Friday, July 2, 2010

Christ Within Me: Prayers and Meditations from the Anglo-Saxon Tradition

By Benedicta Ward, 101 pages, $9.95, Cistercian Publications.

Through her translations of writings from the Anglo-Saxon era, Ward introduces us to the individual believers of the time. She humanizes the era, and therefore draws it closer to our times. These people struggled with their faith in a time of unrest and sin just as much as we do in our time of unrest and sin.

Included in this volume are Benedict Biscop, the Venerable Bede, Saint Boniface, who re-evangelized Germany, and the monk Wilfrid, as well as women of simple devotion:

"All who knew Hilda, the handmaid of Christ and abbess of Whitby, used to call her mother because of her outstanding devotion and grace.... [H]er life was an example of the works of light, a blessing not only for herself but to many. Not only ordinary people but also kings and princes sometimes sought and received her counsel when they were in difficulties."

More focused on the spiritual lives of these people than on their theological teachings, Christ Within Me is a book of prayer itself appropriate to prayerful reading though it also offers insights for history buffs.

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