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February 15, 2009

Paul as a prayer partner

By Joyce Duriga


Since the Year of St. Paul began and we have presented something about the Apostle in each issue, a few people have mentioned that Paul can be difficult to develop a devotion to. “I feel like he’s always yelling at me,” one person said. While it can seem that way, that doesn’t mean Paul isn’t spiritual friend material.

In an effort to break down the evangelist in to a daily prayer companion, several Catholic publishers released short books for mediation. These three books recently came across our desks:

“Praying the Rosary with St. Paul,” by Paul Thigpen (Our Sunday Visitor, $7.95).

When you first think of Paul, Mary doesn’t always come to mind. He doesn’t mention her in his writings or seem to have had a relationship with her. But in this booklet Paul Thigpen says his namesake is a natural partner with whom to pray the Marian prayer of the rosary.

Inside the compact book are meditations from St. Paul for each decade of the rosary and for all four mysteries. It’s a good gift for those new to the rosary too because all the needed prayers are included.

“Saint Paul the Apostle for Every Day,” by Paulist Father Michael Kerrigan (Paulist Press, $6.95).

This small paperback provides brief excerpts from Scripture for every day of the year, based on the writings of Paul and the Acts of the Apostles. Most are only a sentence in length.

Each month has a theme and corresponds with the church’s liturgical schedule. Want St. Paul bite sized? This is the book for you.

“Praying with Saint Paul,” by Dominican F a t h e r Peter John C a m e r o n (Magnificat, $12.95).

If you’re looking for more medium-sized meditations with St. Paul, this is the book for you.

Magnificat, the publishers known for their monthly subscriptionbased publication featuring daily Mass readings and a short version of liturgy of the hours, had various writers reflect on Scripture from Paul for every day of the year. At the end of the meditations are short, related prayers.

These meditations are similar to the ones offered in Magnificat’s monthly worship aid but are written mostly by contemporary writers. Neither “Praying with Saint Paul” or “Saint Paul the Apostle for Every Day” are specific for 2009 so they can be used over again.