Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Book #78

Beginning to Pray, by (Monsignor) Anthony Bloom. Paperback.

This short book is wonderful. Bloom, a Monsignor of the Orthodox Church, takes a very interesting different approach to prayer, which is both practical and mystical.

Bloom takes a very practical approach to his topic, including a terrific chapter about time management. This chapter challenged us to turn prayer into a relationship with Christ, and talks in mystical & metaphysical ways about the nature of time, and how we are bound to live in a world ruled by time. He then gives very practical, step-by-step instruction is how to begin the contemplative life.

Bloom is a Russian citizen who served in France during World War II as a surgeon. while also being a secret monk. Yes, he had taken monastic vows, but to do so publicly would have precluded his ability to serve as an army surgeon. As you can imagine, the stories he tells about his life are fascinating, and make a helpful counterpart to the more mystical portions.


  1. This does sound good Alan, Time is always such a problem isn't it? The Mystical stuff though makes me a little apprehensive. I think the church is getting a little off track there when they start playing with that. I would give this book a read though. Merry Christmas!

  2. Yes, Peggy, I think we get very locked into our brand of Christianity (even the most anti-liturgical evangelicals have traditions) and have a hard time taking the good points from others of our brothers and sisters.