
2. The Scourging at the Pillar: making Sense of Wasted Pain
3. The Crowning with Thorns: Behold Your King
4. The Carrying of the Cross: Out of the City
5. The Crucifixion: Into Your hands

IV. And When You Rise:
The Life of heaven – Glorious Mysteries
Toward the Goal: Their Fruits Go Before Them
1. The Resurrection: New Life
2. The Ascension: Learning to Hope
3. Pentecost: Receive the Holy Spirit
4. The Assumption of Mary: Drawn by Love
5. Mary is Crowned as Queen: Happy Endings

Postscript: Open Your Lips and Let God’s Word Be Heard

But this is not another book on how to pray the Rosary. And it is not a how to book. It is a series of deep meditations and reflections that tie into our lives the mysteries. I have loved the Rosary most of my life. Even when I had fallen away from the Catholic Church, I always kept a Rosary and often prayed it. But reading this book has had a profound impact on me and on my journey. For years now my personal email signature ha begun with ‘Yours, learning to be’. And when asked about it I would state that my goal as a Christian, as a Catholic was to learn to be, and learn to be good at being. Or as Matthew Kelly would put it to work to ‘become the best version of myself’. Or as Pope Benedict XVI would put it ‘Do not be afraid to be saints’. This is a life changing book. A few years ago I was asked to come up with my Top Ten Catholic Books, if I was making that list today this book would be on it. 

This book is a wonderful little volume. I am thankful to have had the chance to read it. I just wish it was easier to get in North America or that there was an eBook edition available. Father Nigel writes in such a down to earth and engaging style that I have loved both his books, and know that I will track down any future releases. I highly recommend this book. Give it a try I am sure you will not be disappointed. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

No comments: