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Rethinking Catholic Devotions
Energy, Engagement, Transformation!

The author addresses the broad topic of devotionalism in the Catholic Church—its implications for a mature spirituality in individuals, and its impact on the ecclesial community. He does this by examining a variety of well-known Catholic devotions across cultural lines to probe the truth and meaning of each of these lines of faith expression. I explore the benefits—and the potential traps inherent in many of these devotions, and in devotionalism in general. When the historical and cultural context of a devotion is ignored and is directly applied with no discernment process, distortions can, and do, occur.

Using various insights from the fields of theology, depth psychology, anthropology, and spirituality, Clarke explores the historical narrative behind many popular devotional practices and surveys the principles of the ritualistic expression of their prayer practices. Informed by the Church’s doctrine, he addresses the misconceptions, superstitions, misapplications, and misalliances behind some of these devotions. A strong linkage can often be discerned between faith expression and national origin; this gives space to a strange mixture of political and ecclesial influences, and often leads to a cultic following. The author reclaims the original fire of the creator of the particular devotion.

Finally, the author offers some helpful and healthy devotions for the present historical context. Making a case for the need for an embodied and prophetic spirituality, he then re-presents much-loved devotions through that lens. These tools for adaptation will be clearly spelled out and accessible to anyone seeking to deepen and enrich their engagement with the divine.

ISBN: 978-15876-8930-7

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