In Silence: Why We Pray

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9780142196380: In Silence: Why We Pray

The literature of prayer has an old and rich tradition, but Donald Spoto’s extraordinary new work of scholarship and devotion may be the first book to explore not only what prayer says about God but what it reveals about us and the universal experiences that have moved us to call on God throughout the ages.

Drawing on the words of religious thinkers of both East and West, from the author of Psalms to Rumi and from Teresa of Ávila to Chögyam Trungpa, In Silence explores the nature, quality, history, and effects of prayer: as petition, as forgiveness, as cry of suffering, as abandonment, as serenity, as loving, as silence.

Erudite, beautifully written, and filled with wonder, this is a ringing celebration of our most precious habit of being.

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About the Author:

Donald Spoto earned his Ph.D. in theology at Fordham University. He is the author of nineteen books, including The Hidden Jesus: A New Life and Reluctant Saint: The Life of Francis of Assisi.

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Spoto plunges into the act of prayer, demonstrating the same gusto with which he once tackled the lives of celebrities (Dietrich, Hitchcock, Olivier, Jackie O, etc.). At first blush, prayer may seem a simplistic topic. People pray. Period. They want this, they ask for that, they suffer, they beg. Spoto shows, however, that there is so much more to be said of prayer. Yes, people of every stripe and persuasion pray at one time or another, and there are no atheists in foxholes, of course, but beyond that, people have prayed since time immemorial and continue to pray in a wide variety of configurations. Spoto notes that at every juncture of human experience there have been notions of a transcendent being as well as attempts to relate to it. Thus, in the beginning, or almost, there was prayer. And while the Gospels offer scant proof of a lot that Jesus may have done while he was on this earth, there is serious evidence that he prayed. Spoto details how prayer can be an Old Testament-type dialogue, a petition, a transformational feeling of oneness with God, and much more. Like holding an intricately cut crystal to the light, prayer emerges from Spoto's skillful scrutiny as something to be contemplated in, of, and for its own sake. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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