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Sister Wendy on Prayer Paperback – September 13, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Sister Wendy goes as deep on the subject of prayer as you are prepared to go. This is not a simple little book. It is a masterfully written guide that is meant to help...and it does. I'm sure as I travel on my own spiritual journey I will reread this book and discover things that I never tapped into the first or second or third time around. I gave this book as gifts this Christmas and it was my biggest hit! Sister Wendy is a gem.
Her viewers know that Sister Wendy is so focused on art in her television appearances that she rarely "goes religious." Perhaps that is why I was drawn to her 2006 book when it recently showed up among new releases at our local library. As an occasional viewer, I knew the sister to be serious about art, but how serious is she about prayer?
Serious enough to bring them both into union, as in this lovely passage: "Yes, art does matter to prayer. I have only to see a Cezanne, for example, perhaps one of his great landscapes, or a majestic still life, a landscape in its own right, and I am overwhelmed with joy. This is a profound and transforming joy, a call to enter into something beyond what is seen. ... There are no words for this, but I know that I have been lifted out of my smallness into something immeasurably great, something that, however vaguely, seems `holy.'"
And that, fellow pilgrims, suggests one of scripture's most awesome scenes - the prophet Isaiah at prayer, and his vision of seraphs proclaiming, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
Sister Wendy would be the last one to promise an array of seraphim in response to our prayers. And yet her valuable little book takes the reader in that very direction - into the halls of the holy, which is, after all, a location well outside of ourselves.
Seventeen years ago, few would have predicted that a bespectacled nun with buck teeth teaching art and art history would become a celebrity, but that is precisely what Sister Wendy Beckett became. Beginning in 1991, she became a presence on television, first in Great Britain and then in the United States. She wrote several popular books on meditation and art, and her The Story of Painting became a best-seller for several seasons.
Probably Sister Wendy owed much of her fame to her vocation as a contemplative nun. Had she presented her lectures on art as a university professor drably dressed, speaking with the same lisp and appearing in serious need of an orthodontist, she would likely have remained in classroom teacher of undergraduates. The combination of nun and art historian, however, worked a sort of magic on audiences, and for a time Sister Wendy was a celebrity.
Unlike a certain type of celebrity, however, the sort who exist as a sort of walking magnet for the dreams of their fans, Sister Wendy appealed in part to her viewers on account of the goodness which they sensed in her. Behind her lectures on Donatello, Van Gogh, and Picasso they sensed her good will, a yearning for holiness, for God. Sometimes the little nun with the lisp shared these thoughts directly, as in her interview with Bill Moyers or in her books about faith, Sister Wendy’s Nativity, for example, or the Child’s Book of Prayer in Art.
Sister Wendy on Prayer (Harmony Books, ISBN 978-0-307-39381-4, $21.Read more ›
The book is a gem and a blessing. Yes, there are other books on prayer. Read them all. But as Sister Wendy warns us, do not mistake reading about prayer for actually praying.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm not a Christian. Still I found the writings here words to ponder and cherish. Beautiful meditations.Published 2 months ago by KatieSparkle
The price and the product were very good. Delivered on time.Published 3 months ago by Antonio Villaraza
She has a way about her that is refreshing and informative.Published 8 months ago by Rev. Joe DiMauro, OSFS
Appreciated the introduction and the book was interesting.Published 18 months ago by Sally Randolph
I have read this book many times. Her advice is plain and is as simple as appreciating beautiful art.Published 19 months ago by Alan Parham
This book was interesting to read especially from perspective of a nun.The writer is well educated and writes well. Read morePublished on November 14, 2013 by Amazon Customer
There wasn't anything I didn't like about it .I believe that people who are struggling with how to pray will find this a good help.Published on October 2, 2013 by Barb Cristofaro