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The Words We Pray: Discovering the Richness of Traditional Catholic Prayers Paperback – October 1, 2004
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This book will be useful to non-Catholics whove ever wondered about the difference between a Hail Mary and the Salve Regina, as well as Catholics who would like to delve into the significance of some of the Churchs most important prayers. Welborn, author of several books for Catholic youth, writes that as a young adult she was "a bit of a prayer snob," finding comfort in extemporaneous personal prayers but not the rote, memorized historic prayers of the Catholic tradition. Her feelings changed around age 30, when she discovered the joys of praying the rosary and realized that there are times when our own words simply arent enough, and we must rely upon timeless prayers that connect us to something outside our own experience. Here, she presents and analyzes some of the Churchs most famous prayers, "worn and prayed by millions," including the sign of the cross, the Our Father (the Lords Prayer), the Hail Mary, the creeds, the Act of Contrition, the Jesus Prayer, the Anima Christi, the prayers of Saint Francis and others. Welborn does a fine job of drawing on her own experience as she unpacks these ancient prayers, making them accessible and beautiful to modern Catholics.
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It also gave me so much insight into the beauty of each of the prayers we do daily and on special occasions that
sometimes get to be so ordinary, but are truly extraordinatory
I have long admired Welborn's ability to write. Picking up one of her books, or treating yourself to an article she's written is like a combination of having lunch with a friend and a tutoring session with a knowledgeable mentor. The Words We Pray continues this tradition for me, as Amy Welborn captures so effectively the essence and origin of traditional Catholic prayers. The book opens with Welborn's heartfelt description of her own "journey" towards an eventual embracing of prayers such as the Salve Regina.
The true stars of The Words We Pray are the prayers themselves. Welborn has included eighteen of the most popular and powerful Catholic prayers, and has richly described their histories and traditions. When we as Catholics turn to God in communication using these wonderful gems of our Faith, we take our place in the Communion of Saints who have over countless years turned to these prayers to seek intercession and aid. Welborn's book concludes with an interesting discussion of "where our prayers go" and the value of praying vocally, using traditional prayers. The Words We Pray serves not only as a valuable reference, but also as an invitation to a deeper and richer prayer life.