Volume #1: Advent and Christmastide
By: Francis Fernandez
7 Volume Set
Sometimes when I start to read a book, I know it will be so good I do not mark in it the first time I read it through. This series falls into that category. However, this being my second time through these books, I am now underlining, making notes in the margins and reading much deeper than my first time through last year. As such, I will just state that these are awesome devotional books and deserve the time and attention of a 6 or 7 page devotion each day. They will help you grow closer to Christ, and through that, to the other people in your life.
This volume spans the time from the first Sunday of Advent till either January 12th or the Second Sunday after the Ephiphany. Thus this book has 51 devotions for this joyous Church Season. If you cannot afford the whole set, start with this volume or the Lent and Eastertide volume, then add the others over time. It is usually cheaper to buy the boxed set but sometimes that amount of money is not available up front.
Rather than going on and on in my own words, I will share a few of the quotes I underlined this year and copied into my journal. They will give you a sampling of the quality and diversity of the writing in this volume in this series:
"We are not only precursors, however; we are also witnesses to Christ. Together with the grace of Baptism and Confirmation, we have received the honourable duty of making our faith in Christ known through our words and our deeds." p.60, 61
"We have to act in such a way that others will be able to say, when they meet us: This man is a Christian, because he does not hate, because he is willing to understand, because he is not a fanatic, because he is willing to make sacrifices, because he shows that he is a man of peace, because he knows how to love." p.62
"Mastery of oneself - which is part of true meekness - is the weapon of those who are really strong; it prevents us from answering back too quickly and from speaking wounding words which afterwards we wish we had never said. Meekness knows how to wait for the right moment, and to express its judgments in a way that carries conviction." p.86
"The purpose of the examination of conscience is to get to know ourselves better, in order to become more receptive to the graces the Holy Spirit pours out upon us, and to grow to resemble Christ himself." p.107
"If we make a habit of attentively reading and meditating on the Holy Gospel every day, we shall, in a sense, take part in the life of Christ; we shall get to know him better everyday; and, perhaps without our realizing it, our life in the world will come to be a reflection of his." p.130
"As we raise up our minds and hearts in prayer, we can enquire of ourselves: Am I seeking God in my work or in my study, in my family, out in the street … in everything? Am I daring in my doing apostolate? Does Our Lord want more of me?" p.189
"We have to be attentive, because Our Lord also shows himself in the normal events of every day. May we know how to recover this interior light, which for us breaks through the monotony of days which are all the same, and find Jesus in our Ordinary life!" p.328
These are but a few of the Gems in this book that I found this year. And I am sure that next year will have just as many. Hopefully these samplings will whet your appetite for these great books.
Scepter Press in North America has just reprinted them again this fall.
About the Complete Series:
The complete series is worth the money, time and effort. This is an amazing Catholic meditation and daily reflection series. The seven volumes have daily readings for each day of the church year, as well as volumes 6 & 7 being special Feast Days. The readings draw heavily upon the writings of Josemaria Escriva the founder of Opus Dei, Pope John Paul II, and the daily readings from the common liturgy for that day. The Sundays have three sets of readings, depending on whether we are in year A, B, or C in the church readings. These devotions are all about 6 pages long and divided into 3 sections. They can all be read as a complete section, or part in the morning, midday and evening to cover each of the three sections. I find that with every day, there is so much meat in these devotions that I am already planning on reading them again next year.
This series was originally published in Spanish and was completed in January 1991; the English translation was completed in 1993. It has been immensely popular since they first started coming out in1988. They are published around the world, and have helped thousands of readers in enriching their spiritual lives.
There is a complete subject and biblical reference index in volume 7; unfortunately the earlier volumes' indexes only go as far as that volume #. The indexes are subject and reference quoted by church Fathers, Popes and Saints. These books will draw anyone deeper into a faith, and a life of action based upon that faith.
Books edited by Francis Fernandez Carvajal:
Year of Faith Treasury: The Sacrament of Confession
Year of Faith Treasury: The Virtue of Faith
Year of Faith Treasury: The Virtue of Fortitude
In Conversation with God:
Volume 1 Part 1 Advent
Volume 1 Part 2 Christmas and Epiphany
Volume 2 Part 1 Lent and Holy Week
Volume 2 Part 2 Eastertide
Volume 3 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 1-6
Volume 3 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 7-12
Volume 4 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 13-18
Volume 4 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 19-23
Volume 5 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 24-28
Volume 5 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 29-34
Volume 6 Part 1 Special Feasts January-March
Volume 6 Part 2 Special Feasts April-June
Volume 7 Part 1 Special Feats July -September
Volume 7 Part 2 Special Feats October -December
Books by Francis Fernandez Carvajal:
Through The Winds and Waves