PRODUCT CODE: 9781847309518 Easter

Return to Me with All Your Heart

by Gerard Gallagher
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Return to Me with All your Heart is a thought-provoking selection of scripture readings and reflections designed to accompany the reader through the season of Lent. This accessible and practical guide, which also includes inspirational quotations and questions to prompt the reader to effect change in their day-to-day lives, is the perfect companion for this essential period in the Church calendar.

Beginning the penitent journey on Ash Wednesday and ending with the celebration of the Risen Christ on Easter Sunday, this compact book is a practical resource for personal or communal prayer during the entire Lenten season. Mirroring Pope Francis’s 2021 Lenten exhortation, ‘The call to experience Lent as a journey of conversion, prayer and sharing of our goods, helps us … to revive the faith that comes from the living Christ, the hope inspired by the breath of the Holy Spirit and the love flowing from the merciful heart of the Father’, the stated goal of Return to Me with All your Heart is to help the reader ‘to reflect, to pray and to deepen your personal relationship with Jesus Christ’ (p.6).
In the succinct introductory chapter, Gerard Gallagher, a pastoral co-ordinator in the Archdiocese of Dublin, invites readers to develop a closer relationship with God during this season of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Recommending the creation of a personal sacred space and providing helpful strategies for optimal participation in daily prayer, the author gently guides us towards heightening our Lenten prayer practice in a way that is accessible, engaging, and meaningful to daily life.
The daily reflections are based on scripture passages and track the readings of Year A; however, this well-signposted pathway through Lent can also be followed during years B and C. Each weekly chapter is prefaced by inspiring quotations from an eclectic array of spiritual leaders and commentators (Pope Francis, Oscar Romero, St Philip Neri, John O’Donoghue, Fr Tony Coote, Chiara Lubich, Frank Duff and many venerable others) and follows a standardised format of Read, Reflect, Respond. As the daily themes are analysed and glossed with a thought-provoking range of biblical, theological, literary and indeed, popular cultural references, the ordinary reader can become spiritually uplifted and engaged by this book without feeling disadvantaged, in any way, by the lack of a theological or biblical education.
Suitable for both Lenten private prayer and group discussions, Return to Me with All your Heart suggests many ways to apply prayer, fasting, and almsgiving in our own lives and ensures that we will reach Easter truly prepared for the great Alleluia!

Reviewer: Mary Adamson, Intercom, February 2022

Gerard Gallagher works as a pastoral coordinator in the Archdiocese of Dublin. He is the author of Are We Losing the Young Church? (Columba Press), Your Child’s Confirmation (Redemptorist Publications) and Making Your First Holy Communion: A Guide for Parents (Amazon).