WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Book review: Journeying into Prayer – People and their Pathways


Doug Dawick fms
31 May 2012

Book offers wonderful food for the journey

altIf you are serious about your spirituality, read Journeying into Prayer, edited by Neil Darragh – 34 short chapters prayer, from a broad spectrum of writers.

They’re not all Catholic and four are from non-Christian faiths, but all are New Zealand-based. Hopefully, we are growing in our appreciation of home-grown religious literature.
Journeying into Prayer is divided into six sections: praying in community, praying in the world around us, personal prayer and meditation, prayer in parish situations, praying from scripture, and Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and multi-faith prayer.

I am tempted to compare the book with a range of wines or a restaurant menu. A menu or wine list with 34 items would be too much to deal with at one sitting – so, too, with so many quality chapters about prayer – one at a time is much more manageable.

Our prayer life is an evolving entity since it underpins our relationship with God which is at the heart of our personal spirituality. The way I prayed when I was 20 is not how I prayed at 40, or do so now. The core reality is the same – God – but even that has become nuanced with the passing of the years. The book caters for this evolution.

For some, the opportunity to share in the prayer of the monks at Kopua would be highly appealing, while others may prefer to find God in the solitude of the garden and for still others, prayer is simply going about our ordinary daily life.

We all experience times of dryness and our prayer life needs a boost. There is something here about that.

Just as sometimes we fancy a sauvignon blanc, at other times a pinot gris or a red, so with this book one or other chapter will appeal at particular moments. Savour it. Don’t dash on too quickly.

This is one of the best books on prayer that I have read in a long while. Thank you to editor Fr Neil Darragh and to Accent Publications for this timely publication.
Bon appétit!

Journeying into Prayer: People and their pathways, edited by Neil Darragh, Accent Publications, $25 plus $5 shipping within NZ.