Friday 10 April 2020

A New Companion to Prayer - Celia Wolf-Devine - CTS Companions Series

A New Companion to Prayer: 
Meeting God Where You Are
CTS Companions Series
Celia Wolf-Devine
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781860827525
eISBN 9781784693039
CTS Booklet SP32

This is the fourth book in the CTS Companions series that I have read. There are a few titles under ‘New Companion’, and several original titles in the CTS Companions. The other three I read so far were by J.B. Midgley. Several of the original series are currently out of print. I have tracked down all of them I can find, and reviews will follow this one. This is also the first book I have read by Celia Wolf-Devine but several of her other titles are very intriguing. But back to this volume. This book was published in 2011, and the eBook released in 2017. 

The description of this book is:

“This companion will guide you through the ways in which prayer gives God the space to work in us - and transform our hearts to become like the heart of Jesus. In prayer, we give ourselves to God and he gives himself to us. We need to fit in time to satisfy our desire for him just as he gives himself to us infinitely. The obstacles we need to overcome are explored here, and ways of prayer are offered to help us attain singleness of heart.”

And the sections in this volume are:

An invitation to prayer
     Christian meditation
Why pray?
     Conversion of heart
     Private and communal prayer
Getting past your blocks
     I’m too busy
     Prayer is just a crutch for the weak
     Bad experiences with Christians
     I’m too sinful to pray
     Fear that God will take you over
     Not wanting to let go of things you are attached to
     Fear that God wants you to give up what you most desire
Some practical suggestions for prayer 
     Prayer of presence
     Come as you are
     Be yourself
     Depart from me for I am a sinful man
Getting a prayer routine in place
     Easing into prayer
     Opening prayers
     Holy Spirit invocation hymn
     Surrender prayer
     Appeal to the Heart of Jesus
     The Litany of the Sacred Heart
     Background images for prayer that you may find helpful
A few common problems in prayer
Prayer throughout the day
     Prayer at set hours
     Prepare with prayer
     Calling on the name of Jesus
     Praying with Scripture (lectio divina)
     The Stations of the Cross
     Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
     The Rosary
     The Litany of the Sacred Heart
Praying in tongues
Prayer in times of desolation
Towards singleness of heart
The hope to which we are called 
Further reading

Over the last thirty or thirty-five years I have read several books on prayer, about prayer and prayer books. And this is an excellent little volume. It is soft of a mash up of the three types of books. It is in part a why and how to book. And in part specific prayers. It is easily accessible and would be a great confirmation gift, or gift for students late in public school or secondary school. But it is also a good book for collage age students, or even for adults. I am in my 50’s and I got a lot out of this book. 

The book does cover a wide range of topics. Covers different styles and types of prayer. And also, how to pray and where to start. I wish the further reading section was a little more extensive, and maybe broken down into categories. But overall a great concise volume on prayer.

In the last few years I have read over a hundred books from The Catholic Truth Society. And even though I have read a hundred I currently have over 100 I still wish to read! There have been many good reads, some great reads and a few outstanding volumes. This is a great read and I recommend it for readers of all ages.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Other books in the CTS Companions Series:

Companion to St. Joseph – J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Feasts of Mary – J.B. Midgley
Companion to Saint Peter – J.B. Midgley
Companion to Saint Paul – J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Angels – J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Feasts of Our Lord - J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Passion of Our Lord – J.B. Midgley
Companion to the Order of the Mass - Mgr Bruce Harbert
Companion to Reading the Old Testament – Adrian Graffy
Companion to Reading the New Testament – Adrian Graffy
Companion to Praying with the Bible – Z. Mattam
New Companion to Advent & Christmastide - CTS
New Companion to Prayer - Celia Wolf-Devine
New Companion to Lent - CTS

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