Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Woes of Spiritual Reading

I used to be good at reading.  Well, I mean, I'm still good at reading, I just don't get to it very often anymore.  Thinking back, back before things like facebook and blogger, I did read quite a bit.  Even now, if you give me a good novel, I'll probably get lost in it and finish it in a day or two.

Spiritual reading, however, like the kind St. Ignatius recommends you do EVERY day...well that just seems to be really hard for me to do.

I'm almost finished reading Matthew Kelly's book "Rediscover Catholicism".  I didn't expect to like it at all but it is wonderful.  He has a chapter dedicated to spiritual reading and the importance of it.  In fact, that book is what helped inspire me to set a spiritual reading goal for the year.  If I'm to stay on track, I have to finish the book by Thursday.  I have one chapter left, so I think I might be able to do it.  Maybe.  Hopefully.  The next two days are pretty busy.

Anyhow, all this talking about spiritual reading got me thinking about books that I have read in the past that have had a big impact on me.  I figured they had a big impact on me if I could remember the title after all this time.  Here, in no particular order, are the books that popped into my head (and, truly had a big impact on my life...like changed it for the better in some way):

1.  In Conversation With God by Francis Fernandez. This isn't just one book, but seven.  These were books I read early on that really imparted a lot of wisdom to me.  They are books filled with daily meditations on the readings of the day inspired by St. Jose Maria Escriva.  You want daily inspiration?  Get these.

2.  Abandonment to Divine Providence by Reverend Jean-Pierre De Caussade S.J.  Short book...huge impact.  This should be on everyone's spiritual reading list.  It really got me on the "letting go, letting God" path.

3.  Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly.  And not just because I'm still reading it and therefore can remember it.  It really is full of good, spiritual stuff.  I might have already known about most of it, but it was SO good to read it again.

4. I'm going to mention this book because it really changed the way I viewed and lived my vocation as a wife.  However, because it is written by the Pearl's, it has gotten a lot of criticism.  "Created to be His Helpmeet" was a pivotal book in our marriage.  There really, really needs to be a book about this written from a truly Catholic perspective.  The topic is just that important.  Maybe someday I'll get around to giving that a try...

5.  I remember reading "Story of a Soul" by St. Therese and absolutely being amazed by her and her Little Way.  A number of years later I read "I Believe in Love, A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese" by
Jean C. J. d'Elbée and was even more moved by her Little Way.  Reading both of these really helped me to understand and live out her philosophy in a much more profound way.

So there you have it.  Five books that I have remembered for more than one hour.  If you're looking for something to deepen your faith, I highly recommend any one of these books.  Then, see if you can do better than I can at hitting the 15-30 minutes per day mark that St. Ignatius and other spiritual powerhouses recommend.

God Bless!
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