The Glenstal Book of Prayer is a rich nourishing resource for the dark, mysterious, but exciting journey which is prayer. It draws on the wisdom of the Bible, enshrined in Benedictine liturgy, on the experience of modern monks, and on the wisdom of the Christian church. Coming as it does from an Irish monastery it reflects in a special way the Celtic tradition with its earthy, popular and devotional prayers.The first section is a simple ‘Liturgy of the Hours’. Through psalms, canticles and other words of scripture, through invocations and concluding prayers, the day is hallowed and the presence of the risen Christ is gratefully remembered.The second section consists of familiar prayers, those tried and tested prayer texts stretching back through the centuries: the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostles’ Creed, the Stations of the Cross, the Rosary and many others.The third section, ritual prayers, provides formulae for various needs and occasions as they arise in every life, and a series of blessings. The Celtic element is particularly marked in this part of the book. There is also a special prayer for Benedictine Oblates.The fourth and final part includes psalms (to supplement the liturgical section or for meditation) and a series of quotations from the Rule of Saint Benedict. The latter can be read as part of night prayer (Compline) or simply meditated or ruminated upon as a source of inspiration in one’s spiritual life.
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