Saturday 11 March 2017

In Conversation With God Volume 3 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 1-6 - Francis Fernandez

In Conversation With God
Volume 3 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 1-6 
Francis Fernandez
Scepter Press

ISBN 9780906138885

I have been reading this series since I was a student at Queen's University back in the late 80's and early 90's. I started reading them as they were coming out. They are an incredible series and I highly recommend them. But I must state I absolutely love the eBook versions that are now available. Mike Aquilina states: ""Now we can travel with more books stored in our telephones than the ancient Egyptians kept in their vast library at Alexandria.".  And I love having my eBooks available any time and where. And with this series I can travel with all of them with me at all times. There are also features in the eBooks that I consider an advantage over physical. I love highlighting when I read the eBook, I also like being able to select from a number of different colors. I use a different color each year I read. I also love that you can click on the link for a reference for a quote and jump to it, and then immediately jump back and keep reading. And with the eBook you can change the font, color, size to make it easier to read, and as someone with Dyslexia this is my favorite feature of eBooks. Another great feature is using accessibility features  on some mobile devices and some dedicated eReaders and use text to speech, and listen to the text.

This specific book, Volume 3 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 1-6, Has a meditation for each day Monday-Saturday, and three different meditations for Sundays, 1 each for year A, B, and C. Each reading is roughly 6 pages long, and each days reading is separated into three sections, roughly equal in length most days. Reading through it this year I highlighted 54 passages over the 6 weeks. I will share a few of those as samples of the writing in this book:

"He chooses us where we are, and leaves us - the majority of Christians, lay people - just where we were: in our family, in our own job, in the cultural or sports association that we belong to ... so that in the very environment in which we are found we should love him and make him known through family ties, through relationships at work and among friends. From the moment that we decide to make Christ the centre of our lives, everything we do is affected by that decision. We must ask ourselves whether we are consistent with what it means to turn our work into a vehicle for growing in friendship with Jesus Christ, through developing our human and supernatural virtues in it."

"Prayer is always fruitful. It is capable of sustaining our whole life."

"Our world needs men and women who are all of a piece, who are exemplary in their work, men and women without complexes, who are sober, serene, profoundly human, firm, understanding but intransigent in matters concerning Christ's doctrine, courteous, just, loyal, cheerful, optimistic, generous, hard-working, simple, courageous ... In this way they will be good collaborators with God's grace, for the Holy Spirit uses man as an instrument."

"Jesus gives us such a clear example because we have to learn to get on with everyone, no matter what their defects, their ideas or peculiarities. We must learn from him to be the kind of people who are open to others, with a capacity for making friends, always ready to understand and forgive. A Christian, if he really does follow Christ, cannot be shut in on himself without any concern for what is going on around him."

"We need to bear in mind that the principal aim of economic development does not consist merely in the increased volume of goods produced, any more than it consists in profit, or in the enhancement of the employer's prestige; it is directed to the service of man, of man, that is, in his totality, taking into account his material needs and the requirements of his intellectual, moral, spiritual and religious life."

"Faith is not a virtue to be practised just occasionally, during pious practices, but rather during sport, at the office, in the middle of traffic. Much less should faith be reserved, as some Christians seem to think, for a Sunday at the time of fulfilling the Sunday precept."

"The task of a Christian is to drown evil in an abundance of good. It is not a question of negative campaigns, or of being 'anti' anything. On the contrary, we should live positively, full of optimism, with youthfulness, joy and peace. We should be understanding with everybody, with the followers of Christ and with those who abandon him, or with those who have never known him at all. Understanding does not mean holding back, or remaining indifferent, but being active"

"Holy Communion is not a reward for virtue, but rather nourishment provided for those who are weak and in need; for each of us, that is."

"We have to do our work conscientiously, making our time fruitful without giving way to laziness. We must sustain our desire to improve our professional preparedness each day, to look after the details of our daily tasks, to embrace with love the cross and the weariness that each day's toil brings with it."

This was the fourth volume that I have finished in electronic format. I am unlikely to go back to the physical ones. In fact if they did not have so much underlining and notes I would pass them on to someone else. 

Across the 7 Volumes in this series; or 14 eBook volumes because each book is split in two there are over 450 meditations. There is a meditation for each day of the church calendar, Advent, Christmas, Ordinary Time, Lent, Eastertide and of course the 34 weeks of Ordinary time. There are also 2 volumes dedicated to special feats, specific feats, novenas, Saints, and holy days that fall on specific calendar days. 

These books are incredible food for your spiritual life. Every time I read them, every day I am challenged, challenged to become a better version of myself, challenged to live more joy, more hope, more dedication. These books will change your life, and as you read them again and again you will only grow to appreciate them more.  

Of all the devotionals and spiritual books I have read over the last nearly 30 years I can recommend this series as one of the best. You can read it again and again and always get something more out of it. I was recently asked to come up with my all-time Top Ten Catholic Books this series came in at number 4 but to be honest 2-5 are almost all interchangeable. So this is one of my all-time top Christian reads!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

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:

In Conversation with God eBooks:
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:

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