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Posted March 25, 2011

Book: Pathway to our Hearts: A Simple Approach to Lectio Divina with the Sermon on the Mount
Author: Archbishop Thomas Collins: Archbishop of Toronto
Ave Maria Press. Notre Dame, IN. 2011. Pp. 159

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In Pathways to Our Hearts, Archbishop of Toronto and respected Bible teacher Thomas Collins presents a beginner’s guide to praying the Sermon on the Mount in the tradition of Lectio Divina, or sacred reading. This fresh and accessible guide enlivens an ancient practice for modern readers and draws them into deeper engagement with God’s word.

An Excerpt from the Book:

A famous old story tells of a person in the back of the church who was praying away without a rosary or a book, just looking up at the tabernacle. The priest asks, “What are you doing? You don’t seem to have a prayer book.” The parishioner says, “I look at Jesus. Jesus looks at me. And we’re happy.” Prayer isn’t more complicated than that. It isn’t rocket science. We get so caught up in creating complications, especially if we’re kind of religious: we can be “checking the dials” to see how spiritual we are. There’s a saying: “The unexamined life is not worth living, the unlived life is not worth examining, and the over-examined life is hell.” Our Lord is telling us, “Lighten up a bit; don’t get so complex, swearing by this or that or the other thing, and trying to nail it all down. No, no. Let go. Life is in the hands of the Lord.” Pope John XXIII is said to have prayed when he was going to bed: “Well, Lord, it’s your church. You take care of it. I’m going to bed.”

Our Lord is teaching us very simply: don’t swear by your head. You can’t turn your hair white or black. Wake up. Let your anser be “yes” or “no”. Be simple. Love God. Do it every day. Love your neighbor. That’s it. Then we die and we see him face to face, and we don’t worry about everything else.

Let’s think about that simplicity and ask the Lord, “Help us to simply say ‘yes’ to you, O Lord, and ‘no’ to those things that should cause us to pluck out our eye and cut off our hand.” Just say, “It’s in your hands. O Lord. Speak, Lord; your servant is listening. Here I am.” Just ask the Lord for that simplicity of heart, which is the great gift of holiness.

Table of Contents:

Chapters One to Nine: Matthew 5:1-12 to Matthew 7:13-28