Today’s book giveaway: Prayers of Hope, Words of Courage

One figure that Pope Benedict highlights in Spe Salvi is Cardinal Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan.  This 20th century leader of the Church in Vietnam spent 13 years in a Communist prison camp, much of it in solitary confinement, before finally being expelled from his country.  Pope John Paul II appointed him head of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, a post he held until his death in 2002.  We’ll hear more from him later this month.

For now, I’ll point out a book of prayers by Cardinal Van Thuan that Pope Benedict highlights in the text of Spe Salvi.  Prayers of Hope, Words of Courage is a collection of prayer that the Cardinal wrote and secretly collected on scraps of papaer throughout his prison years, and only later published.  In the encyclical’s section on prayer, Benedict calls it “a precious little book.”

It’s a simple, beautiful, excellent collection of prayers.  Not heavy with academic or overly theological language.  Simple, honest, and profound.  I keep a copy of this book in my desk drawer at school.  Sometimes I use it for some prayer time in the morning before the students begin arriving, and sometimes I use it in class, picking from it an opening prayer as a new period begins.

Would you like a copy of this “precious little book”?  I’m keep it simple this time.  My wife says I may have made the comments I’ve asked for in order to enter to win the books too complicated.  This time, simply leave a comment of any kind in the comment box for this post, even if it’s “I want the book.”  Leave your name or initials or whatever, just make sure you include your e-mail address (which will not be published), so that I can contact you if you win.  A winner will be chosen at random from among those who leave a comment before midnight (your time) on Wednesday.


4 Responses to “Today’s book giveaway: Prayers of Hope, Words of Courage”

  1. Toni Says:

    The paintings you used were very good. I found myself looking at the beauty in the ones going to heaven. The damned ones gave me the chills and made me say a prayer for all who have entered hell. (also a prayer for my own soul.)

  2. Nancy C. Brown Says:

    I’ve always wanted to read this priest’s prayers, so this seems like a good time to say, “I’d love this book.”

  3. InNeedofHope Says:

    In need of Hope this morning. Very concerned for our country and for our children.

  4. reeva Says:

    Thanks for another great contest. i’d love to read this:)

    thanks again for being so generous

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