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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


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Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences


see new in religion, mysticism

PRAYERS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS: Blessings and Expressions of Hope for the New Millennium edited by Elizabeth J. Roberts and Elias Amidon

With the coming of the second millennium anxiety is rampant so editors Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon selected words of hope as an antidote to the fearful rumblings of doom, apocalyptic predictions, and computer-induced chaos. They sent out invitations asking many religious people to offer a written message or prayer to the future. The final result is a body of work that offers a compelling and positive vision for the millennium. Contributors include Reverend Desmond M. Tutu, Poland's Lech Walesa, Thomas Moore, Judy Chicago, Alice Walker, death row inmate Jarvis Jay Masters, Rabbi Zalman Scater-Shalomi, and poets Gary Snyder, Mary Oliver, and Diane Ackerman.

The collection is organized around relevant themes, such as "Creating Communities of Peace," "For the Children," and "This Holy Earth." Each offering is no more than two pages long--brief enough for a quick dip whenever inspiration is needed. Nonetheless, PRAYERS FOR A THOUSAND YEARS is collection with spiritual sustenance, a book that many will benefit from carrying close to their hearts in the years ahead. Recommended as a guide to hope during end-times blues.

THE DOUBLEDAY PRAYER COLLECTION: Over 1,300 Prayers for All Occasions compiled and edited by Mary Batchelor ($22.00, hardcover, 509 pages, indexes, Doubleday ISBN: 0-385-48847-5)

The recent resurgence of interest in all things spiritual has been accompanied by a renewed interest in prayer. People all over the world have been returning to prayer as a means of both adding meaning to their daily lives and deepening their communion with God. So while prayer has, of course, been with us for centuries, it is now time for a comprehensive Christian prayer collection to meet the growing interest in need for prayer.

THE DOUBLEDAY PRAYER COLLECTION is perhaps the most impressive collection of Christian prayers yet assembled. It will certainly meet the current demand for prayer resource books, but its diversity and thoroughness ensure that it will be a devotional classic. With over 1,300 prayers, THE DOUBLEDAY PRAYER COLLECTION is designed to be relevant in all aspects of life. To meet this end, editor Mary Batchelor divided the prayers into twenty-six different sections, each with a specific need in mind. These sections include: "A Time to be Silent," "Forgiveness," "For Home and Family," "In Illness," and "The Church in the World." These twenty-six sections are, in turn, broken down further into subsections, making it even easier for you to find a prayer to meet your specific needs. The "World Around Us" section, for example, includes sections such as "Animals," and "The Environment." Finding the prayer you need couldn’t be easier.

The prayers in this remarkable collection come from virtually every part of the Christian tradition. The contributors include; poets, Archbishops, Roman emperors, earls, scholars, and, of course, the Bible. You will undoubtedly encounter some familiar and well known prayers and contributors, but you will also be sure to find the unexpected in THE DOUBLEDAY PRAYER COLLECTION. There are other prayers which come from diverse sources such as the New Zealand Prayer Book and the Eastern Orthodox Church. It also includes prayers from different cultures, like Hawaii and Russia, and from mysterious documents like the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Mary Batchelor is perhaps best known for The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories, which sold over two million copies. She has also, however, edited and authored several other titles for both children and adults. THE DOUBLEDAY PRAYER COLLECTION will only further strengthen her appeal and popularity. The language of prayer is a language with universal appeal, and Christians and non-Christians alike will respond to its beauty

GOD'S NAME IS LOVE: Daily Reflections of Carlo Carretto
Joseph Diele, editor ($8.95, paper; 133 pages, New City Press, 202 Cardinal Rd. Hyde Park, NY 12538; ISBN 1-56548-079-1)
devotional anthology
Brother Carretto was a classic contemplative active in the community, Jesus Caritas Fraternity, or the Little Brothers of Jesus, inspired by teachings and example of Charles de Foucauld. Carretto writings, the blunt words of a man of action and of joyous faith, have long been treasured for their piety and insight into the spiritual life. In this little book of reflections drawn from his writings, the editor, a long time affectionado of Carretto, presents a Carretto who is a sure but humble guide to the gospel. In Brother Carlo we see a contemplative living a life of action and contemplation while placing God through Jesus Christ redeeming love at the center of all things, at all times and in all persons, only God is present. Carretto died October 8, 1988, in Spello, Italy.
Any Carretto fan you will treasure this book. It is a fine introduction to his central ideas. His writings have the potential to become classic guides to spirituality. In this anthology
Carretto's writing are organized thematically to facilitate daily meditation.

Editor: Joseph Diele is the pastor at Saint Ann, Saint George Church in Brooklyn, New York. He leads workshops on ministry and is a retreat master. He is a member of the Jesus Caritas Fraternity who follow the spirituality of Charles de Foucauld. It is the same fraternity to which Carlo Carretto belonged.

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