|Books often surprise us, and The Saint Clare Prayer Book surprises with its richness of content, its story of a holy life, and through its presentation of words not only of Saint Clare but also of Saint Francis and others.|
Many readers know of Francis, but fewer recognize Clare, who learned from Francis founded the Poor Clares, and became known for her wisdom. Following her conversion as a teenager, her life was a cloistered one of meditation and prayer. Much of her life she remained, by choice, behind a set of bars known as the "grille." Saint Clare lived as Saint Francis taught: "Preach with your lives, and when necessary, use words."
Readers familiar with contemplative prayer and the lives of saints will recognize the divine office as a prayer pattern, with defined times and selected readings. For each morning and evening of the week, there is a preparation, Gospel sentence, confession, psalm, Gospel reading, time of silence, prayers of the saints, and a collect. Saint Clare valued the Psalms, Song of Solomon, the prophets, Matthew, and the writings of Paul; hence, scripture selections are primarily from these sources.
A section of notes is worth attention. Recommended for church libraries, and particularly for persons interested in contemplative prayer and lives of the saints.
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