13 Book Review

posted Dec 5, 2018, 9:04 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 5, 2018, 9:05 AM ]

Being Alone with the Alone: Experiencing the Joy of Prayer

Author: Alex Rebello
Publisher: Claretian Publications, Bangalore
Pages: 200 MRP: 150.00
ISBN: 978-81-89851-25-5

Available at Claretian Publications, Bangalore and in Mumbai at St Pauls India, Pauline Book and Media Centres.

How is it possible to be ‘Alone’ with the ‘Alone’? Trying to understand this paradox is very much like attempting to make sense of the Buddhist ‘Koan.’ One can only ‘experience its truth from within. So at the very outset, even as the title of the book stares us in the face, we sense that this book on prayer written by Msgr Alex which he calls an ‘opusculum’, is tantalising, inasmuch as it turns out to be a ‘minor work’ but of “major importance". It has fewer chapters than any of his previous works. It is not a treatise on prayer, but rather has the characteristics of an icon. Icons are invariably “anonymous”. The identity of the artist is merged into the experience, giving it an “integrity” which, in its deepest sense, suggests that the author is inviting us to share in the consolations he himself has received from God. Having journeyed 50 years in the priestly ministry, he offers here the “distilled essence” of what he has received in the Burning Bush of Contemplative Prayer. It is an overflowing of his prayer becoming the source of everything he is and everything he does.

Human beings are characterised by their ability to be ‘self-conscious’. This means that we are able to ‘unhook’ ourselves from our experiences, and look at them in a wider context.