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Showing posts with label EdwardLooney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label EdwardLooney. Show all posts

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Lenten Journey with Mother Mary - Father Edward Looney

Lenten Journey with Mother Mary
Fr. Edward Looney

Sophia Institute Press
ISBN 9781622828487
eISBN 9781622828494

This is the third volume from Father Looney that I have read and maybe the best. It is designed as a Lenten devotional, but I have read through it in order to be able to write a review of the entire book. That being said I already plan to reread it this year over lent, a day at a time as it is intended. The five weeks of Lend can actually be read at any time of the year and used for personal retreat. It is only once we get to Holy Week and the Easter Octave ending on Divine Mercy Sunday that would not work as well at another point in the year.

The volume contains 46 devotions from Ash Wednesday through to Divine Mercy Sunday. Each of these days contains a quote or bible verse for the day, a prayer, and ends with a suggested action. A sample day is:

Ash Wednesday - Mary Prays for Us

“I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners.”
— Our Lady in Champion, Wisconsin

Today begins our Lenten journey. Even though it’s not a holy day of obligation, many people go to church to commence this yearly observance. We are marked with ashes, a reminder of our death. We are invited to pray more this Lent, perhaps with the Stations of the Cross. We decide to make small sacrifices, acts of denial, to suffer just a little as a reminder of the suffering of Christ. Some people hope for a life-altering season as they give up vices and bad habits, such as overconsumption of caffeine, alcohol, or sweets. For some, those little penances offered to God become the grace they receive on Easter Sunday, as they continue to deny themselves after the penitential season.

Lent is a time to take our spiritual lives more seriously — to read, pray, and meditate. I hope this book will help you to do just that.

Over the next several weeks, we will journey with the Blessed Virgin Mary and ponder the many messages she spoke to children and adults throughout the years. The Lenten themes of prayer, penance, and conversion are the same themes that the Mother of God addressed in her apparitions over the last several centuries. We will meet the visionaries and apply the messages of Mary to our daily lives and our Lenten observances.

There is one apparition that holds a special place in my heart. It took place in 1859 in the Diocese of Green Bay, the diocese where I was born, raised, and now serve as a Catholic priest. The Blessed Virgin appeared to Adele Brise, a twenty-eight-year-old Belgian immigrant. After seeing the silent, beautiful woman twice, Adele asked the local priest what she should do. He instructed her to ask the woman who she was and what she wanted. That’s what Adele did when she saw the Virgin for the third time. “In God’s name, who are you, and what do you want of me?” she asked. Mary responded, “I am the Queen of Heaven, who prays for the conversion of sinners.” So Adele learned not only her identity, but, even more special, that the Queen of Heaven was praying for her. Adele was a sinner. You are a sinner. I am a sinner. The great news is that we have an intercessor in Heaven who is praying for us. We ask her so often to do that: Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Yes, Mary prays for us sinners, but even more specifically, she is praying for our conversion.

As we begin this season of Lent, a season calling us to conversion of life, we know that Mary prays for us. Even as we begin our Lenten observance, as we hunger through fasting, as we struggle to find time to pray, we should be at peace, because Mary is praying for us. During the next several weeks, don’t forget that. Remind yourself often that Mary is praying for you. Even if we forget to ask, she prays for us; she will not forget her children.

Dear Blessed Mother, whisper my name in Jesus’ ear and ask Him to help me live this Lent to the fullest. Through your intercession, obtain for me the grace of conversion where I need it most.

Lenten Action
Spend a few moments in prayer today and consider what aspect of your life needs greatest conversion. In what area of your life have you not conformed to Christ or heeded His teaching? Make a resolution to strive to turn toward the Lord.”

Father Looney draws from his extensive knowledge and personal experiences in writing the reflections contained within. He also gives examples from people he has encountered. Some of the stories will seem miraculous, like the 2 encounters with a specific woman, Anna. And Some will leave you wondering, like the tale of the thief. But all will have an impact on your heart, your mind, your faith, and your life. 

