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When you pray

whenyoupray 01

Alas, Jesuits tend to be word-makers, and one has to be selective in buying or reading what they have written. But here is a book to select and read. Finbarr Lynch, remembered by many Belvederians for his years in charge of Belvedere Junior School, is on the staff of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, helping people to meet God in prayer.

He walks in the footprints of St Ignatius, who gives hints on prayer all through the Spiritual Exercises, hints which Finbarr pondered and used in the training of over a hundred prayer guides during his nine years in Belfast. Now he has condensed some of that experience into a little book which originated in a series of 10-minute talks on prayer in Manresa. They are precious: practical, not poetical. You can recognise the teacher in his style.

More than that, you recognise the wise man, for whom God is not so much a name as a touch. Remember what that other wise man wrote (Ecclesiastes 12:12): “The sayings of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings that are given by one shepherd.  Of anything beyond these, my child, beware. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.”

Quiet Finbarr, almost invisible in the public life of the Province, is one such shepherd. His book is called “When you pray” (Dublin: Messenger Publications: 2012).