Like many, I have long admired the communition skills, thoughtful writing, and contemporary awareness of James Martin, SJ. Father Martin has done great service for the church through his public work, often responding to current events through op-ed pieces or comments to the press, as well as raising his reasonable and faithful voice through speaking engagements, conferences, and his work with America Press.
One of his regular columns that touches on classic issues of the spiritual life has been his contribution on prayer that appears in the daily resource put out by Liturgical Press: Give Us This Day. These one-page essays are simple, direct, and to the point. His essay in the current issue of Give Us This Day, for instance, is about the Lord’s Prayer. His comments touch on several issues that influence how contemporary people pray: Are we shy about asking for things? Why should we be confident? How do we relate to the image of God as Father? Each of his little essays carry a simple, clear message along with a note of encouragement for the reader and seeker.
So it was with delight that I learned that Liturgical Press has collected his essays on prayer into a single book, entitled: In All Seasons, for All Reasons: Praying Throughout the Church Year. This would be a great book to share with anyone who is interested in cultivating a liturgical spirituality, or interested in refreshing their prayer life in general. Catechumens and neophytes would find this book quite helpful, I think, as would students, young adults, and those who may be thinking about returning to faith practice after a time away from the church. It makes a lovely gift, and can serve as a keepsake for those who are already devoted readers of Jim Martin’s contributions to Give Us This Day.
It will be available August 1, 2017. The cover price is $7.95, with discounts for bulk orders. If you take advantage of their pre-publication special, you can save 15%, plus free shipping. The e-book is $4.99. Full information is available here, at https://www.giveusthisday.org/IAS
Elsewhere, I’ve warmly recommended Liturgical Press’s collection of Robert Ellsberg’s writings on the saints (Blessed Among Us: Day by Day with Saintly Witnesses) also culled from the pages of Give Us This Day. I see the Martin volume on prayer as a worthy companion piece to that fine volume on the saints.