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I first bought Ponder last summer, but got side tracked in my attempts to finish it- I think I made it to day 3 of 28. Ponder is a 28 day journal and scriptural workbook focused on the mysteries of the rosary. Each set of mysteries is a week, so the format of the study is day one of each week is a memory verse, the next five days are reflections on each of the scriptures for the mystery of the day, and the seventh day is labeled Selah and given as a day to rest, reflect and catch up.
On the reflection days, you use the practice of Lectio Divina to contemplate the scriptures and there are writing prompts to help you focus your thoughts and prayer time. Then there is a short reflection written by a woman who connects her life to the mystery. After that you finish with a few more writing prompts, a suggestion for how to put the scriptures you have just studied into action, and a chance to color and pray the rosary.
I loved that on the Selah days there was a rosary bouquet to color. I learned a lot about flowers, and I did find the practice of coloring to be prayerful and meditative. I also got to use the awesome new crayons I had gotten for Christmas. On the rosary days I just prayed the mystery for that day, because I was often in a time crunch with a baby who wakes up at the crack of dawn and my own need to get ready for work.
I also appreciated that this made the rosary manageable for me. I’ve always struggled a bit with the rosary, and this book made me feel like saying it every day was doable and also more like scripture study than a rote recitation of a prayer. (Although at some point I want to do a post about why rote prayer matters, because I really think it does.). This book is very pretty too- I was happy that the authors took the time to make it visually appealing instead of academic.
While the rosary is very much a Catholic devotion, I do think that my non-Catholic readers would love the Bible study portion of the book, and the reflections, while they do have a Catholic bent, really speak to the realities of being people of faith in a very broken world.
Popcorn Rating: 3. The book breaks the study into very easy daily prayer sessions, but contemplating the scriptures can be difficult at times.
Stars: 4. This really helped me grown my love of the rosary.