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Pocket Book of Catholic Prayers (Pocket Book Series) Paperback – July 1, 1999
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All of this said, when I think of a pocket book of Catholic prayers I think of a book filled to the brim with just prayers, and plenty of them, for the traveler to carry with them always and share when need arises. This book has many pictures, and excessive amounts of introductory information including an introduction to the Mass, which may be welcome to you but I didn't find particularly helpful. Granted, the Mass is a prayer, and a very powerful one, but this book contains very, very, very few words from the missal, meaning to one who is converting and wishes to know the Mass by heart, all they're getting is a little bit of religious education on what the Mass actually is, not how to join in on the prayers of the Mass, because they're not getting to read any of the prayers that make up the prayer of the Mass. So, that segment of the book seems unfit for a prayer book in my humble opinion.
The prayers listed in the book contain obviously the bread and butter prayers you will find in every Catholic prayer book. Then the format takes to prayers for days of the week and for the seasons, to give a person some rubric for which to pray daily and take up a prayer regimen and prayer life. But unfortunately I think it misses the mark just slightly in this capacity, and the latter half of the book contains prayers which I don't believe to come from traditional prayer, but are sort of "author's prayers" that are intertwined with readings coming from the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Epistles.
I think the high point of the book is that it does contain a decent amount of prayers to prepare one for receiving the sacrament of the eucharist and preparing for the sacrament of confession. These tools are more extensive here than in some of my other prayer books. I also like the cover material which I believe to be some kind of faux leather which is great for floppy books; more durable than paperback but more readable and portable than hard binding.
The two things I liked least about the book are 1) despite the material of its cover being pleasing to me, it's actual binding, which is just two staples in the bent spine, not a hard flat spine that is glued. 2) I also dislike that the prayers are offered in more modernized language in some points, for instance with thees, thys and thous converted to yous and yours, and other traditional language being sacrificed for modern, perhaps what some would call more "readable" text. This may be a pro to you but it's a con to me.
The bottom line is, I think there are better full on prayer books out there than this, but I can't not recommend it as something else, which is that it very well could be a book leading people to the faith and to pious and useful prayer. These "Pocket Books" by Rev. Lovasik seem to be part of an unconnected series, which includes at least two other books that are just about devotionals and novenas. These might be closer to an all business prayer book than this product, but I can only guess as I haven't read them, it's just that now on closer look at the product descriptions this would seem to be the case.
So, who would benefit from this book and who do I recommend it to? People who are very, very new to the faith. If you are that person then this could be a life changing book for you. To you I would say God bless you and may you find the truth which we are all seeking, which can be found in some of these pages. At the very least, the price of the book is quite fair and it can't really be a waste for this small amount of money. If you don't find the value you are looking for in it, then you might find someone who will, and I would encourage giving this book as a gift to those who have little or no faith, along with other guidance and material of course.
Please don't take any offense from my review as I do believe this is a decent enough book in and of itself, it's just not what you might expect of what have traditionally been called prayer books, and I thought I might give my opinion. It's hard to criticize harshly anything that contains the beautiful words of Catholic prayer, which I believe to be the most beautiful form of prayer in the world and in known history.