Thursday 25 May 2017

Norms of Piety - J.M. Muntadas - A Plan for Everyday Living

Norms of Piety:
A Plan for Everyday Living
Scepter Booklet Book 61
J.M. Muntadas
Scepter Press
ISBN 9781594173035

First I must state how excited I am to see these Scepter booklets coming back into print. Of the roughly 200 booklets I have only ever been able to track down about a third of the older out of print editions. But not only is Scepter bringing them back into print, they are completely redoing them and these are beautiful new eBook editions. This specific booklet was originally booklets 61 and 62 was originally published in 1977. The chapters in this booklet are:

The Morning Offering
Morning prayer
Holy Mass
Reading of the Gospel and other spiritual reading
The Angelus
A visit to the Blessed Sacrament
Afternoon prayer
The Holy Rosary
Examination of conscience
Frequent confession
Praying the Hail Holy Queen on Saturdays
Always: Presence of God
Consideration of our divine filiation

From the introduction the goal of this plan is to:

"This fully personalized plan, the result of reflection, will enable us to accomplish more with the time we have available, and will help us to be realists. In this sense a plan of life expands in a practical way to embrace both the human and the spiritual. For a Christian, the full life is nothing more than human life itself lived in a Christian manner. Hence the importance of religious formation and of the interior life in order to sanctify human activities and, at the same time, to turn them into instruments of apostolate."

And from there it states:

"What follows are some of these norms of piety. They are not all of those practiced by ordinary Christians. Indeed, some very important ones, like the day of recollection, annual retreat and aspirations, have been left out. But in this and the following booklet (Scepter Booklet No. 62) you will find fifteen norms, each with a brief explanation to help you live them better."

And that is what the rest of the book does. It explains what the 15 norms are and how to integrate those into your life. The booklet is short, practical and easily applied. The advice in this book can be applied by students in high school or someone who is retired. Any Christian who wishes to deepen their spiritual life can use this book as a blueprint for changes, for growth to establish a patterns and habits in the spiritual life.

The book concludes with a chapter on Cheerfulness. J.M. Muntadas states:

"Cheerfulness cannot be bought and sold; it has to be earned. The secret lies in piety, in sincerity, docility, and hard work. Of course we come home at the end of the day tired, worn out. But sad?-never. And why? "Cheerfulness is an integral and necessary part of Christian psychology, even in the midst of adversity and tribulation"(29). God made us to be happy, eternally in our heavenly home, but the happiness of heaven belongs to those who have known how to find happiness on earth. It is a norm for which we have to train."

And I must admit that Cheerfulness is the one I need to work on most after reading this booklet. I have been praying to live more joy for a while, and this book really reinforced that intention.

This is a great little book. I believe that if you read and apply the lessons within it you will experience spiritual growth! This is a great book in an amazing series.

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

No comments: