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Julie Storr reviews a new collection of prayers by Saint Augustine, compiled by Sarah Park McLaughlin.

I love holy cards. If you could see my stash, you would see how much. However, about a year ago, my preference in holy cards changed. Printed on the back of many cards, you will find a prayer to that saint—which is good. It’s never a bad thing to ask a saint for their intercession.  

What changed for me, though, was that I didn’t want to just pray TO a saint, I wanted to pray LIKE a saint. I wanted to pray what they prayed.  

It is estimated that one of the greatest teachers in the Church, Saint Augustine, wrote the equivalent of writing a 300-page printed book every year for almost 40 years. Embedded in his writings are some of the most magnificent prayers one could pray. That’s what the book Praying with Saint Augustine brings us. 




In the preface, Dr. Peter Kraft notes that it is worth learning Latin just to read Saint Augustine. My thanks to author, Sara Park McLaughlin, for compiling this book since learning that much Latin did not make it to the top 10 of my to-do list. 

As I read through and prayed the prayers of Saint Augustine, I found that I learned a lot about him and I learned about myself as well. 

In his prayers of praise, Saint Augustine writes,

O Lord, my King and my God, for your service be useful whatever thing I used as a boy—for Your service what I speak, and write, and count.  


Saint Augustine knew the Giver. He knew that everything he had was a gift, but the things we take for granted, even what seems so small and yet so important, to speak, write, and count were given to us to be given in return. 

When forgiveness is the apology you will never get, Saint Augustine writes,

Lord, you know that I have not sinned against my brother, but rather he has sinned against me. And you know that he has harmed himself because he sinned against me, and because if I should come to him, he would not seek forgiveness from me. With good intention, I ask that you forgive him.


The shortest prayer recorded by the saint should be on our lips right along with the Jesus prayer:

God, always the same, let me know myself, let me know you! The prayer is made.


Many of these prayers can be read and prayed just one paragraph at a time, they are so rich. 

I couldn’t decide if this book should have been printed as a beautiful prayer book or as a journal, but I love it just as it is. There is plenty of room to highlight or to make notes, but I would recommend a journal as this gift of these words, the prayers of Saint Augustine, will bring you to His feet every time. 

Ask for Praying with Saint Augustine at your local Catholic bookseller, or order online from Amazon.com or the publisher, Sophia Institute Press.



Copyright 2024 Julie Storr
Images: Canva