Monday, May 21, 2007

Review: The Rosary is Alive

The Rosary is Alive by Vincent J. Baratta, M.D., AAFP
2000, The-Rosary-is-Alive, 60 pages, softcover
ISBN: 0971631549
Also available in Large Print and Spanish Large Print editions.

The premise of this simple volume revolves around the Rosary and only around the Rosary. Designed to be used during prayer, it provides for a very directed praying experience. Introductory pages explain how to use the book and how to pray the Rosary, and final pages offer references and extras such the story of the Rosary. Each double page displays one mystery, with written reflections and five illustrations. I found it interesting to find a clever mirror image sketch of Swiss painter Antonio Ciseri's famous Ecce Homo painting among the Sorrowful mysteries! Two or three oval pictures of Rosary beads are displayed under each illustration, with the letters OF for Our Father or HM for Hail Mary.

The Rosary is Alive may be very helpful for little hands learning to focus on the prayer and reflection of the Rosary mysteries. When praying the Rosary as a family, I noticed that our 6th grader enjoyed following along with this book.

Caveats: the illustrations are of vital important to this volume, since they make up the bulk of its content. Although obviously done by a talented artist, the lack of detail in the illustrations is many times distracting. Also, one wishes one neutral font would have been used throughout the book.

Companion volume:
A Study Book for Catechists and Religion Educators by Dr. Vincent J. Baratta
2005, The-Rosary-is-Alive, 69 pages, softcover
ISBN: 0971631557

As the subtitle on the cover states, the Rosary can be used to teach the Catholic Faith. This companion book to the Rosary is Alive Illustrated Book follows a simple question-and-answer format, covering each mystery of the Rosary in order. Beginning consistently with a question on the application of the study of each mystery to our daily living, each of the 20 mysteries offers 2 or 3 pages of questions and answers revolving around just about any subject related to the Catholic faith one can think of. A helpful three-page index is added at the end.

I believe this book could be used in the Catholic homeschool as a spine for a Unit Study on the Rosary. The questions cover a wide gamut of subjects related to the Rosary and will certainly yield good discussion and learning.

Reviewed by Ana Braga-Henebry, M. A.

Available from The-Rosary-is-Alive

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