Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Following Egeria (Ancient Faith Press)

When I first received the book Following Egeria, I wasn't sure what to make of it honestly. I thought to myself, "What kind of spiritual discipline is this Egeria?" I trusted the publisher (Ancient Faith Publishing) and am a fan of the author (Lawrence Farley), so I decided to give the book a chance. Looking at the back of the book, showed how foolish I was to WHO, not what Egeria was. Egeria was a nun from the 4th Century. While she was alive, she made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and kept a diary of her time there. Fr. Lawrence Farley decided to follow in some of her footsteps and recorded his travels in this book.

The places visited by Fr. Farley include Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Judea, Bethany, and Galilee to name a few. Each chapter begins with a quote from Egeria on what she saw when she was there. Fr. Farley then offers his personal reflections on the location, provides Scriptural descriptions of what occurred there, and historical changes that occurred through the centuries. The most interesting chapter for me was "Recovering the Via Dolorosa." In this chapter, Fr. Farley attempts to find the true path that Jesus would have walked from His condemnation by Pilate to His Crucifixion. In this chapter, he debunks the widely accepted Via Dolorosa by telling us stop by stop which churches are wrong n their claims of what happened. For example, the Ecce Homo Basilica is not where the Roman soldiers played dice for Jesus' belongings.

I have read several books on Holy Land pilgrimages in the past year, and I will probably continue to read them until I make it there myself. The concept for this book was unique in that Fr. Farley tried to follow in some of the steps of Egeria. However, I would have preferred if the book was presented in the same order as Egeria's travels. I also think this book could have been better if it came with some pictures that Fr. Farley took. This would have the book more living and breathing. Overall, I'd give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was interesting, but it could have been much more. I would recommend it, but I would recommend reading Egeria's diary as well, either online for free or purchasing from Amazon.

This book was provided to me for free by Ancient Faith Publishing in exchange for an honest review. If you found this review helpful, please click here and hit Yes!