Wednesday 13 May 2020

In Conversation With God Volume 2 Part 1 Lent and Holy Week - Francis Fernandez

In Conversation With God
Volume 2 Part 1 Lent & Holy Week
Francis Fernandez
Scepter Press
eISBN 9780906138861

It has been four years since I have purchased this volume, and I have now read this edition four 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 I love these Kindle editions. 

I have been reading this series for 30 years now. Since they first started being available in English. At first, I bought them in the individual vinyl covered editions. And later replaced them with the boxset, twice. 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 these newer eBook editions.

I have said it before, and will say it again, 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

When these books were originally released in English this was the first half of the second volume. Lent is such an important time in in our life and in the church year. If you only pick up one of these books make it this one! 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 46 reflections I this volume that go from Ash Wednesday until Holy Saturday. 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 42 passages. 

“We must love God with our whole heart and soul, and flee from any deliberate sin in our lives. Each of us must do this whatever his personal circumstances may be as regards work, health, family, age and so on.”

“Now is the time when this beginning again in Christ is going to be sustained by a special grace from God, proper to the liturgical season that has just started. That is why the Lenten message is replete with joy and hope, even though it is a message of penance and mortification.”

“One of the clearest symptoms of lukewarmness having entered into a soul is precisely such an abandoning of the Cross, a contempt for little mortifications, a scorning of anything that in some way involves sacrifice and self-denial.”

“We need penance for our life as Christians in order to make reparation for so many sins of our own and of others.”

“These are: mortification of the imagination – avoiding that interior monologue in which fantasy runs wild, by trying to turn it into a dialogue with God, present in our soul in grace.”

“The best way we have of showing that we want to replace the non serviam of the devil with our personal Serviam: I will serve you, Lord, is by making a special effort this Lent to improve in our faithfulness to what we know God wants of us.”

“There are countless good things that God wants us to ask him for, so that he can give them to us, material and spiritual goods, all of them ordered to our salvation and that of our neighbour.”

“If other people have witnessed our bad temper or our lack of love or our laziness, or other sins of ours, it should not matter to us if they know and see that we are making reparation for those weaknesses.”

“A Christian’s life can be filled with this penance that God sees. It could be the offering up of an illness or just tiredness; giving way and surrendering our own opinion; putting everything into our work, which we do well and finish off for love of God, imposing order on our effects and personal things ...”

“During these forty days of preparation for Easter the Church reminds us in many different ways that God expects much more of us – He expects a serious determination on our part to struggle for holiness.”

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 fourth 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. A few years ago I was 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. This is one of my all-time top Christian reads!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2020 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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