A review of Glorious Christianity by Cally Hammond

As a Baptist, the very idea of praying the “Glorious mysteries” is alien to me. Any prayer associated with the Rosary is liable to set my non-conformist hackles twitching from the outset. Not only that, but I embarked on reading this book in between other tasks, and had to laugh at my own folly – attempting to read a book on contemplative prayer…quickly!

The thing is, this little book draws the reader in. Building on the approach in her previous books Passionate Christianity (SPCK 2007) and Joyful Christianity (SPCK 2009) the author takes the reader to some unusual places, accompanied by a refreshing frankness, and invites them to pray.

In her company we visit the darkness of the sealed sepulchre, the bewildering abandonment of the ascension, the surprising outpouring of Pentecost, the scary place at which the soul ‘falls asleep’ and the breath-catchingly wonderful place in which the soul is crowned. As our guide to all these places she is honest, warm, human and thought-provoking. There is a wonder on these pages – but of the glowing warmth rather than the icy silence variety. This book, in the author’s own words is ‘about faith’s journey in search of understanding’.

This slender book’s 75 pages are not an easy read. Quotations from scripture and references to Church history ensure that any reader will be made to think – and it is all the better for it.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. I wonder if this book might be the opening movement in Lent’s overture to Easter for you this year? Each of its five chapters gives you stimulus, questions and prayers to accompany you on the Lenten journey. How about it?

Of course traditionally people give something up for Lent. Maybe this year I should give up reading too quickly?

Glorious Christianity by Cally Hammond, SPCK, £9.99, ISBN 978 0 281 06429 8