Thursday, November 29, 2007
This morning our newspaper did not come and that was a blessing for I had not yet read the last National Catholic Reporter and found several interesting things in it. The first thing I turned to is an article about a new book on prayer by Sister Wendy Beckett. It is called "Sister Wendy on Prayer", published by Harmony Books. As I love what she has written before on prayer (usually found in a preface or introduction to another book), I will certainly order this one. Wendy is a 77 year old contemplative nun made popular because of a documentary about the British National Gallery and a series of TV programs that resulted from that. David Wilcock, a producer of films who worked with many of Wendy's programs, gives us a brief biography in his introduction to the new book on prayer. She grew up in South Africa and entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur; she was sent to study English at Oxford in 1950 and spent the next twenty years teaching in local schools in South Africa. In 1970, having the call to be more contemplative, she was allowed to leave her order and become a hermit under the protection of the Carmelite monastery behind which she now lives in a trailor. In the 1980s she turned to studying and writing about art.
Sister Wendy on Prayer is divided into three sections: The Practice of Prayer, Prayer and Belief, and Prayer and Personality. According to the review, each section contains very short chapters. She also weaves in various artworks that enrich her own understanding of God. She is a witty, honest, self-effacing, independent writer and I look forward to reading her book.