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Last Thing At Night
Prayers and Readings for the End of the Day
Compiled by Rima Devereaux
Publisher:DLT (Darton, Longman and Todd Ltd)
One of the phrases most often heard by the parish priest and spiritual counsellor is: ‘I’d love to pray but I don’t know how or where to start’
This book is another wonderful tool to put into the hands of such a seeker. Based loosely on the evening office of Compline, Rima Devereaux gives us a simple form of night prayer over a 6-week cycle – a psalm, a gospel reading and a reading “from the Church’s tradition” – Gerard W Hughes, St Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross, Thomas Keating and St Therese of Lisieux are among the authors from whose writings pearls are drawn, each one illuminating the darkness of the world with the Light of Christ – Devereaux’s aim.
Night Prayer begins and ends each day with a very simple introduction and concluding prayers which give a continuum and flowing unity to the daily changing readings.
Devereaux encourages us to use silence and to take time to ponder each phrase until it speaks to us and to ‘sit loose’ on her structure, merely using it as a springboard for communing with God. Her inspiration comes from the occasion in John’s Gospel when two of John the Baptist’s disciples follow Jesus and ask him where he lives; this ends with their staying the night with him. She invites us to use the prayers for last thing at night as our personal invitation to spend the night with Jesus.
I love the concept, love the selection of readings – especially those from the history of the Church – love the book and recommend it without hesitation both for those seeking a pathway into prayer and also for clergy to lend/give to such people.
Reviewer: Nick Horton (03/01/12)