What do you say when someone asks, "Youre a Catholic. So tell me, what do Catholics do when they pray a novena?"... Or when they "offer it up."... Or "wear a medal."... Or "go to Confession."... Or any of the dozens of other devotions that set Catholics apart from other Christians.
If youve ever been tongue-tied trying to explain Catholic practices...or if you have a few questions of your own... or maybe you are just learning about Catholicism, youve got to read The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions.
The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions is the only book that not only provides the who, what, where, when, and why of the most time-honored traditions of the Church but also the how.
In this collection of Catholic devotions, authors Mike Aquilina and Regis J. Flaherty outline everything you need to know but nobody ever taught you about the ways Catholics pray with sign and symbol.
From the Angelus to an Examination of Conscience to First Fridays, Vigil Candles, and more, youll learn exactly what words to say, what gestures to make, what actions to take - in short, youll find step-by-step guidelines to all the devotional rites and rituals of the Catholic Faith.
But thats not all. The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions also furnishes a history of each devotion and a reflection on its importance in the prayer life of Catholics as well as succinct and salient quotes from saints and prominent members of the Church.
And theres still more! With its down-to-earth, practical advice, The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions incorporates cautions, drawn from Scripture and Tradition for potential temptations and distractions as well as revealing the blessings and graces associated with the devotions. If you want to learn what devotions comprise a truly Catholic life, and share those practices with others, you cant be without The How-To Book of Catholic Devotions.
Mike is author or editor of more than a dozen books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. He is vice president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology based in Steubenville, Ohio.
Mike is co-host, with Scott Hahn, of “The Lamb’s Supper” (2001), “Hail, Holy Queen” (2002), “First Comes Love” (2003), “Lord, Have Mercy” (2004), and “Swear to God” (2005) — all airing on EWTN. He also appears regularly as a panelist on “The Weekly Roman Observer,” broadcast by Catholic Familyland Network.
Mike’s career in publishing spans two decades, and hundreds of his articles have appeared in many periodicals and journals in the United States and abroad.
Catholics could enrich their spiritual lives immeasurably by rediscovering their legacy of devotions, contend Aquilina (author of five previous books for OSV) and Flaherty (executive director of the Archdiocese of Boston Catholic Cemeteries). The authors enthusiasm for their subject is admirable. They cover various practicesincluding meditation, the rosary and confessionbut such ambitious scope limits the readers full appreciation of each practice. The readers cursory comprehension of these devotions is further hindered by the books awkward narrative structure. Each chapter highlights several practices by describing a prayer, offering a reflection and including quotations from notable Catholics about the prayer. The authors miss chances to connect devotion to devotion. For example, the section on "How to Pray an Aspiration" (a short prayer that glorifies God) follows the section "How to Meditate" without explaining whether these practices should be independent of, or foster, each other. The final chapter focuses on the necessary ingredients of a good spiritual life: making a spiritual plan, finding direction and living ones faith. Aquilina and Flaherty are at their best hereperhaps this should have been their starting point. The books curiously abrupt ending demonstrates its narrative problems most plainly, leaving the reader to tie up loose ends. Despite good intentions, this manual will most likely miss the opportunity to recapture Catholics enthusiasm for their rich spiritual heritage.
- Publishers Weekly