US Catholic Faith in Real Life

USC Book Club: Psalm-Shaped Prayerfulness

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August 2012:

Psalm-Shaped Prayerfulness: A Guide to the Christian Reception of the Psalms

By Margaret Daly-Denton


Beginning with Jesus himself, the psalms have been a source for Christian prayer through the centuries. Margaret Daly-Denton sheds new light on this ancient Hebrew poetry, first on the psalter as a whole and then on individual songs of praise, wisdom, even grief. “Perhaps the most endearing feature of the psalms is their honesty,” Daly-Denton writes. “The psalmists had no hesitation in expressing their feelings to God, about ‘letting it all hang out.’ ”

Along with her own scholarship, Daly-Denton offers readers a guided path to explore the psalms on their own, to discover not only the people of faith who composed them but a source of insight and prayer for today’s believers.

Bryan Cones, Managing Editor,  U.S. CATHOLIC

Psalm-Shaped PrayerfulnessLiturgical Press says: Margaret Daly-Denton guides readers through the centuries-long process of reinterpretation that is ongoing as psalms sung in worship shape the everyday prayerfulness of Christians.

Paperback: $24.95
eBook: $19.99

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General Book Club guidelines

Discussion Questions from Liturgical Press:

1. What are my first impressions of the psalms? Are they comforting? Overwhelming? Frustrating? Joyful?

2. In what ways do I limit God? How do the Psalms break these limitations?

3. What psalms am I most familiar with? What is the story behind this familiarity?

4. What imagery am I most drawn to in the psalms? Why? What imagery do I find troubling? Why? Are there times when the “troubling” imagery could be comforting or useful in my prayer life?

5. How does the gospels’ portrayal of Jesus’ use of the psalms influence my thoughts on the psalms?