A few years ago, I heard Fr. Robert Barron suggest that we use the questions Jesus asked as a guide for our own reflection. I was intrigued by his advice, seeing it as a fresh and stimulating approach to prayer. Now we have the book, Twenty-Five Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels: Letting Jesus Lead You through the Stages of Spiritual Growth (Ave Maria Press, 2016), to use as a practical guide for this kind of meditation.
It’s author, Allan F. Wright, is an accomplished writer and internationally-known speaker who has written books on evangelization, biblical stories, and as meditation guides for young people and married couples. He is the Academic Dean of St. Paul within the Walls, which is the Catholic Center for Evangelization in the Diocese of Patterson, New Jersey.
Twenty-Five Questions from the Gospels is an aid to prayer, but it goes a step beyond the typical daily mediation. Each of the twenty-five chapters is a quick read and, as expected, takes up a question posed by Jesus. The author includes historical background information and anecdotes to help readers appreciate the context and deeper meaning. The reflections are thought-provoking and reach to the heart-level. Each chapter closes with a prayer, quote, and several questions for meditation. While one could read through the text quickly, you’ll want to stop and ponder the content.
It is well-written and presented in straightforward, easy-to-read language. The simplicity is deceiving, as greater depth and meaning lie within the story. I found the material more engaging than the usual book of daily reflections. I also like how the format doesn’t force the reader into a fixed schedule but instead acts as a guide to a spiritual journey. It can be used for meditation during one’s daily devotional time, for dialogue in small groups, and even as a guide for a personal retreat.
Twenty-Five Life-Changing Questions from the Gospels is suitable for both beginners and intermediates seeking to go deeper. Even “advanced” disciples will be challenged by Jesus’ questions. I highly recommend this book as an aid for reflection and spiritual growth.
Click here to listen to an interview with the author: