"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Praying and Fasting With William Mills


The prolific Orthodox priest William Mills has recently published a number of books in pastoral theology and scriptural commentary. The two noted above are marked by a lucid clarity of style and cogency of expression.

The book on the Our Father is a short attempt to introduce or re-introduce this most basic of prayers to those who, having perhaps recited it by rote for too long, discover a desire to enter more deeply into the meaning of its various phrases, which Mills winsomely compares to the patches that make up an Amish quilt. (The author used to live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Amish capital of the world.)

The book on the feasts would surely come in handy in every priest’s library. Generously quoting from the various liturgical texts of the twelve great feasts of the year (according to Byzantine usage), the author comments on the feast and highlights key aspects that speak to our own life today. These commentaries would surely be useful in homiletic preparation or simply as material for further personal spiritual reflection. He concludes with three useful appendices, the first offering guidelines on how to observe liturgical feasts at home in families; the second containing the scripture readings (for Matins, Vespers, and Divine Liturgy) of each feast; and the third excerpting various patristic commentaries on the feasts.

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