Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Books for the New Year to Give Me a Spiritual Lift

Photo by Esther

The start of the new year made me review my spiritual life like I am sure many of you were called to do. One place I needed to concentrate on was reading books that would enrich my spiritual life. In the past, I would choose one book and read it prior to daily Mass. But at home, I would read a good mystery novel. I would only give up secular books during Lent. But while I sat there in church, adoring our Lord, I felt Him calling me to read more good books. A big boost to this resolution came from one of my good  friends, blogger Mary of
The Beautiful Gate. She,a very generous soul, send me a collection of books, many of which I had been wanting to read. Some of those books along with others I have in my collection are really helping me to find out exactly where I should focus my attention.

Main priorities:  - Asking God to help me love Him more.
                         - Keeping interior peace
                         - Being more silent and careful with words

The books I am currently reading or have read so far are:

1. The End of the Present world and the Mysteries of the Future Life by Father Charles Arminjon and translated by Susan Conroy. I am actually finishing reading this book which I began I few months ago.

The following is an excerpt from the book on how it will be in heaven for husbands and wives:
Without doubt, in heaven the spouses who have come from earth will themselves be like angels, and will no longer aspire to the delights of the senses. However, they will taste the ever-pure pleasures of the spirit, and, as they were one in flesh during their earthly exile, so in glory they will form one single heart and soul, in the delights of another union that will have no end.

In heave, we shall see and recognize one another, and in heaven, we shall love one another..."

2. Progress in Divine Union by Father Raoul Plus, SJ - Recently finished reading.

The following is an excerpt about the silence of the Blessed Mother.

"The great model of interior silence is the Blessed Virgin. She lived on supernatural realities alone; other things did not count. She kept the divine in her heart; the human remained ath the door and could gain no entrance..."

-or advice to busy people on improving their spiritual life-

"Let us be active, yes, if possible, very active, but calmly, under the eye of God, only for His glory and with sufficient good sense to forbid ourselves whatever might impede our life or union, our prayers, and our spirit of prayer which alone can fructify our activity and zeal."

3. Keep it Simple: The busy Catholic's guide to growing closer to God by Emmanuel de Gibergues (Currently reading).

The following are the 4 Principal Signs of the Virtue of Simplicity

-1. Indifference to our own success. (We need to see the purity of our intentions)
-2. Joy in the success of other s or in their spiritual progress (we should rejoice because God has been glorified).
-3. Attachment to the Will of God (Be prepared to sacrifice my personal tastes, to give myself up to whatever obedience exacts from me.)
-4. To desire nor covet the praise and approbation of men for the good that I do and to retain my calm and interior peace if I receive only reproaches and blame.

4. The Soul of a Lion: Dietrich von Hildebrand by Alice von Hildebrand

This book is an in depth biography by someone who knew him intimately, his wife who is amazing in her own right.  She shares with the reader the amazing life of this Catholic convert philosopher who was considered a big enemy of the Nazis. He was the only son in a loving family of talented people. His entire family were much involved and surrounded themselves with good art and music. They were friends were famous composers like Wagner and Strauss. I am just up to the part when Dietrich is a young man but already he is a very moral young man.

One description of his personality really made an impression on me. He was even-tempered. Nothing upset his cool. It is a good quality to imitate.

Well, there are my book selections so far. I also need to finish the Secret Diary of Elizabeth Leseuer. I took a break from it because I lent it to my friend.  I find her diary to be filled with virtues that would benefit all of us in our quest to being closer to God.

1 comment:

Therese said...

Simplicity is my word for the year Esther. I am going to write those signs in my prayer journal.