In A Prayerful Moment
By Learoy Rodrigues SJ
As a Jesuit Scholastic and having done my Juniorate studies in Mumbai under Fr Learoy Rodrigues SJ as my Dean, I have always encountered Fr Learoy as being an integrated person. This book - In a Prayerful Moment - truly is a reflection of who he is as a person—a man of integration and reflection.
This book has something for everyone, no matter the age. Fr Learoy has beautifully arranged every single prayer theme in this book into various sections. These sections reflect a particular moment of life (e.g. Moments of Assurance, Moments of Struggle, Moments of Grace, etc.) These broad sections are meant to cater to the needs of a wide variety of people who find themselves in a variety of situations in life.
Jesuit formation is a journey like no other. The experiences and memories are immense and deep. I'm glad that Fr Learoy has been able to share with us his journey—how God has related with him in both ordinary and extraordinary events of life. Every person is unique, and God has His way of dealing with each person uniquely. Through the ups and downs of life, we are called to become aware of the Divine presence that is leading us, guiding us, and working in and through us. Fr Learoy has categorised these ups and downs as the moments of our life. Putting these moments together makes up for the journey of life. Fr Learoy has prayerfully taken us through these moments in his book.
One part of the book that really caught my attention was the graces that have been asked for, before reflecting on any particular moment. It's the grace that helped me to relate with everything that comes after, including a scripture passage, and a personal reflection. While I was reading the book and re-living every moment, I could imagine myself going through the various moments of my own life which helped me to reflect on how the Lord has played His mighty and mysterious part in me and in the life of my loved ones who have been a constant support to me, all this especially whilst I decided to take that leap of faith in wanting to be a Jesuit priest. Fr Learoy's personal reflections in this book have helped me become aware of how the Lord is holding my hand, as I tread the path that He has traced for me. Moreover, every personal reflection through the various moments helped me see clearly that bond that I have with Fr Learoy as a fellow Jesuit.
As one scrolls through the pages of this book, a feeling of belonging, a feeling of being secure, a feeling of being loved by a powerful external force will definitely rise up in the depths of one's heart. This may not be a deeply theological or doctrinally heavy book, but it has what's needed to move a person and lead one closer to God. Once again, I am grateful to Fr Learoy for bringing out this lovely book, which has helped me personally to reaffirm my relationship with God.
Joshua D'Souza SJ