Now more than ever, we need anchors to hold on to, and our familiar Catholic prayers can help us weather stormy days. A prayer committed to memory and recited every day can be a much deeper practice than just mere repetition. Words written on our hearts become a part of who we are. They grow with us. Their meaning reveals itself in new ways as the years go by. But it is not only the memorized prayer that lives in us. Each time we recall a prayer to life, we step into the life of the prayer.
In his reading of some classic Catholic prayers—prayers he has committed to memory and prays every day—Michael Swan delves into how the prayers we hold in our memories are essential to our spiritual identity. Once prayed, they belong to God, as we do. Beautiful photographs throughout.
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Michael Swan has taken ten familiar prayers that he uses in his own daily prayer ritual and offers a deeply personal book that most everyone will nonetheless be able to relate to in some aspect. Using history, tradition, scripture and storytelling, each prayer is given as a passionate spirit of devotion, not as a prescription. In his own words, 'to memorize a prayer is to love it.'
MICHAEL SWAN is an award-winning writer and photographer with a master’s degree from New York University. He is associate editor of The Catholic Register and is based in Toronto.