My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Review: Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ: A Christological Reading of the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours

Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ: A Christological Reading of the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ: A Christological Reading of the Psalms in the Liturgy of the Hours by Frank J. Matera
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is designed to be a companion to the Divine Office; also known as the Liturgy of the Hours because of how it is divided across the hours of the day (with five current times for Morning, Day, Evening, Night and “Office of Readings). Each “hour” presents a collection of psalms, communal antiphons/responses, readings, canticles/hymns, intercessions and other prayers as the continuous prayer of the Holy [Catholic] Church. The focus of this work is on the Psalms found within each "hour.” The author’s premise is that instead of interpreting these psalms through the context of history, there is a much deeper spiritual meaning that can be discovered when take a more christological approach to understanding.

“The Liturgy of the Hours [LOH] provides several aids for reading the psalms: (1) a general title for each psalm, (2) a brief text from Scripture or an early church writer for each psalm, (3) an antiphon for each psalm, and (4) a psalm prayer after many of psalms.” (Intro). Further, the psalms are divided across a cycle of four (4) during ordinary time, so each chapter deals with one of those weeks (with Night Prayer given its own chapter as it doesn’t follow the four week cycle). This organization makes it ideal to use as preparation for praying the Divine Office (as opposed to reading it straight through). Chapter One also includes the Invitatory that begins each day of prayer. For each day there is a synopsis of the psalms for that day before diving into a short discussion on how to see the voice of Christ for each psalm (as they appear) within each “hour.” I found the discussion helpful both for understanding what the psalm was saying (and why) as well as providing an understanding of how Christ is revealed within it. All together, this helps to develop a greater interest and love for this specific devotion and should be a welcome addition beside your copy of the Liturgy of the Hours.

The chapters and sections in this work are:

Introduction: Praying the Psalms in the Voice of Christ
Chapter One: Commentary on Week One
Chapter Two: Commentary on Week Two
Chapter Three: Commentary on Week Three
Chapter Four: Commentary on Week Four
Chapter Five: The Psalms of Night Prayer
Conclusion: Lessons Learned

I was given this free advance reader copy (ARC) ebook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#PrayingThePsalms #Edelweiss

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.