Saturday 12 February 2022

Conversational Prayer A Constant Friendship with Jesus - Brother Craig Driscoll - CTS Devotions and Prayers

Conversational Prayer: 
A Constant Friendship with Jesus 
Brother Craig Driscoll 
ISBN 9781860826658
eISBN 9781784692858
ASIN B072Q7999X
CTS Booklet D728

This book was a wonderful little read. It was the first book from Bother Craig Driscoll that I have read. He appears to have two others available from the CTS, and two from other publishers. This booklet was published by the CTS in 2010 and the Book edition released in 2017. There appears to be an earlier version of the book that was published in 1997 by the Queenship Publishing Company. 

Over the last several years I have read over 250 volumes from the Catholic Truth Society. As mentioned this is the first by Brother Craig Driscoll that I have encountered. The description of this volume is:

“By having a conversation with God or the saints, we can pray on the go and form a deep friendship with Jesus. It isn’t a matter of abandoning other forms of prayer, just of praying more.

Conversational prayer brings us closer to Jesus: it's a friendship form of prayer – it can be done while on the go, that is, while working, travelling, shopping, and so forth. Throughout this booklet conversational prayer is written about as a conversation with Jesus – and also with our Father, with the Holy Spirit, with Our Lady, Saint Joseph, the other Saints and your Guardian Angel. Perhaps you too will start, if you haven't already, to engage in conversational prayer. It is not a matter of abandoning other forms of prayer, just of praying more.”

And also we are informed that:

“In Memory of my father Edward Driscoll – A Man of Prayer.”

The chapters in the work are:

Purpose of this book
The Value of Prayer
How to do Conversational Prayer
Talking with Our Lady and the Saints
Praying Always and Everywhere
Special Prayers and Meditation
Lessons on Prayer

This volume begins with these words in the section Purpose of This Book:

“Throughout this book conversational prayer is written about as a conversation with Jesus. In certain sections I have also explained that you can have a conversation with our Father, the Holy Spirit, Our Lady, Saint Joseph, other Saints or your Guardian Angel. It is my hope and prayer that you will start, if you haven’t already, to do conversational prayer. 

Although I encourage you to do conversational prayer I am not suggesting you abandon other forms of prayer. Just pray more. I believe forms of prayer are like types of food; we need various ones every day.

Conversational prayer has some very special benefits. It brings us closer to Jesus. It’s a friendship form of prayer. It can be done while ‘on the go’ that is, while working, travelling, shopping and so forth.

Teenagers would benefit greatly from conversational prayer because it is a friendship-type of prayer and no one has a greater capacity for loyal friendship than a teenager. Conversational prayer will bring them into a close or closer friendship with Jesus.”

I reread those words a few times, and then read the book in light of them. I truly believe that no matter where you are at in your prayer life there is always room for improvement and growth. But I do not believe that all books on prayer or prayer books will really help. That was not the case this time. This book will benefit any who read it. I love two conce3pts highlighted in that first section of the book. The first is that Brother Craig is not advocating we take up conversational prayer at the expense of other forms of prayer, instead he is suggesting more prayer. The second is that teens would be good at this type of prayer. As such I think this would be a great book to introduce to teens. And get them started on this spiritual discipline. In the next section of the book he says:

“There are, of course, different forms of prayer. We could use various forms of prayer: vocal, mental prayer or meditation, liturgical, charismatic, contemplative, and I like to recommend, conversational prayer. The saddest thing is when people argue one form of prayer against another. One form of prayer may be more special than others. The Liturgy of the Hours, since it is the Prayer of the Church, has priority. The Holy Rosary is very special and has been asked for by Our Lady during many apparitions. The sad thing is to oppose different forms of prayer. I have seen this done. One form of prayer may be more special but it might be very good and indeed God’s Holy Will that we pray in another way.

Prayer also can be discussed in terms of degrees. That is, as we pray more and more we ascend to higher stages of prayer. We begin saying vocal prayers, then we do meditation, then more silent and contemplative prayer and perhaps reach stages of infused, that is, mystical prayer. So prayer is a journey. St Teresa of Avila explained it as a journey through the Interior Castle.”

And still further in the next section he states:

“Conversational prayer is that form of prayer in which we simply talk with or chat with Jesus. We discuss things with Him. In conversational prayer we talk to Jesus naturally and informally about our interests. Perhaps you have tried conversational prayer before and have discovered that the conversation does not last very long. Maybe after a few minutes you cannot think of anything to say. After five sentences or so your mind wanders. I have tried in this booklet to give some helpful hints for prolonging conversational prayer, making it more fruitful and beneficial to your spiritual life.

You could do conversational prayer silently or aloud. Talking aloud during conversational prayer is very enjoyable. You might like to talk to Jesus aloud, perhaps in church alone or on a walk through the woods or when sitting at the seashore.”

This is an excellent little volume. It is a book I really benefited from. And I am certain one that all who read will benefit from. The teachings are real and down to earth. There is no expectation to start praying hours extra every day. But it is a guide that can help you pray more throughout the day. This book feels like a little tool box on prayer, and it gives many ways to incorporate Conversational Prayer into our lives. I highly recommend this excellent resource by Brother Craig Driscoll and from the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Brother Craig Driscoll:
Of the Cross a Biography of Blessed Edith Stein
Our Lady, an Angel, and Sister Agnes: the story of the wondrous events at Akita, Japan
Thérèse - Teacher of Prayer
The Coming Chastisement

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