Monday 13 January 2020

In Conversation With God Volume 7 Part 2 Special Feasts October - December - Francis Fernandez

In Conversation With God
Volume 5 Part 2 Ordinary Time Weeks 29-34
Francis Fernandez
Scepter Press
eISBN 9780906138939

It has been three years since I have purchased this volume, and I have now read this edition three times. There are three editions of these book available in English. The original vinyl bound. The Kindle Editions that split each volume (based on Kindle max file size at the time they were released.) And New Single volume eBook editions. I have owned a few copies of the vinyl, but now love these Kindle editions. 

I have been reading this series for almost 30 years now. Since they first started being available in English. At first, I bought them in individual vinyl covered editions. And later replaced them with the boxset. And then once the eBooks were available, I grabbed them up, and after 2 years of using the eBooks I gave my physical copy to a local schoolteacher to use in his high school class. I love these books and have read them around 15 times over years. I love the newer eBook editions.

I have said it before but there are a few features I love about the eBook versions that I want to highlight. First as a reader you can highlight and make notes easily in the digital editions. You can also pick colors and change your highlighting from year to year. But the best feature of the Kindle version is you can export your highlights and notes and start fresh. I also like having all the volumes on me at all times. I can use them to look something up, using the Subject index or index of quotations to look something up in any volume. I also love that in eBooks you can change the page color, the font, and even font size to make reading better suited to your personally with my dual form of dyslexia

As with each volume in this series each reading in this book is about 6 pages long. Each Day is broken into three sections. And there are 15 reflections I this volume that go from October 2nd the feast of Guardian Angles to December 12th and the feast of Our lady of Guadalupe. There are numerous references. But I want to give you a sample of the highlights I made in this volume this year. This year when I read it, I highlighted 17 passages. 

“May we seek their help in our ordinary ascetical struggle as God’s children, and may we constantly call on them to help set our hearts on fire with Love of God.”

“In the midst of our everyday concerns we can gain a keen familiarity with the truths of faith and at the same time practise recollection while at work or at our leisure. We thus become increasingly more cheerful and refine our relations with those around us.”

“Furthermore we go ad Iesum per Mariam, to Jesus through Mary for our firm support in all our apostolic endeavours. Countless Christians grow in faith in Christ, the Son of God, through devotion to Mary, the Mother of the Son. They are sustained through the one who is our sure guide to salvation since she conserves and strengthens our faith.”

“We need ever more firmly to practise fortitude in preserving the teachings of the Church. We cannot let a permissive environment be intolerant of Christian principles that are not open to compromise.”

“Let us draw near to Our Lady of the Pillar on her feast, and ask her to guide us always and be our strength and security throughout our entire life.”

“Winning heaven is the challenge we face with the grace of God each day. Happily it always involves the task in hand and is effected precisely among the persons God has wanted to place at our side. We need to realize fully that our generous and holy resolve to improve constantly has an important impact on others. If through God’s grace and the help of others we do reach heaven, we will not enter into eternal glory alone, but will draw many others there with us.”

“Our intention of reaching heaven without passing through Purgatory can be immensely fruitful. We need to have an effective desire so that with the help of grace we can achieve the necessary purification during this life. Our Blessed Mother Mary, Refuge of sinners, will obtain the grace for us to act accordingly. May we be filled with a holy determination to convert our life into spatium verae poenitentiae, a time for true penance, in reparation for our unworthy thoughts, words, and deeds.”

“Let us approach our churches with a great spirit of reverence since there is no place more worthy of respect than the house of God. What great devotion these buildings should inspire in us, since the sacrifice of heaven and earth, the Blood of God made Man, is offered up there.”

“Churches are places where the members of Christ congregate to pray together. We find Jesus there too, since where two or more are gathered in his name, there He is in the midst of them.”

“Let us examine ourselves today to see if we immediately greet Our Lord in the Tabernacle when we enter a church. Do we behave in God’s house as good daughters and sons? Are our genuflexions before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament true acts of faith? Is our heart stirred within us when we pass near a church where Christ is sacramentally present?”

“In one way or another, Christ enters into our lives too. The virtue of detachment helps us to stay at Jesus’ side as he goes forward on his mission at a fast and steady pace. It is not possible for us to keep up with him if we have too much baggage. We cannot be left behind on account of a few material possessions that are not worth our excessive concern for them. At times, Jesus issues a personal call at an early age. At others, one’s vocation becomes clear in the course of one’s mature years, when we have only a short distance to go before we arrive in his presence. Such variety in the time the Lord chooses to call each of us is shown in the parable concerning the labourers who go out to work at different times of the day.”

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.  

I had planned on reviewing each of the eBook editions as I read them but have fallen behind. This is my third time reading this volume as an eBook. This series has been invaluable in my spiritual life. Sometimes I read it for years in a row. And every time I benefit from it. I grow, I deepen. I strive to mature. 

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: 2019 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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