Everywhere you look these days, you can find information on the power of prayer. The scientific community is finally discovering what the rest of us already knew. For whatever reason, prayer works. It's not so much the form your prayer takes or the words you use, but the simple aspect of believing faith.
One tried and true form of prayer is the rosary. In his new book, Garry Wills, a Professor of History Emeritus at Northwestern and respected religious writer, tells us all we need to know in order to pray it and how to contemplate the various occurrences from the life of Christ as we pray.
While the rosary always has been primarily a Catholic prayer, it doesn't have to stay that way. People from many other religions pray the rosary, and Christians of any denomination will enjoy this book that delves into the life of Christ and makes us feel as though we are there.
Wills begins THE ROSARY with a background of the rosary that includes its history and elements. From there he moves on to examine each mystery, including gospel readings and meditations. Accompanying each event in the life of Christ are the beautiful paintings of Tintoretto, an Italian mannerist painter who lived in the 1500s. Wills explains the symbolism of each painting, which helps us see the meaning and definition beyond the obvious.
As someone who is in the process of converting to Catholicism, I have found THE ROSARY to be a beautiful addition to and expansion of what I already knew about praying the rosary. Wills's book takes events that happened 2,000 years ago and makes them real to the readers of today. Anyone who has an interest in the rosary will enjoy this beautiful book and the wisdom contained in its pages. In the words of Wills, "...the rosary is both very timely and also timeless."
Reviewed by Amie Taylor on November 3, 2005