Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A job that became a journey: my newest book on prayer and the Mass

My fourth book, "The Essential Guide to Catholic Prayer and the Mass," was released today by Alpha/Penguin with an endorsement from Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and an imprimatur from Bishop Paul Bootkoski of Metuchen, N.J.

Here's Archbishop Dolan's endorsement:

"We Catholics believe in the power of prayer to change lives and the world. In her engaging new book, Mary DeTurris Poust lovingly walks us through many of the Church’s rich and diverse traditions of prayer, breathing new life into ancient, beloved devotions, and pointing the way toward more modern methods of prayer as well. Perhaps most valuable of all, Mary breaks down the parts of the Mass – the ultimate prayer – to enhance the reader’s understanding and appreciation of this Sunday banquet at which we are all called to gather regularly as a family, united with the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. As Saint Paul confessed, 'none of us know how to pray as we ought.' This book is sure a help."

What will you find in this book? Everything you want or need to know about prayer: vocal prayer, silent prayer, communal prayer, private prayer. Rosary, novenas, chaplets, litanies, meditation, contemplation, praying with icons, examples from saints. You name it, and I tried to include it. It is not just a book about prayer, but a prayer book. It can be used either way.

Want to know how to pray the Liturgy of the Hours? I take you through step by step, sharing some of my own struggles along the way. Want to know how to create a sacred space at home? I'll give you pointers that have helped in my own prayer life. Want to understand the Jesus Prayer or the Divine Mercy Chaplet or the purpose of pilgrimage? It's all there.

Of course, half of the title is devoted to the Mass, the pivotal prayer of Catholic life. In addition to walking you through the Mass part by part, I explain the new translation of the Mass and include all of the prayers -- with the new changes -- you'll need to know when we start using this translation in Advent of this year.

This book wasn't just a job. It was a journey. I loved each section, from the prayers that are as familiar to me as breathing to the prayers or styles of prayer that were foreign to me when I started. I hope reading my Essential Guide will be a journey for you, too.

Throughout the coming weeks, I'll post short excerpts here to give you a taste of what you'll find. If you want to buy it right now, in print or Kindle editions, click HERE to go to Amazon.

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