With simple, down-to-earth language, Rolheiser illustrates the importance of prayer and offers techniques for how to pray, using examples from daily life, Scripture, and contemporary writers. He delves into the places that we fear to go with our issues about prayer, encouraging us with gentle kindness and words of hope and inspiration.
The book is divided into five sections.
- Why Pray? Illustrates the purposes and benefits of prayer for ourselves, as well as for the broader Catholic community and even the world.
- Why Is It so Hard? Notes how our contemporary culture conspires against taking time out for solitude and prayer, and how our own ego—with its fears, restlessness, and narcissism—can work against developing a deeper relationship with God through prayer.
- What Is Prayer? Outlines the two basic types of prayer, that is, affective (personal) and priestly (for the world). Describes the many ways or methods for each type of prayer, such as meditation, contemplation, the divine office, the Mass, and Scripture.
- Sticking with It. This section covers the development of mature prayer, discussing ways to pray in times of boredom, disillusionment, crisis, helplessness, or after a loved one’s death.
- Mysticism. Here we learn about this increasingly popular form of intimate relationship with God.
This is a book for all manner of believers, whether your faith is solidly rooted, wavering between childhood religion and adult faith, or just not sure what you believe—or whether you believe at all. It addresses topics such as narcissism, pragmatism, efficiency, and self-gratification that work against a healthy spiritual life. Rolheiser takes us to a place of contact and comfort, in relationship not only with God but with our true selves as well.
Ronald Rolheiser is a Roman Catholic priest and member of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. In addition to being a popular speaker and writer whose books (over ten in print) are popular throughout the world and whose weekly column is carried by more than seventy newspapers worldwide, he is president of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas.
Rolheiser is among the most popular and inclusive spiritual writers today. Although rooted in the Catholic faith, he is able to transcend denominational boundaries and religious language to appeal to both practicing Christians and unaffiliated seekers.
Many modern men and women claim to be so busy that they don't have time for a prayer life; they often feel uneasy with inner exploration in a culture where people spend their days skimming the surface of things instead of diving deep. Rolheiser rejoices in the idea of prayer as lifting the heart and mind to God. Part of this practice is celebrating God's presence and grace in our lives. The author salutes the importance of affective prayer—meditation, centering prayer, praying the rosary, and devotional prayers of all kinds. Rolheiser suggests that maturity in prayer is signified by patience with God, the sustaining power of ritual, facing our demons, wrestling with God, overcoming anger and despair, and sensing God as our real mother.
- Frederic and Mary Brussat, Spirituality and Practice