Christian Retailing

Catholic CR May 09: Presenting ‘an accessible approach to prayer’ Print Email
Written by By Rebecca Molen   
Friday, 17 April 2009 01:34 PM America/New_York
‘Essential’ guide looks at Catholic spirituality in history and today

altA concise overview of the foundations of Catholic spirituality throughout history is presented in The Essential Spirituality Handbook (978-0-764-81786-1, $14.95), written by Wendy M. Wright and released May 1 by Liguori Publications.

Part of the publisher’s “The Essential Handbook” series, the 288-page book presents the foundations of Catholic spirituality in five sections. Beginning with the theological understanding of the term “spirituality,” the author presents an accessible approach to prayer, virtues, discernment and sanctification in living a spiritual life.

The Essential Spirituality Handbook explores the history of Catholic traditions in spirituality and in the contemporary world, including: Jesus the paradigm: death and resurrection, scripture and tradition, liturgical prayer, the communion of saints, practice of the virtues, practices of prayer—such as contemplative prayer or meditation—devotional practices, veneration of images, charisms and geographical traditions.

Wright also examines the history of family spirituality, spiritual direction, and women and spirituality.

Using quotes and Bible verses, the book helps explore the hunger to be closer to God, noting that “the sixty third Psalm gives voice to one of the deepest of human longings, the longing for intimacy with the divine: ‘O God, you are my God—for you I long! For you my body yearns; for you my soul thirsts, Like a land parched, lifeless, and without water. (Ps. 63: 2, New American Bible).’ ”

In addition to a historic overview of Catholic spirituality, the book also shows how modern Catholics work to continue to understand spirituality and draw closer to God.

Wright earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, and is a professor of theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.

As a professor of graduate studies in ministry for Creighton’s Christian Spirituality master’s program and the Academy for Spiritual Formation, Wright concentrates on the areas of history of spirituality, spiritual direction, family spirituality and women’s spirituality.

To order, call 800-325-9521, or go to