Monday, February 21, 2022

“Praying from the Depths of the Psalms” and “Scatter My Darkness”: Two New Spiritual Books

NLM readers may recognize the name of Fr John Henry Hanson, O. Praem., of St Michael’s Abbey, who contributed to this site the articles “Encountering the Sacred Mysteries East of Byzantium: The Armenian Liturgy as a Home away from Rome” (link) and “Some Ritual Features of the Armenian Catholic Liturgy” (link) and whose own celebration of the Armenian liturgy has been shared in a colorful gallery (link).

Fr. Hanson has written two spiritual books that would make for excellent Lenten reading (although they are not intended to be limited to that season). The following descriptions are provided by the publisher.
The elemental human experience of the search for God’s presence amidst the hills and valleys of life is revealed within the Psalms. Turning each experience into a poetic, beautiful prayer is their genius. They are a gift to each heart desiring a deeper intimacy with God. In Praying from the Depths of the Psalms, Fr. John Henry describes the Psalter as “the soul’s hymnal,” a place we can all go to as a source of shared realities. Fr. John Henry shows us that, within the Psalms and with the company of the saints, we are in good fellowship in life’s journey. Showing us how to pray them, and not just read them, he reveals an invaluable path of simplicity towards an unbroken unity with God—finding grace in all— amidst the joys and sorrows, tediums and varieties life has to offer.
Do I have dark places in my life? Why are these dark places present, and will they overcome me? How can Christ’s love and grace dissipate this darkness? In his newest spiritual life book, Scatter My DarknessFr. John Henry Hanson helps us to understand the alienation that comes from sin and the redeeming power of Christ. He shows us how, through the beauty of the Liturgy, the dark corners of our hearts encounter and embrace the light of Christ, perhaps for the first time. “The light of Christ is cleansing grace for the soul,” says Fr. John Henry. With light comes hope, “and that hope is the light that will guide our walk from darkness to light, from this side of the veil to the place where Christ dwells in glory.” With a Foreword by Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke.

Both books are published by Scepter and may be obtained through their website (here and here), or through Amazon.

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