Celebration of God's Abundance
40 Prayer Services on the Immensity of God's Gifts
By Sister Annie Ponmani FSP
PAULINE PUBLICATIONS, 143 Waterfield Road, Bandra West, Mumbai 400052.www.paulineindia.org; ISBN 978-93-93782-16-8 / Pp 176 / INR 220.00
A book of simple Prayer Services built around reflections that in turn make for a prayerful encounter with our mighty God – a god who loves and cares for His human creation to the hilt!
Written by a Daughters of Saint Paul nun whose congregation was said to have been born of the Word and of the Eucharist, Celebration of God's Abundance is purely Scripture-based. Revolving around the generosity of our Maker, which is best evident in several of Jesus' parables, miracles and utterances, each prayer service highlights a specific Christian virtue on which hinges the genuineness of Christian living.
In Sister Annie Ponmani's own words: "In the Gospels, I find three types of Abundance. Based on that, I have divided the book into three parts: The Lord who gives in abundance, the Lord who asks for an abundance, and the Lord who delights in an abundant response" (p 10). Accordingly, making it easier to choose the kind of 'abundance' one might want to reflect or dwell on, the contents of Part I: Our God Who Gives Much…In Fact – ALL[pp 11-94] bring you a surfeit of reasons for gratitude for God's multiplicative love, the value of forgiveness, the beauty of renunciation, as well as health, wealth of talent and so much else!
Part II: Our God Who Asks…Not For Much, But…[pp 95-134] takes the reader through a gamut of themes in relation to Christian witness – Christian Mission, Christian discipleship, Christian love, wisdom, discernment…Part III: Our God Who Accepts and Praises the abundant Response[pp 135-176] touches on Mary's Fiat and the Magi's sojourn, the abundance of hospitality, trust and generosity in times of poverty, gratitude for life's treasures, and the like
All in all, what Celebration of God's Abundance makes the participant in these services aware of is the loving kindness of a God whose sheer abundance is too immense to be measured! Indeed, right from the word go, the choice of Gospel passages, theme-related hymns, apt reflections and short, pithy prayers make the book highly desirable, not merely for the ready-to-use prayer services in hand, but also a very helpful guide for personal meditation. A bonus feature: the book can safely serve as an effective guide to theme-based Retreats, especially of a personal/private nature.
It may help to know that the compositions in Celebration of God's Abundance are all backed by the fact that the author is actively involved with a group of lay people called the Association of Lay Pauline Cooperators. But naturally, each prayer service has a touch of realism to it, given that she brings to bear on the contents the firsthand exposure she has to the reality of life lived both in the religious sphere and in the lay domain.
LADISLAUS LOUIS D'SOUZA