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Preachers at Prayer

Preachers at Prayer

Soundings in the Dominican Spiritual Tradition

by Paul Murray, OP

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When St. Dominic founded the Order of Preachers in the thirteenth century, it was to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. Today, given the ever-widening gap between Christian tradition and secular culture, this task remains as relevant as ever—not only for the Dominicans but for every baptized Christian. Who will have the courage to go out into this gap and witness to the power of God’s love?

In Preachers at Prayer: Soundings in the Dominican Spiritual Tradition, priest and scholar Paul Murray presents four talks on the subjects of prayer, study, and preaching, highlighting the deep interconnectedness of all three aspects in the life of the preacher. Drawing on the timeless wisdom of the masters of the Dominican tradition, he demonstrates how conversion begins first in the soul of the evangelist, spreading outward from a heart on fire.

More Info

Publisher: Word on Fire
ISBN: 978-1-68578-095-1
Binding: Hardcover
Page count: 120
Dimensions: 5.5 x 8
Language: English
Release date: May 13, 2024
Thickness: 0.6 (in)
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About the Author

Fr. Paul Murray, OP, an Irish Dominican friar, lives in Rome, where he teaches courses on the literature of the Western mystical tradition at the Angelicum University. He is a Fellow of the Word on Fire Institute and has published many books, including St. Catherine of Siena: Mystic of Fire, Preacher of Freedom; A Journey with Jonah: The Spirituality of Bewilderment; Scars: Essays, Poems, and Meditations on Affliction; Aquinas at Prayer: The Bible, Mysticism, and Poetry; and God’s Spies: Michelangelo, Shakespeare, and Other Poets of Vision.

What People are Saying

Preachers at Prayer is a book that helps the reader understand more deeply what is stated so powerfully in John 1:18: Only the one who comes from the breast of the Father can make him known. This book is a must-read for all the members of the Dominican family and for all those who desire to share the warmth of God’s love that they know and feel in their hearts.”

— Gerard Timoner, OP, Master of the Order of Preachers, from the foreword

Preachers at Prayer is a moving invitation to every preacher. Fr. Murray shows that it is in quiet prayer that preachers find—or rather, are given—these essential elements that light fire both in their hearts and in the hearts of hearers: spiritual depth, from preachers who have surrendered themselves to the Gospel of Christ; delight in God and in God’s beloved; wisdom and integrity, fruits of the cross of Christ in which preachers lovingly share; compassion for God’s people, which shines not only in words spoken but first and foremost in lived, visible witness; and hope—the piercing conviction that God is ever-faithful, and that his Word, Jesus, is himself the fullness of truth. Fr. Murray offers every preacher profound insight from the great teachers of the Dominican spiritual tradition and thus invites us to lean deeply, in love and surrender, into the side of Christ and into the heart of the Church. A striking quotation from Bl. Humbert of Romans will stay with me as a permanent, stirring challenge: ‘If preaching fails, there is spiritual famine.’”

— Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, Archbishop Emeritus of Seattle​

“This much-needed book by revered spiritual master Paul Murray, OP, responds to a concern of Pope Francis that people ‘suffer because of homilies.’ With erudition and eloquence, Fr. Murray encourages preachers to harness the ‘intelligence of the faith’ so that, in preaching, they can devote closer attention to the ‘void or gap in our lives,’ ‘that ache for God familiar to us all, our heart’s wound of longing.’ Preaching is to be focused ‘on the drama of divine mercy’; it must pass on ‘a personal and living experience of the mystery’ (Pope St. John Paul II) and ‘awaken new desire for God and new hope.’ For ‘if preaching fails, there is spiritual famine’ (Bl. Humbert of Romans). This book provides nourishment that leads to a feast.”

— Peter John Cameron, OP, Carl J. Peter Chair of Homiletics, Pontifical North American College, Rome​

Preachers at Prayer is a rare gift. Although it is a collection of Paul Murray’s addresses to Dominicans, it allows the rest of us who must also proclaim the Gospel to eavesdrop and so learn vital lessons about prayer, about study, and about that darkness that is caused not by obscurity but by the radiance of God’s presence. Learning these lessons will change us. This rare gift is for everyone.”

— Msgr. Roderick Strange, Professor of Theology at St. Mary’s University, Twickenham (England), author of Journey into Light

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