The Back of the Book (from Amazon): In this practical guide, best-selling author Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP, demonstrates how to begin a life of contemplative prayer. You don’t have to be a mystic to learn this type of prayer, just a person who is seeking a deeper communion with God. Sr. Kathryn has helped thousands of people through difficult times. Now let her guide you in this timeless form of meditative prayer.
NotJustLaura’s Review: Sr Hermes is one of the first Catholic authors I came across when I began my journey towards conversion. I found her Surviving Depression really helpful and am pleased to say that Beginning Contemplative Prayer is too. In it, Sr Hermes looks at first steps in contemplation (silence, gentleness, simplicity, etc) and then works her way up through the various schools of contemplation typified by the practice of various Saints such as Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. She closes by suggesting a five-week programme of prayer for the reader to follow and some additional reading across the traditions about which she has written.
I found this a very readable book. Sr Hermes writes with tremendous empathy for an inexperienced reader but I think there is enough meat on the bones of this book for it to satisfy a more experienced pray-er too. Her language is warm and she uses lots of everyday examples to highlight the points she makes. I am just making my first, hesitant steps onto the path of contemplative prayer but I’m looking forward to travelling with Sr Hermes for at least part of the journey.