Iraq – who really cares what’s happening over there? Melchiorre does. Even more, he cares that many Christians seem deeply troubled about the war but aren’t grappling with their conflicting ideas and feelings. In his Novena in Time of War, he vividly presents those issues, asking that readers confront them through serious examination and prayer. He asks hard questions about the escalation of violence, the role of tribalism and fear, and how people lock into old assumptions. And he is a master at making conceptual issues urgently concrete through stories of real soldiers and families on both sides of the war. Whether or not readers ultimately agree with him that “we must find another way” besides warfare, they will, through this book, face the questions that demand prayerful, ethical, courageous answers in this troubled time.
Melchiorre structures his work as a novena, the 9-day prayer from the Catholic tradition used in times of great need. Each chapter, which may be used as a daily devotional or weekly group study, includes a short presentation, thought-provoking questions, and a challenging prayer focus.
In a time when Americans are doing a lot of soul searching about war and wondering how to live out the Christian faith in such perilous times, this book comes as a needed helper for all who are wanting to think and pray about what it means to be a follower of Christ in the face of the carnage and death of worldwide conflicts. This book is “must” reading.--Tony Campolo, PhD; Eastern University; St. Davids, Pennsylvania