Thursday 23 February 2006

Lent Readings

With lent beginning next week my readings these past few weeks have focused on preparation for that. I have read a number of different ‘Way of the Cross” a new edition that is a very good one is by Pope Benedict XVI – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. It has just been released by Pauline Press. The artwork accompanying the meditations are by Dutch Symbolist painter Jan Toorop (1858-1928) The reflections are deep and moving and it is an excellent read.

I have also been continuing my research into Opus Dei, this past week I read Josemaria Escriva’s The Way, Furrow and The Forge. Each of these three volumes are collections of thoughts, pense’s musings and meditations. They can be read from beginning to end or randomly opened and read just as you find them. Some of the reflections will require more thought and work them. Some examples that particularly grabbed my attention are:

“As soon as you willfully allow a dialogue with temptation to begin, the soul is robbed of its peace, just as consent to impurity destroys grace.”
-Furrow #836

“Fight against the softness that makes you lazy and careless in your spiritual life. Remember that it might well be the beginning of tepidity … and, in the words of the scriptures, God will vomit out the lukewarm.”
-The Way #325

“When I made you a present of that life of Jesus, I wrote in it this inscription: ‘May you seek Christ, may you find Christ, may you love Christ. These are three very distinct steps. Have you at least tried to live the first?”
-The Way #382

“Each day be conscious of your duty to e a saint. A saint! And that doesn’t mean doing strange things. It means a daily struggle in the interior life and in heroically fulfilling your duty right through to the end.”
-The Forge #60

“Make an effort to respond at each moment to what God is asking of you: have the will to love him with deeds. They may be little deeds, but do not leave any out.”
-The Forge #82

Finally I just finished another new book Charles de Foucauld: Journey of the Spirit by Cathy Wright it is a biography that is an easy read, but the material and life it examines are so deep that you will have to come back to it again later. There is a great deal in this little volume and it wets one’s thirst to find out more about de Foucauld or to find his own writings to devour. Here is a quote from one of his letters to leave off this post.

“Anything that doesn’t lead us to that – to better know and serve God – is a waste of time.”
-Charles de Foucauld

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