Book Review and Giveaway: Win a copy of The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home

Book Review and Giveaway: Win a copy of The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home


Update: We have a winner! Congratulations to Maureen Hallagan. You should receive your book soon and I hope you enjoy it. If you didn't win and you'd like your own copy, feel free to click on the image of the book cover. Melanie and I will get a little bit of credit from Amazon, which we promise to spend on more books for our family. Thanks!

Recently on my radio program, The Good Catholic Life, Michael Lavigne and I interviewed Leila Lawler and David Clayton, authors of the new book “The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home”. As you might expect, if you’ve read Leila’s blog, it’s an immensely practical book full of common sense advice, and if you’ve read David’s blog, you’ll know it has a deep connection to the understanding of art and beauty as essential to the Christian life.

The central idea in the book is that in order to live an authentic Christian life we need to live our Catholic faith beyond the walls of the church on Sunday and bring it into our home. But what form should that take? Leila and David walk us through the Why of praying in the home, but also the What and the How. While the title says it’s for beginners, even those of us who’ve been struggling to live the Christian life in this way for many years will find nuggets to interest us.

The heart of their idea is that we need to ensure that there’s a corner of our home that becomes a prayer sanctuary, a center from which all else flows. It could be a shelf or a table. It could be simply decorated with holy cards or elaborately with icons. It could take many forms. As I said, the book is very practical and so it provides suggested designs for the shelf, perhaps even something to build–perfect for Father’s Day!–and suggestions for what to put on it. David even included prints of some of his original icons in the back of the book that you could tear out and frame and use.

Beyond the prayer shelf, there’s helpful tips for how the way we organize and decorate the rooms of our house lead to a deeper spirituality. There’s suggested content for the prayers themselves, a variety of devotions to fit your particular style and the ages and capacities of your children. Singles aren’t left out either, with advice for how they can make their home a domestic church too.

It was a great interview and a great book and it’s highly recommended. And due to the generosity of Sophia Institute Press, I have a copy that we can give away. Enter your name and a valid email address in the form below (so we can contact you if you win). We’ll draw a winner on Tuesday, June 10, and if the winner responds quickly, we can get the book in the mail in time to receive it for Father’s Day.