Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Book Review

I've decided that one component of this blog will be book reviews, as I finish reading the books. In part, I'm hoping that this will help keep me motivated to do at least a little bit of casual/personal growth reading to balance out all the school reading. In any case, The review for today, which I just finished, is the book mentioned in a previous post, The Path of Celtic Prayer: An Ancient Way to Everyday Joy.

Overall, I suppose if I were to rate this book based on a 5 star rating system, I would give it 3 stars. It had a few blatant factual errors, such as stating that Helios was the Celtic sun god, when in fact he was the Greek sun god. Greeks may have influenced later Celts, but I doubt it, because if I remember my history correctly, it was the Romans that eventually went to Ireland, not Greeks. Being written by a Baptist, and being sold by an evangelical Christian bookstore(it was bought to me by my parents for Christmas). The book divided Celtic prayer up into six forms:

1) Trinity Prayer - in essence, this is basically praying in a way that calls Father/Son/Holy Spirit in all parts of it. Personally, I found no problem with this. I just have a different view of who I'm praying to than the author.

2)Scripture Prayer - as the name suggests, this is just praying scriptures. It is most commonly done using the Psalms(and, for me, the Thanksgiving Psalms and Odes of Solomon in The Other Bible).

3)Long, Wandering Prayer - basically, this is the name the author gave to what is more commonly called Centering Prayer, walking meditation, etc. Being aware of the present moment and praying(or meditating) with each step.

4) Nature Prayer - This one was one of my favorite sections, obviously. Praying to God through nature and recognizing God within the world around me.

5)Lorica Prayer - in short, prayers for protection.

6) Confessional Prayer - basically praying for forgiveness from our sins. This section, surprisingly enough, did not bother me either. I do believe in a concept of sin. However, rather than sinning against God, I believe sin to be any time we don't live up to our full potential, or knowingly act against our own ethical/moral code(regardless of whether or not it matches *someone else's* moral code, aside from things that can cause bodily/emotional/mental harm, such as in abuse cases). When we do less than we could, or feel something is wrong and do it anyways, we are sinning.

Overall, it gave me some ideas, and I might incorporate some of the prayers highlighted in the book into my own practice. Not a great read, but not a bad one either.

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