These meditations on the Gospel of Mark, with the exception of the second part on the Passion, were given by Adrienne von Speyr between 1945 and 1958 to members of the Community of St. John, which she founded with the renowned theologian, Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar. Adrienne is speaking to young adults who have decided to live the state of the evangelical counsels in a secular profession, as part of a recently established secular institute. Nevertheless this contemplative commentary can be very useful for all who seek to meditate on Holy Scripture.
As always, Adrienne here draws from the abundance of her own contemplation which keeps continually in view the harmonious unity of Christian dogmatic truth; she gives to others what has been offered to her in contemplation, without exegetical notes or any attempt at scholarship. Since she is speaking to novices, the train of thought is simple and practical, yet rich in depth.
The points for meditation are not primarily for spiritual reading, but an introduction to personal prayer. They are meant only to point out a path, because it is the Holy Spirit who directs contemplative prayer in all liberty. As one reads through this book, he will find in it a kind of synthesis of Adrienne von Speyr's spirituality.
This work will also be very useful to preachers, catechists, pastors, communities and institutes who have understood with Pope Benedict XVI that "It is time to reaffirm the importance of prayer in the face of the activism and the growing secularism of many Christians engaged in charitable work."
Adrienne von Speyr (1902-1967) was a Swiss medical doctor, convert to Catholicism, a mystic, wife and author of over 60 books on spirituality and theology. She collaborated closely with the renowned theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar, her confessor for 27 years, and they co-founded the Community of Saint John. Her numerous writings, published by Ignatius Press, are recognized by leading theologians and writers as a major contribution to the mystical and spiritual writings of the Church. Among her most important works are Book of All Saints, Confession, The World of Prayer, Handmaid of the Lord, and The Passion from Within.
"These concrete and profound meditations have the potential to open the reader's ears to hear the living voice of God's Word resounding in the pages of Mark's Gospel. Adrienne von Speyr does not offer information, or scholarly commentary, but help in prayerfully receiving the presence of Christ himself. In Adrienne's hands, Scripture becomes a school of prayer: she leads us to Mark, Mark leads us to Christ, and Christ leads us to the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit."
- Adrian Walker, Associate Editor, Communio: International Catholic Review