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Facing East Praying West

Paulist Press,
RRP $21.95

Reviewed by Julie Price, chaplain at Raymont Residential College and member of The Gap Uniting Church, who has a particular interest in using the arts in prayer and refl ection.

THIS book is full of succinct refl ective poems on scripture related to the Ignation exercises (Ignatius of Loyola, a 15th–16th century Catholic leader at the time of the counter reformation).

I love this book.

I have been compelled to memorise some of the phrases.

I found myself thinking through the phrases during the day.

I love the way that he can play with words and hold such meaning, for example, the small poem on prayer.

The 87 pages cover a fourweek reading schedule.

About 80 short reflections grouped in sections like Creation, Incarnation, Crucifixion and the Resurrection.

The pages are well set out and it is easy to re-find a particular poem.

The poem on the Eucharist is written in the shape of a wine glass.

The chant written by the author at the end of the book does not really work well.

It could have been left out.

Each of the groupings and exercises involves praying with scriptures and encourages our imagination and our intellect.

Even if you are not familiar with the Ignation exercises it is a valuable resource.

It certainly encourages a response as you read and re-read a poem.

Kent Groff is a retreat director and has taught the contemplative life by reflections on the Ignations spiritual exercises in all
denominations for over two decades.