cover image PRAYING THE ROSARY: A Complete Guide to the World's Most Popular Form of Prayer

PRAYING THE ROSARY: A Complete Guide to the World's Most Popular Form of Prayer

Megan McKenna, Author . Doubleday $16.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-51082-0

In the midst of a revival of interest in the rosary, McKenna, a retreat leader and author of The New Stations of the Cross , weighs in with a fresh look at the traditional Catholic devotion that honors the mother of Christ. Anyone who expects a primer may need to search out a more basic guide, as this book assumes a fundamental understanding of the rosary. Although McKenna offers historical perspective and some instruction in how to pray the rosary, what she has to say will be most appreciated by existing practitioners and those seeking a more profound understanding of Mary. Finding little about the mother of Jesus in the Christian gospels, McKenna takes the few details that are known and develops them. She draws upon such sources as a Native American story in which Mary emerges as a believer, disciple, healer and "one who prays and listens to the community and who reflects upon the Word." At the heart of McKenna's book, however, are her thoughtful reflections on each set of the Rosary's "mysteries," including the "luminous mysteries" recently introduced by Pope John Paul II. In expanding on these sets of themed biblical scenes meant to be used as meditations for each section of the Rosary, McKenna is in her element, leading readers and those who will use this book to pray the rosary deeper into each scriptural passage. (April 6)