Behold the Beauty of the Lord, Praying with icons, by Henri J.M.Nouwen

Published by Ave Maria Press, Notre Dame, IN.

The writings of Father Nouwen are treasuries for the modern Catholic that seeks to develop and maintain a deeper prayer relationship within the vast life of Catholicism. In one of his last books, Fr.Nouwen develops and probes into the developing relationship of prayer that is associated with four icons, that depict various religious subjects. He leads the reader to prayerfully rediscover the iconography of the Easter Church that has traditionally been overlooked by Western Catholics. In his very spiritual descriptions, the author expounds on many aspects of Catholic salvation history and how such a redaction of that history is quietly, yet loudly proclaimed in sacred art, especially Icons.

Icons that depict The Holy Trinity by Andrew Rublev (1425),The Icon of the Virgin of Vladimir , (anonymous  Greek  artist  circa 1395),The Icon of the Savior of Zvenigorod by Andrew Rublev (circa 1440), and the Icon of the Descent of the Holy Spirit, ( anonymous Russian artist, circa 1450) are beautifully included in the body of this prayerful work  so the reader might spiritually develop an understanding of the points made by Father Nouwen.

As always the writings of Father Nouwen, inspire all readers to embrace the call of spirituality that pervades our human nature. For us believers, especially in the West, the book presents a great collection of insights on the powerful spirituality that icons present as implements towards spiritual growth and development. This book is a must have for anyone that wants to develop a desire to do some spiritual reading in the midst of a hectic secular society.

Hugh McNichol is a Catholic author that writes on subjects that effect modern Catholics. He may be contacted at . He writes a series of blogs that deal with Catholic issues, http://

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