Praying Your Story: Making Sense of Your Life through Fables, Prayers and the Company of Saints
. Forest of Peace Publishing . Leavenworth, KS
BV4832.3.C57 2002 (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This fine book picks up where Prayers and Fables: Meditating on Aesop's Wisdom (1998) left off. Each of forty chapters again uses a fable, a moral, and a prayer effectively. The playful, clever illustrations, again by Maureen Noonan, continue to add their own contribution to the reflective fun here. New elements make this book even stronger than the first. Instead of the psalm, which I found extraneous in the first book, we have a prayer to and a short account of a saint. The effort is an excellent one, I think, for suggesting the human impact of the fable. Sometimes the match of individual saint, prayer, and fable may be difficult, but the frequent creative matches makes the overall effort more than worthwhile. A second addition is a set of several questions on each psalm. Questions belong with fables; the questions here do their task of raising possibilities for reflective readers. This is a fable book I will take along to enjoy and to comb as I leave my collection behind. Here is what I wrote for the publisher's blurb on the book: What a refreshing use of fables! Cleary's fables are for today's adults, as each fable's reflective prayers to God and to a saint make clear. Praying Your Story includes good questions for consideration and reflection, but I found myself already asking good questions as I read the fables and entered into the prayers. As a lover of fables, I am delighted at Cleary's pointed telling of the stories. As a person who tries to pray, I am delighted to find prayers that are prayable. In fact, the prayers are surprising in their transparent humanity.