It is a significant thing in ones life to be a Lay Eucharist Minister. This little book, “Meditations for Lay Eucharist Ministers,” looking so slight by Beth Maynard, is a guide to the ministry of the Lay Eucharist Minister. There are many sections worth meditation.
This is a taughtly written book, and one of a series called “Faithful Servant Series.” I think that the first words, in the introduction of this book, says something about the kind of reader who will find this an interesting and valuable guide. They say, “Were you chosen to read this book?” By that they mean, was it given to you. As a book for giving to others, it is a good one. But no harm, and a lot of good to get it for yourself if no one has given you one yet.
This is a book about the ministry performed by lay people for God. “God acts first–the Bible is very clear about that and God acts to choose us because God loves us.” I think you will find this a useful book, its meditations food for thought and reflection. It is worth coming back to again, and helpful in ministry.
One can read this book at short sittings, and it is a recommended thing to do, so says the author. Here are some chapters: “At the Altar,” “Looking at the Background,” “Insights from Scripture,” Community and Collegiality” and others. Let’s turn to Community and Collegiality for a moment. Most likely, the short book tells us, you know the people you serve at eucharist. This is a moving thing, to both know those who one serves and to serve those one may not know.
Don’t let the fact of the book’s remarking “…In the case of entering into a new ministry…” for though it is directed to those who are new, it is not an emphasis, per se, of the book. For example, there is a note about dealing with people. “…What do you when the awe gives way to annoyance?” Ministry relies on a request of God. “…Tell God that I would like a little taste of the awe again, please, just to help me remember why I’m here.”
There is a section on Home Communions, and though there may be a simplistic tone to the explanations and what one could call gentle exhortations to serve, there is a lot of meaning here put in a simple, direct fashion. “By visiting an elderly member of the parish, we trace back into our own communal past.”
Sections have quotations for thought, relevant ones to Lay Eucharist Ministry. It is true, this one: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8.)
The end of the book contains prayers for Lay Eucharistic Ministers. One said before serving reads in part: “Here I am, Lord. There are many reasons I am here, but this is the real one: I have come because you called me. I offer myself and my time and my gifts to serve that call…” In a way, the reader has a starting off point for prayers of his or her own.
Christopher L. Webber is the series editor, and writes in the introduction, “Who is this God who seeks us in so many ways…” “We come to know God better by serving as church members and in church ministries.” Again, an example of simple words, clearly put, but necessary and telling. I think the genre of this book, “Spirituality/Gift” is a good one. To end, just a note here about the author. She is an Episocpal priest in the Diocese of Massachusetts, and before being ordained was a Lay Eucharist Minister. The book is published by Morehouse Publishers, an Episcopal publishing house.
A small book, one who is a Lay Eucharist Minister will find it beneficial, for though the book holds a light tone the subject has its serious overtones and the ministry itself is a good one. In its light touch there are many thoughts and readings good for meditation.
Book Review: ‘Christ in the Universe’…Edifying and understandable…
This is a book that originally was a doctoral thesis; my copy was printed around 1972. It is a work that allows the reader to participate in a thought process and intuitive thinking– yes even an intuitive, scholarly study of Teilhard de Chardin and the Cosmos. I recommend the book, a slim volume of good writing that is understandable to the layman or anyone interested in the cosmic idea of the Christ and the considerations of God (the Triune) in our lives.
The writer, who is known to me as the Very Reverend Doctor Robert Hale (now 72 years old) is part of the Order of Saint Benedict, Camaldoles. The work holds the imprint of his order, showing its acceptability as doctrine.
What I like most about the book is that one can follow the thoughts and scholarship, with its excellent references. The author, Father Robert, has let us in on the look at a four-fold analysis of de Chardin through scripture, tradition, reason, and scholarship. As he says in his conclusion, “Teilhard’s central thesis is that the universe is intrinsically and organically Christic, that it constitutes the `cosmic Body of Christ.'”
Finding a hardback copy may be difficult, so I recommend going through Amazon to get yourself one, or if you are lucky as I was to find it in a Church (found mine in Berkeley) among the sharing stacks of books (All Souls, Episcopal). That may be likely at some similar places, but there is not another one there. The copy I have, which is 125 pages long is published by Franciscan Herald Press as a work of theology. This is a Catholic publishing house. My opinion is that Christians, will find this book edifying and understandable. Good exercise for your reading skills, too.
Book Review: ‘Study of Wisdom’…Educational book for the spiritually inclined: Classic to my mind…
I just finished a useful and interesting book translated into the modern English by Clifton Wolters. Edifying reading for the religiously inclined, I commend the book to those with spiritual desires and inclinations.
Copyright by Anglican Nuns, The Sisters of the love of God in 1980, the work titled “A Study of Wisdom: Three Tracts by the Author of The Cloud of Unknowing,” is timely reading for anyone of a contemplative interest in God. Fairacres Publications published the very slim book, and I ended reading it with some underlinings. I don’t know what this will do for the resale value in used books should I decide to sell it ever, which is doubtful, but here is one quotation from the tract, “The Discerning of Spirits.” You’ll also find it here with Cistercian Publications.
“…[C]onsent to good or evil, whichever it is, is always the work of the same soul.
“According to the worth of wretchedness of this consent, so is measured the pain or bliss. If the consentis to evil, then at once, by such association, it takes over the function of the very spirit that suggested it in the first instance. If it is to the good, then at once it has, by grace, the same function as the spirit that first prompted it. For as often as a wholesome thought comes into our minds (for example, chastity, seriousness, rejection of the world, voluntary poverty, patience, humility, love) there can be no doubt but that it is the spirit of God that is speaking to us, either directly or through one of his angels–angels in this life who teach us truth, or angels in glory who are the real instigators and inspirers of goodness.”
An educational tract, short, good reading that is worthy of attention.