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Mark P. Shea is author and co-author of numerous books, including the New York Times best-seller A Guide to the Passion: 100 Questions About The Passion of the Christ (Ascension), The Work of Mercy: Being the Heart and Hands of Christ (Servant), This is My Body: An Evangelical Discovers the Real Presence (Christendom), Making Senses Out of Scripture: Reading the Bible as the First Christians Did (Basilica), The Da Vinci Deception: 100 Questions About the Fact and Fiction of The Da Vinci Code (Ascension), Salt and Light: The Commandments, the Beatitudes, and a Joyful Life (Servant), The Heart of Catholic Prayer: Rediscovering the Our Father and the Hail Mary, and By What Authority?: An Evangelical Discovers Catholic Tradition (Ignatius). An award-winning columnist, he contributes numerous articles to many magazines. In addition, Mark is an internationally known speaker on the Catholic Faith. He can be found on line writing his "Connecting the Dots" column and his blog for the National Catholic Register, as well as penning "Catholic and Enjoying It!" on Patheos and updating his copious work at Mark-Shea.com. He lives near Seattle with his wife, Janet, and their family.
As one could probably infer from the title, this book is broken into two parts, one on the Our Father and the other on the Hail Mary. Referred to as the "two anchors of our faith," this book breaks down both prayers line by line using a style of writing that blends theology, Shea's life story, and the occasional pop culture reference.
I really enjoyed how Shea explained that the Our Father is a community prayer. I had never thought of it that way, but it makes sense. As Shea points out, it is called the Our Father not the My Father. Every pronoun in the Our Father is a collective plural and not a selfish singular. This is why we pray the Our Father in the Mass, because we are all one body in Christ. There were some other good parts in Part One, such as when Shea explained that the line "Give us this day our daily bread" refers to the Eucharist, but overall I felt Part One was oversimplified.
Part Two: The Hail Mary went deeper than Part One: The Our Father. In this section, Shea manages to tackle key points in the Hail Mary such as Mary being Theotokos (the Mother of God), Mary's Immaculate Conception (Being conceived without original sin), and common complains and concerns Protestants have with Mary. A very excellent point made is that Protestants have no problem putting Paul on a pedestal, but cringe and object when the Catholics or Orthodox put Mary on one. I really enjoyed Part Two of the book and feel it would be a benefit to all to read it.
Overall, I would give this book 4 out 5 stars. It was good, but not great. If you have never taken the time to go through each prayer line by line and meditate on them, you will get something from the book.Read more ›
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