Roy DeLeon is an Oblate of St. Benedict and a spiritual director. He teaches classes in "Blessed Movements" (praying with the body, heart, and soul) and conducts workshops at monasteries and retreat centers. In this devotional work, DeLeon begins with Psalm 84:
"How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!
My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God."
The author sees the ancient book of Psalms as the most embodied text in the Bible, providing us with many examples for praying with body, heart, and soul. This volume in Paraclete's "Active Prayer Series" is divided into three sections:
• Alleluia Ten sessions suitable for morning prayers and the beginning of any endeavor.
• Sanctus Twenty sessions appropriate for midday prayers or for the middle of any activity.
• Amen Ten sessions intended for evening prayer, or for the end of any project or activity.
The elements of each session are an opening invocation, a holy reading from one of the Psalms, questions for silent reflection, an illustrated prayer with the body, heart, and soul, suggestions for sitting with the Divine presence, a way to live your prayer in public during the day, a contemporary psalm, and closing prayer. Clear little illustrations show the posture for each line of the illustrated prayer, which are then explain in more detail in the glossary at the back.
Here is a sampler of the high quality material in this paperback:
• "Today, at a public place, smile and bow your head slightly at a stranger, and inwardly bless the person, 'May God's joy fill your heart.' Or use your own blessing."
• "Be an instrument of light today for someone who is overwhelmed by life's demands. Simply be present with them, like a candle. Just be light. Use words only if necessary."
• "Breathing in, say, 'O God, fill my heart with your love and mercy.'
Breathing out, say, 'O Lord, fill all hearts with your love and mercy.' "
• "Breathe in and out with awareness of God's presence in and around you. Say 'Your love endures forever' on your exhales. Repeat as needed."
• "Listen to a love song and imagine God singing it to you."