YOUR WORD IS NEAR by Huub Oesterhuis


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Prayers in the modern idiom seem to be ""in,"" if one is to judge by the proliferation of collections such as Are You Running With Mc. Jesus? As may be expected, most such collections are primarily imitative and artificial, while only a very few are readable examples of poetically inspiring prose capable of lifting anything more than the reader's blood pressure. This work embodies some of the characteristics of both species. A few of the prayers are genuinely successful efforts to translate traditional spiritual sentiment and aspiration into modern symbols--for example, Oosterbuis' rendition of the ""Magnificat."" Others, however, are maladroitly phrased renditions, as allegorical and formalistic as anything produced in the palmy days of spiritual Romanticism: ""Speak to the world, then, your word, give to good and to bad men your sun, for ever and ever""; or, ""a world sighing and groaning for redemption."" One may ask whether one's contemporaries really think of God and of the world in those terms. If so, there is hardly a need for an aggiornamento of prayers; the bad old ones will do very nicely.

Pub Date: May 4th, 1968
Publisher: Newman