Friday, May 08, 2009

Book Review: Blessed Be God

Why am I reviewing a book from 1925? Because more people need to know about it. Blessed Be God is a layman's devotional book. It calls itself "A Complete Catholic Prayerbook". No lies there. It contains, as the first page says :

Regular and Special Prayers
Popular Devotions
Favorite Novenas

Meditations and Reading from
The Holy Bible and
The Imitation of Christ

Epistles and Gospels for Sundays
and Holydays

It has lots of all those things. The Epistles and Gospels are for the traditional liturgy, by the way. Also present is the Ordinary of the Mass. But honestly I wouldn't trade this in for your regular Sunday Missal unless carrying more than one book to Mass is too much. Using this as a hand missal is not nearly as pleasant as using my Baronius Daily Missal 1962, and it is missing the Secret, Communion, and Postcommunion Prayers of the Mass. But it is useable.

This book is an exact reprint. The current publisher, which I believe is PCP (or Loreto?), didn't even put their stamp on it. Blessed Be God is a timewarp back to 1925. The moveable table of feasts only goes until 1967. So, all of the indulgences and laws of the Church mentioned are historic and not necessarily still in force. However following the older laws voluntarily will probably bring you a greater merit, in my opinion. (Something to think about eh?)

The text is very crisp for a photographic reprint. All text is black, which can be difficult to follow during Mass. One thing I have to say for the book junkies out there is that this volume will not lay flat open. (unless you really work on it...)

Let's get to the guts. Here's a page from the table of contents:

It does not contain every novena and every devotion. I think it is peculiar that such a complete book would be missing many popular devotions to the Saints. Oh there are some, but not too many. The real strength in this prayerbook, besides its overall depth, are the meditations.

Taken from the Bible, the meditations are perfect for retreats, preparation before Mass (or thanksgiving after), to be used in front of the Blessed Sacrament, or any other quiet moment. Here is an example of how it treats the meditations:

This volume is hardcover and is identical in size a single volume of the Liturgy of the Hours. Made to last, durable, one red ribbon, 754 pages, and even a meditation on "How to Avoid Hell" which is good for everyone!

So it has some flaws, but overall this book is a treasure for all things Catholic. You can get it from several places:

Preserving Christian Publications (with many more details on the page)
AC Books
Aquinas and More


marco said...

I have an original and I found a usable and time machine to better times a jewel of a book for Catholics pre Vatican II

Best Stock Pick said...

Matt, ran across your blog and really enjoying it so far. Keep up the good work!

I am looking for a good prayer book, but I am torn between "Blessed Be God" you reviewed here and "My Prayer Book - Happiness in Goodness" by Father Francis X. Lasance.

Both are considered classics, but I am curious about the meditations within "Blessed Be God". Are they all just snippets of scripture with no commentary as seen in your picture above? I cannot find an excerpt from any of the publishers to find out.

Google books has "My Prayer-Book" and the meditations are fantastic. A line or two from scripture with commentary upon that theme on how to relate it to your life. Like a Catholic version of "My Utmost for His Highest".

Can you elaborate more on the meditations found in "Blessed Be God"?

"The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice." - G.K. Chesterton