Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

Archive for the ‘Spiritual Life’ Category

Cassian and Cassiodorus

Posted by universalis on 5 November 2021

We have corrected two small errors in the English-language printed books. This means that Universalis does not match the books exactly, so this blog post is made, for reference, in case anyone notices the difference.

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New ebook: “New Every Day”!

Posted by universalis on 8 November 2019

Sample page

Sample page: click to enlarge

We have just brought out a new e-book, in time for Christmas.

It is the sort of book you will want to keep with you all year, to read or just dip into. Your friends will love it too. It is the perfect present.

“New Every Day” has 366 chapters, one for each day of the year. It celebrates not only every day but also a huge number of saints: over 600 of them. There are spiritual readings for every day and for many of the saints. There are biographies of the saints and over 300 illustrations.

The readings come from all periods, from the early 2nd century to the end of the 20th. Some of the authors are famous, like St Augustine. Some are great orators, like St Leo the Great. About others, nothing at all is known, like the anonymous ancient author (11 April) who imagines Jesus going down into the underworld and meeting Adam face to face. There are readings by the saints and readings about them. St Peter Claver (9 September) describes the arrival of a slave ship in Colombia and what has to be done for its passengers. Mr Masten, Protestant chaplain of Newgate prison, writes (23 June) about the last night and morning of the martyr St Thomas Garnet: “I never saw him so full of life, and almost miraculous cheerfulness”. St Thérèse of Lisieux (1 October) lays out her unique spirituality, which changed our notions of sainthood for ever and led her to be acclaimed as a Doctor of the Church.

Sample page

Sample page: click to enlarge

“New Every Day” is not a prayer-book. That is good, because a prayer-book is like a gym subscription – it carries an obligation with it (and, if you give it to someone as a present, there is more than a hint that you’ll be asking them how the exercise programme is going!).

“New Every Day” is more human and delightful than that. It is a treasury of spiritual uplift and refreshment. You can dip into it most days, or look through and explore whenever you need it, or just feel like it.

And your friends and family will love it as well.

Price: £7.99 (UK), $9.99 (USA). Available worldwide.

ePub: Get it on Apple Books · Get it on Apple Books

Kindle: Get it from Amazon UK · USA · Australia · Brazil· Canada · France · Germany · India · Italy · Japan · Mexico · Netherlands · Spain

See also: How to give e-books as presents.

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Encouraging people with free trials

Posted by universalis on 23 January 2019

When groups get together, at conferences, retreats and so on, it is quite common for them to do at least some of the Hours and it is also common for them to use Universalis to do it. The question is how to preserve that spark when everyone gets home afterwards, in the hope that it will burst into flame.

So here is a summary of how anyone with a mobile phone, or a tablet, or a laptop, can get the Hours free for at least a month. This gives good habits a chance to get established, and lets people decide whether they really want to carry on doing the Hours, in whatever way suits them best.

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“Waking up to God”: a review

Posted by universalis on 17 April 2018

José Manuel Eguiguren, Waking up to God: an Experience of Lectio Divina, Downside Abbey Press 2017, ISBN: 978-1-898663-19-5, £20 from Downside Abbey Bookshop (follow the link or email them at books@downside.co.uk).

In 2009 Pope Benedict XVI said, ‘Leading men and women to God, to the God who speaks in the Bible: this is the supreme and fundamental priority of the Church and of the Successor of Peter at the present time.’ The ancient practice of Lectio Divina is becoming increasingly well known to Catholics and is building strong links with Christians of other Churches and traditions. Universalis has recently included in its offer an approach to Lectio Divina that takes users to the Gospel of the day and places it within a framework that encourages readers to listen with the ear of the heart, as Jesus’ first disciples listened to him and, where possible, to share with one another what God’s Word is saying to them in their own personal situation.

There are already a great many books on Lectio Divina and Waking up to God is big (over 500 pages). Why should you read it?

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How to lend money

Posted by universalis on 20 January 2007

“The good man takes pity and lends”, says Psalm 111. So when a friend of mine asked me to lend him £50 because a cheque had arrived late, I knew what I had to do.

But how to do it? Lending money and borrowing money are good ways of losing friends. Here’s the solution that leapt into my mind at that moment. It worked then, and I’ve told other people about it, and it seems to work for them too.

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Muscular Christianity

Posted by universalis on 26 June 2006

In a secular world full of distractions we need to make space for prayer in any way we can. A friend of mine has an innocent-looking bracelet that just happens to have its beads in groups of 10: perfect for impromptu Rosaries. I used to have ten keys on my key-ring, and that was good too.

Let me commend to you the practice of going to the gym and using the rowing machine. Not that it has ten of anything; but its use involves a longish period of regular, repetitive motion, and I have discovered that that is ideal for simple prayers.

At the rate of one word per stroke, rowing one mile on the machine takes me one Our Father and two Hail Marys. The exact number varies a little: if you add in "In the name of…" at the beginning and "For thine is the kingdom…" at the end, and pull a bit harder, you can cut out one of the Hail Marys.

Praying at this slow pace (a mile takes me over seven minutes) engages the mind in meditation for a good long time. With practice, you can squeeze any number of prayer intentions non-verbally into the gaps between strokes. And from the point of view of exercise, this is something you can do with your eyes shut instead of obsessively observing the display on the ergometer.

It helps if you go to a gym without music.

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