A Doorway to Silence: A Contemplative Use of the Rosary by Robert Llewelyn
(Paulist Press, 1986, 96 pages)
This was a very quick read. Rosary beads, and the prayers that they facilitate, are a staple of Roman Catholic spirituality. However, Robert Llewelyn, an Anglican priest, takes an ecumenical approach to the use of the rosary. In fact, his book is basically about the nature and practice of contemplative prayer in a general sense, with some pointers about how the rosary can be an aid to its practice. The structure of the book is informal and meandering. Each page is headed by a theme related to prayer and contains a short essay or a few collected quotations from other spiritual writers. Llewelyn includes some alternative prayers to those that traditionally accompany the rosary.
This is clearly a book written by someone who spent a lifetime practicing prayer and other spiritual disciplines. Llewelyn’s spiritual directives are straightforward, simple, and realistic. This gives an air of practicality to a subject that might otherwise be considered anything but practical. Principles from Jungian psychology and Zen Buddhism are also discussed, serving to show how Christian spirituality interacts with and learns from other religions and systems of thought. Those who are interested in the spiritual practices of various religions should find this book of some help.