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Seeking His Mind, 40 Meetings with Christ, by Pennington, M. Basil, O.C.S.O., Paraclete Press, Brewster, MA, 2002, pp. 134.

That there are precisely forty reflections means that there is one for each day of Lent, — although I have found them rewarding at other times in the year. Each selection considers a passage of scripture, sometimes a psalm, sometimes a piece of one of the Pauline epistles, most often a section from one of the gospels. There are three on the story of the Good Samaritan. Since the actual scripture text precedes the reflection, there is no need to look it up in your own Bible unless you prefer an alternative translation.

One of the particularly endearing qualities of Father Basil’s writing is his skill in identifying the most human characteristics as those which resonate in the words and example of Jesus: generosity, forgiveness, listening, gratitude. Yet no reflection is so cumbersome that it overpowers the scripture about which it speaks; it is the trajectory, so to speak, for the reader’s own prayer and reflection. At the time of the book’s publication, the author was Abbot of St. Joseph’s Abbey in Spencer, MA. Considered one of the experts in Centering Prayer, and the author of numerous works on that subject alone, he has one book entitled Lectio Divina, Renewing the Ancient Practice of Praying the Scriptures. The introduction to the book I am proposing gives a short, clear explanation of the practice for the reader.

Maureen F. McDermott