Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Book Review:
Jacques Philippe, Time for God

by Jim Bradshaw

In his book, Time for God, Jacques Philippe presents a convincing account of the critical importance of mental or contemplative prayer. He begins by telling the reader what mental prayer is not. Mental prayer is not a technique. It is not akin to Yoga where the practice depends primarily on the efforts of the individual.

Distinct from the various spiritual techniques and practices of the East, Christian mental prayer is essentially and primarily a freely given gift of God. It is, first and last, a grace where God is the protagonist; God, in pursuit of the soul, reaches down to lift the soul up to loving communion with Him.

The author goes to great lengths to explain the internal dispositions of heart and soul which are essential to open the individual to this precious grace of contemplative prayer. The most fundamental internal disposition is that we live, and breath and act not by sight, but by faith.

Perhaps, we’ve heard this before, but what does it mean to live by faith?

To live and act, to make choices according to our Catholic faith, means to live out in daily prayer and action the Word of God as taught, professed and practiced by Holy Church. As Catholics we seek ardently to become of one mind with the Church just as we seek to become of one Body with Christ as we grow progressively in holiness by the daily practice of contemplative prayer and in participation in the Sacrament and Sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Eucharist.
While the Mass is the “source and summit of the Christian life,” the full fruitfulness of the liturgy is not realized without patience and perseverance in mental prayer.

In Time for God, Jacques Philippe emphasizes that the more time we spend with God, the more time we will want to spend with God. And, the more time we will want to spend in loving service to our neighbor.

Jacques Philippe, Time for God (2008)
Scepter Publishers, Inc.

ADDED: Rev. Jacques Philippe is a member of the Community of the Beatitudes, founded in France in 1973. Also recommended are his other books of interest to modern readers, including the need for prayer, peace of heart, and a correct understanding of freedom. His books In the School of the Holy Spirit and Interior Freedom are also available from Scepter.

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