When a book arrived in my mailbox about the Angelus prayer, I had to agree with my wife Laura when she said, “Really an entire book on the Angelus?” Little did I realize how quickly I would take those words back. Indeed, the Angelus prayer is short but it’s richness is hidden behind its simplicity. Jared Dees gives the Angelus prayer the attention it deserves in his book Praying the Angelus: Find Joy, Peace, and Purpose in Everyday Life.
“Praying the Angelus has become for me a richly transformative devotion, the cornerstone habit upon which my entire personal prayer life is built.” This is Jared’s own personal testimony, and it’s the reason this prayer is so very important. Many people find great benefit from the use of this ancient prayer. The prayer, anchored by the recitation of three Hail Mary’s, focuses our minds and hearts on the great mystery of the Incarnation. An event that spelled the beginning of a renewed mankind culminated with the birth of Jesus Christ.
In 140 pages, Jared delivers a book that brushes the dust off this often-forgotten prayer and shines a new light on it and its significance. He also explains the reasons why we should be praying it. “In my opinion, there is no better devotion to practice than the Angelus, a devotion that is intimately ingrained in our daily lives and thus has the power to transform us day to day.” He continues by using his experience of discovering the prayer and weaving it into his daily life to show readers an example of one who has benefited greatly from this devotion.
In brief, the prayer is recited three times daily – dawn (six o’clock in the morning), midday (noon), and dusk (six o’clock in the evening). The faithful devoted to this prayer stop and recite the Angelus either by themselves or as groups at these designated times. During the fifty days of Easter, the prayer is replaced with the Regina Caeli; a prayer focused on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The key to success to discipline. Whatever reminder you set at those times will be your signal, but you must put life on hold for a few minutes to follow through. In today’s world that may be difficult however the spiritual fruits you will yield are well worth the time spent in the vineyard.
Jared Dees has written a book that could very well be the catalyst readers need to establish a solid life of prayer. In addition to explaining how and why to pray the prayer, he has also included a wonderful meditation section in the book that breaks down each line of the Angelus and allows one to go even deeper into this ancient prayer. Do yourself a favor. Integrate this simple yet beautiful devotion into your prayer life. Jared has given us the how, why, what, when and where….now we need to do.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.