Thursday 23 December 2021

Prayer in Action - Father Andrzej Muszala - CTS Devotions

Prayer in Action
Father Andrzej Muszala
Catholic Truth Society
eISBN 9781784696771
CTS Booklet D839

This was one of three new eBooks I picked up from the Catholic Truth Society the day the released. The other two are Prepare the Way of the Lord by Carl E. Olson and Praying the Great O Antiphons by Katy Carl (which is a great resource as well), and all three were eagerly anticipated since I first heard of them being announced. I had picked up the physical copy of the companion book to this one, Silent Prayer, but have not got around to reading it. These two appear to be the only books available by Father Andrzej in English, but there appears to be several other titles available in Polish.

Over the last several years, I have read over 250 volumes from the Catholic Turth Society, the CTS. I have read books from many series. And many authors. I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. I love the biographies because they inspire and challenge us, and I love the prayer and devotions books because they help us growing in practicing and living out our faith. The description of the booklet is:

“Following his insightful book on Silent Prayer, in Prayer in Action Fr Andrzej Muszala examines what St Paul’s edict to ‘Always be joyful, pray constantly’ (1 Th 5:17) means and how it can be lived.

Rejecting the common assumption that prayer is something wholly private and personal, Fr Muszala examines the key relationships in each person’s life – those with God, with other persons, and with oneself – and describes how prayer is the action that allows all of them to flourish and empowers each person to actively live the Gospel.”

And the chapters in the book are:

Part One: Forgetting about yourself – forming a proper relationship with others, with the world and with yourself
Jesus Christ – the source of prayer in action
Thinking about others
Being ready to serve
A proper relationship with one another within the family
Love for nature
Forming a proper relationship with yourself

Part Two: Trust – the correct relationship with God
The beauty of silent prayer
God is present in every event
…when we suffer, in sickness and when we die
God approaches us in every person we meet
Life in the presence of God
Living every minute
Constant prayer
The end

This is one of those books I know I will end up rereading several times. It is written in a clear and concise manner but has so much information that it will take several reading to learn to live it the way I want to. Father Andrzej states in a forward: 

“This is the second in a series of publications on silent prayer. Together they form an introduction to prayer in the spirit of Jesus. Our Lord, who was constantly alert to the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit, established a new way of life based on constant prayer – “prayer in action”. Let us look at this in greater depth.”

And reading this volume has caused me to bump the companion volume to the top of my reading list. I highlighted a few passages my first time through this book. Some I copied to my digital notebook others I shared to friends and family. A sampling of them is:

“Prayer in action is the continuation of silent prayer once we have left the “room” in our heart. Prayer in action is just as intense as prayer in silence but in a different way. What links these two modes of prayer is the fact that we are giving ourselves entirely to others, as God does: the Greatest Love.”

“If constant prayer provides the ground our love for God springs from, then prayer in action has the same function: it enables us to give everything to God who has conquered our hearts with the arrow of his tender love. In silent prayer we seek Jesus inside ourselves, deep within our souls, whereas, by prayer in action, we seek him externally, in the people and events that we encounter.”

“The streams of our desire need to return to the Source, which is the Holy Spirit. This is very difficult. This is like asking the current of the river to flow upstream. “If you want to find the source, you have to go up, against the current, tear through, seek, don’t give up” (John Paul II, Roman Triptych).”

“The second EVERYTHING is achieved by our attitude towards other people, by the way we regard their well-being, by the way we look after them and by the way we relate to the members of our families.”

“Jesus was asking us to do simple, everyday things but to do them with great love. There are many examples of occasions when we can do this. At a simple level we can pass the bread at meal times, we can offer water to a hot and thirsty person and we can show friendship by accepting invitations to parties when we would prefer to be elsewhere. More significantly, there are opportunities to visit the sick – in hospital or at home, to visit prisoners, to give shelter to a refugee, to donate clothing to the poor and groceries to a food bank.”

“If you find a goal for your sacrifice you will find it easier to fight your trials. You will take up the battle knowing it is more powerful than any verbal prayer. Human beings are all interlinked. If you renounce something and offer yourself, somebody else gets a priceless gift from God.”

“Do not forget about the great enemy that comes as years pass by: laziness. It comes in the guise of sluggishness and apathy, conforming to meaningless routine and lacking motivation. Over the years one becomes lazy without noticing. It can destroy everything you’ve achieved so far. It gives rise to timewasting by watching endless TV programmes, sitting for hours in front of the computer screen or scrolling through your phone.”

I hope those few quotes will show you a sampling of the wisdom in this book and inspire you to pick it up and give it a read. This is an excellent resource for spiritual growth. It is a book that anyone could pick up and read and be blessed by. And I believe that if read multiple times that the blessing would also be multiplied. 

This is a standout resource from a publisher I trust and respect. It is an excellent volume that I give a solid 5/5 stars. A great read!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

For reviews of other books in the CTS Devotions series click here.

Books by Father Andrzej Muszala in English:

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