+JMJ+ May is the month devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In 2019 I wrote a series, a post for (almost) every day in May. This time around I’ve been doing some spiritual reading, going through my shelf of Marian books and I thought I’d share a longish quote from a book about Marian feasts. I’ll include links to the book at the end of the post.Continue reading “Wisdom from a little book about Marian feasts”
Category: Spiritual Reading
Praying for the Holy Souls, Praying for Despairing Souls
Tonight I watched EWTN Live on Ash Wednesday as Fr. Mitch Pacwa interviewed Susan Tassone, author of many books about the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Her latest book, The Saint Faustina Prayer Book for the Holy Souls, is due to be released in April. Tassone made a study of Saint Faustina’s writings on Purgatory in her Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, and collects them in her book, along with prayers and novenas. I’m looking forward to getting a copy of this.
After watching the show I searched the internet for more about the Holy Souls and stumbled across this article at the Divine Mercy website and I want to share it with you: This is the Sound of a Lost Soul. I will never again hear a train whistle without thinking of this article and of all the despairing souls all over the world, so much in need of our prayers. Lord, have mercy.
Thanks for reading and may your Lenten season be one of deepening holiness, prayer, and interior life. God bless.
A Course in Spiritual Theology
Of all the things I’d hoped to do during Lent, I’ve managed only to prove to myself that I am even weaker than I already knew. But, lucky for you, I have also spent some time listening to an audio course in Spiritual Theology taught by Dr. Brant Pitre. It’s available in DVD, CD or MP3 formats. (I bought the MP3 set so I could download it immediately and have been listening to it on my iPhone in GoodReader.)
One of the earliest purchases I made after becoming attracted to the Catholic Church in the ’90s was Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange’s marvelous two-volume work, The Three Ages of the Interior Life. This was the first Christian work of its kind I had ever seen and I’m so glad I got it then in a clothbound edition. I have read and re-read Volume One, and have read Volume Two through at least once.
Why do I mention Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s book? Because Dr. Pitre uses it in his course! How exciting! For me, it is. (Stop looking at me like that. I know I’m a nerd. And you do, too, if you’ve even glanced at this site before. So there.) And that’s not all. Dr. Pitre uses several others that either I had in print or Kindle format, in my Verbum library or found online in PDF or other downloadable eBook formats for free. And, before you ask, of course I’ll give you links. Kind of me, yes? (Okay, my aforementioned weakness has engendered not quite enough humility in me. Yet.)
Video Introduction to Spiritual Theology Course
Sources used in the course include those in the list below. I’ve listed Kindle and print formats; eBook refers to various formats available mostly through the Internet Archive for free. On the course page there’s a link to a PDF outline of the course (scroll down). I strongly recommend that you download the outline even if only as a guide for your own study. What an amazing amount of teaching and work Dr. Pitre has put together for us! Btw, this is not a complete list. But if you get the free PDFs, Fr. Dubay’s Fire Within, and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange’s books listed (PDFs or Kindle), then I reckon you’ll be fine. I also reckon you already have a good and well-worn Catholic Bible and, of course, a much dog-eared copy of the Catechism. (You do, don’t you?)
- Fr. Thomas Dubay, SM, Fire Within, Kindle, Paper
- Fr. Adolphe Tanqueray, The Spiritual Life, Hardcover, eBook
- Fr. Jordan Aumann, OP, Spiritual Theology, Kindle, Print, eBook
- Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Kindle, Print Set (TAN Books & Publishers), eBook
- Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life, Kindle, Print (now published as The Three Conversions in the Spiritual Life)
- St. John of the Cross, OCD, Collected Works, ICS edition (in one volume), Kindle, Print
- St. Teresa of Avila, OCD, Collected Works, ICS edition, Vol 2, Kindle, Print
- St. Thérèse of Lisieux, OCD, Story of a Soul, ICS edition, Kindle, Print
- St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Kindle, Print Translated by John K Ryan, Print TAN edition, eBook
- St. Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, Kindle, Print, eBook
- St. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Online
- St. Bonaventure, The Soul’s Journey to God (or Journey of the Mind into God), Kindle, Print, PDF
- St. Thomas Aquinas, OP, Summa Theologica (or Theologia), Kindle, PDF, Onlnei, Print (Seriously? Wow. Go for it! All my copies are digital.)
- Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, OCSO, The Soul of the Apostolate, Kindle, Print
- The Holy Bible. I highly recommend the RSV-CE or RSV-SCE*
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church (online free, Kindle or paperback under $10)
*The RSV is available in two different Catholic editions, the RSV-CE (Catholic Edition) and the RSV-SCE (Second Catholic Edition or RSV-2CE, 2nd Catholic Edition, I’ve seen it both ways). I use both because I like the SCE but the CE is available in interlinear format in my Verbum software. Can I read the interlinear Biblical Hebrew or Greek? Heck, no. But I like to explore and learn so I do use it. A little. I hope to learn to use it more as time goes on.
