Catholics have a rich and ancient prayer tradition that informs contemporary practice. People gather every morning for private devotions or participate communally in the Liturgy of the Hours. People continue to go on pilgrimages and have shines in their homes. Over time, monastics, saints, and scholars developed theologies and prayer practices that are distinctive to the Catholic imagination. By exploring the historical contexts from which these theologies and practices emerged, we can invigorate our own prayer lives and better understand our faith.
In this book the monks of St. Meinard recount the tradition of Catholic prayer. In the early chapters they explore prayer chronologically, from Old Testament psalms, New Testament models, and early church theologies, through the period of the Counter-Reformation. The central chapters look at prayer in the communal contexts of the Mass, the Liturgical Year, and the Liturgy of the Hours. Final chapters shed more light on particular topics that deepen our understanding of the Catholic imagination and the place of prayer in the lives of the faithful. Readers at any level will come away from this book with a renewed sense of prayer as a key component of Catholic formation and growth.