The section on hos to use this book has some age advice. Specifically to keep going. If we end up falling behind, just pick up where you should be or read the extra days. He even goes so far as to state:

“If you miss an entire week, that’s okay. Begin again, starting with the week you are currently in. The devil wants to discourage us and does not want us to draw closer to God in prayer. The devil doesn’t want us to listen to Mary, because her foot is the one that will crush the serpent’s ugly head.”

I love picking books to work through for Advent and lent each year. Some I read once and am done, and others I read several years in a row or return to every few years. This volume is one I will likely use the next few years in a row. It is excellently written. It is engaging, encouraging and if read with an open heart will be a challenge. But it is good to be challenged during lent. 

If you are looking for something new for your Lenten journey this year I can highly recommend this book!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Fr. Edward Looney:
A Heart Like Mary's: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does
Our Lady of Good Help Mary's Message and Mission for Adele Brise and the World
A Rosary Litany
Our Lady of Good Help Prayer Book For Pilgrims

Lenten Journey with Mother Mary

Monday, 5 August 2019

Our Lady of Good Help Prayer Book For Pilgrims - Fr. Edward Looney

Our Lady of Good Help Prayer Book For Pilgrims
Fr. Edward Looney

TAN Books
ISBN 9781505114270

First I must categorically state this is a wonderful prayer book! I typically prefer eBooks. But have read this as a physical volume and will likely keep it on my bedside table for years to come. And even if the eBook edition eventually comes, I will keep both. This is only the second book by Father Looney I have read, but after finishing this one I know I need to pick up the rest of the ones that are available. This volume has both a Nihil Obstat and an Imprimatur. So many prayer books are just thrown together and skip those two important steps. This one does not. It is noted at the beginning of the volume that all the prayers in this book are either in the public domain or were written specifically for this manual by Fr. Edward Looney himself. His piety, his sincere faith, and his devotion tour lady clearly come through in this manual of prayer. The first and second part of this book are about equal length, and the final section is about half the length of the preceding two. 

The sections in the book are:

Part I
Introductory Essays Concerning Marian Apparitions
and the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help

Private Revelation, Biblical and Historical 
Mary Visits Wisconsin
Analyzing the Apparition
Method of Approval for Marian Apparitions 
Understanding Champion in Light of Approved Marian Apparitions
Graces of Champion
What to Do When Visiting the Shrine 

Part II
Prayers and Devotions

Preparation for Receiving the Sacraments 
     Celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation 
     Celebrating the Eucharist 
     Celebrating the Anointing of the Sick
Praying the Rosary With Sister Adele
The Stations of the Cross
Novenas to the Queen of Heaven, Our Lady of Good Help 
Additional Prayers and Litanies
Praying at the National Shrine 


The Original Devotion to Notre Dame de Bon Secours 
Timeline of the Historical Devotion to Our Lady of Good Help 
Prayers to Our Lady of Good Help
Hymns to Our Lady of Good Help

The prayers in this volume are wonderful. And though many are written to be prayed at the shrine. You can pray most of the prayers almost anywhere. The National Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in the United States that is in Wisconsin. But this book is so much more than just a prayer book. It is history, it is church teaching. It is the representation of faith lived out. Lived out by those near and who journey to the shrine, and those with a devotion to the shrine from afar. 

This is an excellent volume that I treasure, and I am sure you will also. It is a great prayer book. I strongly recommend that you pick it up, read the history and begin praying the prayers. Another great read from Father Looney, and excellent resource from TAN Books. 

