AWAKE MY SOUL: Contemporary Catholics on Traditional Devotions

James S. J. Martin, Editor , S.J. Loyola $11.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-8294-1987-0

As the liturgical reforms of the last four decades have given much of Catholic worship a decidedly Protestant patina, many Catholics have continued to find meaning in such distinctive devotional practices as praying the Rosary and venerating the saints. These traditional observances are examined in this little collection of short essays assembled by Martin, a Jesuit priest and associate editor of America magazine, which first published a shorter version of the series. Martin invited 19 contributors, some in their 30s and 40s, to reflect on practices that hold particular meaning for them. Aware that many younger Catholics are rediscovering devotions that had been abandoned by some of their elders in the wake of the reforms of the Second Vatican Council of the early 1960s, he seeks to bring the practices into the light of contemporary times while explaining their origins and purposes. Most of the pieces are highly informative and place each devotion in the context of the reforming council's teaching on worship. The best incorporate a meaningful personal story, such as Therese Borchard's reflection on "The Stations of the Cross," in which the author compares her yearly ritual recalling her father's passing to the way Catholics relive the events of Christ's suffering and death. Catholics and non-Catholics who are curious about practices like holy water blessings, novenas and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will find this compilation both helpful and enlightening. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 12/22/2003
Release date: 02/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
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