Another form of the RSV for Catholics is the Ignatius Study Bible RSV-SCE, but is only complete through the New Testament as of this writing. You can buy the NT in separate booklets or the whole NT in paperback, hardback or leatherbound. (Several books of the Old Testament are available now in booklet format, but I don’t know when the entire OT study edition will be available.) This is such a great study help because it’s the work of Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch.
Walking Toward Eternity, Daring to Walk the Walk and Encountering Christ in the Bible
Jeff and Emily Cavins have a new Scripture study soon to be released through Ascension Press. You may be familiar with Jeff from the show he produced and hosted for several years on EWTN, Life on the Rock, and from his work with Dr. Scott Hahn on EWTN’s popular series Our Father’s Plan (listen to or download from EWTN, buy from Amazon or from EWTN Religious Catalogue) and the Great Adventure: A Journey Through the Bible.
This new series is intended to be less a study and more an introduction to lectio divina, praying with and meditation on Scripture, and conversation with God, an intimate and life-changing encounter with the living Christ. Hopefully a parish near here will offer this study soon. If not, I may have to get a set of the DVD’s for myself. (See video below or watch on YouTube. See website.)
Daring to Walk the Walk, the first study in the Walking Toward Eternity series, introduces you to seven key virtues and outlines practical steps for living them out in your life.
At the end of each session, you will come to the point of change as you ask the Lord three keys questions:
1. What are you asking of me Lord?
2. What specifically do you want me to do?
Read or listen to more about lectio divina, praying the Scriptures:
- Excellent talks on lectio divina by Dr. Tim Gray on MP3 format.
- Lectio Divina: Stairway to Heaven by Dr. Tim Gray, PDF format.
Fr Barron in Birmingham, the Catholicism Project; Dogma and Preaching by Pope Benedict
A few days ago I heard Fr. Robert Barron speak about his latest project, Catholicism, and the New Evangelization at the Cathedral of St. Paul’s in downtown Birmingham. Fr. Barron autographed my copy of the companion book to the series which has been airing on PBS stations around the country and also on EWTN (view the TV schedule). If you haven’t caught it yet, I highly recommend that you do so, or get a set of discs to watch any time. Or DVR it. I read somewhere on the web that even some libraries are getting copies. People are hungry for the truth and for beauty and Catholicism (both the series and the Faith) provides plenty of both. Continue reading “Fr Barron in Birmingham, the Catholicism Project; Dogma and Preaching by Pope Benedict”
The Doctrine of Truth, humbling words from the Imitation of Christ
I’ve been working on my novel, well, perhaps “working” is a bit misleading. I’ve been thinking about it and gathering ideas and notes, at least. Been reading lots too. Theology, trying to deepen my understanding of how Christianity works, what things mean, how to explain things, how to enter into the Mystery in a deeper way, how to deepen my interior life. And working on some posts for my blogs Some for elsewhere. Everybody else at this other blog seems to have a background in theology and/or philosophy. Then there’s me…Oy. I feel singularly not up to the task of arguing abstruse points of theology and philosophy with anybody. (This is not to say that people who approach the faith differently do so with less devotion. It’s just that my approach to the faith is different, though, of course, I do spend much time studying. But for me, all my studying can take away from the central thing, the heart of the matter. I need to focus even more on the inner side of things. I also need to get back to attending Daily Mass and saying my rosary faithfully. And the daily recitation of the Divine Office. How my interior life has slipped!)
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been reading (and listening to an audio book of) the Imitation of Christ. So I get to chapter 3, The Doctrine of Truth, and what do I read? Continue reading “The Doctrine of Truth, humbling words from the Imitation of Christ”
Divine Mercy in my mailbox
For months I couldn’t order any books. (Ah, the joys of living simply—simply broke, that is.) But now that I’ve got a little money, I treated myself to a few new goodies: some pro-life material (some to read and keep, some to give away) from Priests for Life; a book by Dr. Charles Rice on the natural law; In Conversation with God (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany); two by Bishop Sheen (The World’s First Love and The Priest is Not His Own); some Divine Mercy prayer cards (some to keep, some to give away); and last, but not least, several Divine Mercy books and a DVD (titles below).Continue reading “Divine Mercy in my mailbox”
The Divine Mercy Devotion and the abortion connection
Updated, October 12, 2020: I have to periodically go through the links in this post and be sure they still work or edit them. Doing that again today.
Down at the 40 Days for Life prayer vigil today some of the participants were Catholics. We all had our Rosaries, so we prayed the Rosary and then the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I mentioned to the people there with me that it was significant that we were praying the devotion on St. Faustina’s Feast Day, in light of the abortion connection. Huh? they said. You know, I said, in the diary? I missed it myself until I read about it in Fr. Frank Pavone’s book, Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It, several months ago. (Updated links to the book at the end of this post.)Continue reading “The Divine Mercy Devotion and the abortion connection”
Books on the nightstand
Someone asked me the other day what books I have on my nightstand. Seems like a good topic for a quick post, doesn’t require much thought, just have to remember what’s there. Hmmm…well, I’ve only got about half an hour before I have to leave the coffee shop, so I’ll have to give an abbreviated list. ;) Continue reading “Books on the nightstand”