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Fr. Edward Looney:
A Heart Like Mary's: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does
Our Lady of Good Help Mary's Message and Mission for Adele Brise and the World
A Rosary Litany
Our Lady of Good Help Prayer Book For Pilgrims

Lenten Journey with Mother Mary

Thursday, 11 October 2018

A Rosary Litany - Fr. Edward Looney

A Rosary Litany
Fr. Edward Looney
Our Sunday Visitor
ISBN 9781681923376

This book was first published in 2016 and is now republished in 2018. And with the reprinting it has a new cover and also an eBook edition. Over the last few years I have read a number of books about the Rosary, I have several others on my to be read list. And have read many over all my years of reading. And this book was a wonderful surprise. The description of this book is:

""A Rosary Litany" reintroduces the Christian faithful to a pious custom of praying the rosary, promoted by St. Louis de Montfort, and recommended by Bl. Paul VI and St. John Paul II. Fr. Looney recommends several phrases which could be inserted into the Hail Mary after the names of Jesus or Mary. Inserting these phrases guides and focuses one's meditation on the rosary mystery and when prayed in succession, the rosary becomes litany-like."

And the chapters are:

The Rationale Behind A Rosary Litany
How to Use A Rosary Litany
From the Popes

Joyful Mysteries
1. Annunciation
2. Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth
3. Birth of Jesus
4. Presentation in the Temple
5. Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Luminous Mysteries
1. Baptism in the River Jordan
2. Wedding Feast at Cana
3. Proclamation of the Kingdom
4. Transfiguration
5. Institution of the Holy Eucharist

Sorrowful Mysteries
1. Agony in the Garden
2. Scourging at the Pillar
3. Crowning with Thorns
4. Carrying of the Cross
5. Crucifixion

Glorious Mysteries
1. Resurrection
2. Ascension
3. Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
5. Coronation of Mary

About the Author

Father Looney in the introduction states:

"Perhaps in our technological era, which is consumed by noise, people are no longer able to be still for twenty minutes to bring themselves into the presence of God and reflect. It has become difficult to meditate on one thing for a short amount of time because our thoughts are fleeting and the worries of life distract us. That is why, in recent years, Rosary devotional books have been written - to assist in the meditative and contemplative aspect of the Rosary.

This small devotional book, A Rosary Litany, reintroduces the Christian faithful to an old custom of praying the Rosary. Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, in The Secret of the Rosary, proposed for devotional purposes the addition of a meditative element to the Hail Mary prayer.

Popes Paul VI, in Marialis Cultus, and John Paul II, in Rosarium Virginis Mariae, also encouraged this devotion. These additional phrases guide and focus the meditation of the mystery within the context of the Hail Mary.

In each decade of A Rosary Litany, the de Montfort suggestion is provided, in addition to several other invocations that could be inserted after the name of Jesus or Mary. When prayed in succession, the Rosary becomes like a litany, on account of the varied invocations.

This book is a wonderful devotional guide. It was a very interesting read and wonderful way to read the rosary. In the chapter 'How to Use A Rosary Litany' we are offered three main ways to use a Rosary litany. Over all this is a wonderful little book. Over the last year I have read two other wonderful books on the rosary, first Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet by Shane Kapler and the other was Rediscover the Rosary: The Modern Power of an Ancient Prayer by Matthew Kelly. What I loved about the Kapler book was there were audio download links in the book, and you could download mp3's of the different mysteries. My son and I have been praying this version for over a year now. And that would be my only recommendation for this book, I would love to have audio downloads of even a few of the litany variations that I could pray along to while commuting to work. But other than that, this is an excellent book. If you already have a devotion to the rosary this book will help you experience it in a new way. And if you do not it is an excellent jumping off point. This book is wonderful, and I give it a solid 5/5 stars! I have already picked up father Looney's 'A Heart Like Mary's: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does' and added it to my reading list. Give this little volume a try you will not be disappointed!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Fr. Edward Looney:
A Heart Like Mary's: 31 Daily Meditations to Help You Live and Love as She Does
Our Lady of Good Help Mary's Message and Mission for Adele Brise and the World
A Rosary Litany
Our Lady of Good Help Prayer Book For Pilgrims

Lenten Journey with Mother Mary