Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Review: Take Five-Meditations with John Henry Newman

I recently had the opportunity to read Mike Aquilina and Fr. Juan R. Velez's Take Five: Meditations With John Henry Newman.  This little pocket sized book is packed with plenty of thought provoking inspiration.

The introduction of the book includes a short note on how to use the book. It's a book you can easily skip around in and still benefit from it just as much as you would if you read each meditation in order. Also included in the introduction is a short biography of Bl. John Henry Newman. I like the biographical commentary because it gives you a feel for who he was which is nice when you're about to dive into a book of meditations derived from his work.

There are seventy-six meditations in this book. Each meditation begins with a quote from the work of Bl. John Henry Newman. Following that are three sections entitled "Think About It", "Just Imagine", and "Remember". The "Think About It" section offers three prompts or questions to get you on the right track. In "Just Imagine", you'll see a scripture quote that ties in nicely with the meditation. The "Remember" section offers a statement that you can reflect on throughout the day.

Overall, I like the simplicity of this book's format. It is a book where you could read one meditation each day and then reflect and pray on it. What is nice about this book is you can take just a few minutes to read a specific meditation in the morning before starting your day and take the rest of the day to incorporate the clarity learned in that meditation into your day. Most of the chapters are about two pages long so you won't need to find more than a few minutes to read a single meditation.  Of course, when it comes to reflecting on a particular meditation, you'll probably want to spend the better part of the day mulling it over as you go about your daily routine.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who's looking for spiritual inspiration but doesn't think they have the time to fit it into their busy schedule. The simplicity of this book will make you want to turn back to it again and again.

This review was written as part of the Catholic book reviewer program from The Catholic Company.  Visit The Catholic Company to find more information on Take Five: Meditations With John Henry Newman and be sure to check out their great selection of Mary statues while you are there.   

Disclaimer: I was supplied with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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