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15 January 2007
  Meditations on Divine Mercy

Originally posted at Necessary Roughness. Comments will be handled there.

Meditations on Divine Mercy is a translation of Exercitium pietatis by Johann Gerhard. It has been translated into English by Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, executive director of LCMS World Relief.

Meditations is a small package — about 4" x 7", 144 pages — with vivid theological imagery in its 45 prayers. Usually emotion is a flag that one has wandered off theologically, but Gerhard shows that one can be quite emotional while remaining firmly in the Word. It is easily read, thanks to the translator.

The author recommends that the reader/meditator take a prayer out of each of the book's four sections for one daily meditation:
  1. Contemplating sins and forgiveness,
  2. Thanking God for his blessings,
  3. Praying to increase our spiritual gifts, and
  4. Praying for the temporal and spiritual needs of our neighbor.
Each small prayer is 2-3 pages, so one's meditation may run about 10-15 minutes. There are more than enough combinations to have a different prayer every day. :)

Gerhard's work is applicable in the recent blog discussions about sanctification and good deeds, especially in the prayers for the mortification of the old man and the disdain of earthly things: We ask for help so that sin does not rule us. If we live according to the flesh, we will die (Romans 8:13). The things of this world do not satisfy the soul. They do not give in return the love we give them. Where our treasure is, there our heart is also (Matthew 6:21).

I'll let a couple of people borrow this book, but they will have to give it back. I do recommend this for everyone. :)

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