Monday 7 September 2020

In Conversation With God Volume 4 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 13 - 18 - Francis Fernandez

In Conversation With God
Volume 4 Part 1 Ordinary Time Weeks 13 - 18
Francis Fernandez
Scepter Press
eISBN 9780906138908

It has been eight years since I have purchased this volume, I have now read this edition eight 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 direct from Scepter. 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. And have read them every years since getting the 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 always like having all the volumes on me. As mike Aquilina stated:

“Now we can travel with more books stored in our telephones than the ancient Egyptians kept in their vast library at Alexandria.”

And I always appreciate having them all on me. 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 fourth volume. This volume consists of 54 meditations for Weeks 13 through to 18 of Ordinary Time. A sample of the highlights I made in this volume this year are:

“So many people have their own plans for their own well-being that only too often they look on God simply as someone who will help them to carry out those same plans. The true state of affairs is just the opposite. God has his plans for our happiness, and He is waiting for us to help him accomplish them – and let us be quite clear about it: we cannot improve on God’s plans.”

“Simplicity means having rectitude of intention and behaving with firmness and consistency. Prudence always points out to us the most appropriate means of achieving our end.”

“In the society in which we live we will have to speak out with the certainty and firmness that truth unfailingly gives. We will have to talk about many subjects which are of transcendent importance for the family, for society and for the dignity of the human person. Take the indissolubility of marriage. Freedom in education. The Church’s teaching on the transmission of human life. The dignity and beauty of purity. The excellence of virginity and celibacy for love of Christ. The consequences of social justice in relation to thoughtless spending or unjust wages ... There may be occasions when out of prudence or charity we should keep quiet.”

“The prayer of the Liturgy on this day invites us to exclaim: Lord, may our voices, our spirits and the whole of our lives be a continual praise in your honour ... May our conversations be always truthful, proper to a child of God.”

“When one freely decides to follow Christ completely it takes preference over other plans: one’s father or mother, one’s boy-friend or girl-friend. God’s call comes first, and everything else has to take second place to this.”

“To follow Our Lord properly calls for a completely unfettered detachment, a freedom of heart that is not hampered by sadness or regret, which would only lead to a half-hearted self-giving; the person concerned also needs to have the necessary autonomy to fulfil God’s will. Nothing is gained by half measures, by a decision made with a divided heart.”

“Good parents always want the best for their children. Since they are capable of making great sacrifices for their material welfare, why not too in the case of their supernatural well-being? They sacrifice themselves so that their children grow up healthy, and do well at their studies, and have good friends; and likewise so that they live as God wants them to, leading a life that is Christian and honourable. This is the mission that God has called parents to in matrimony – the education of their children. It is the express will of God for them, and a consequence of the Natural Law.”

“What are the acts of penance that are pleasing to God? They are: prayer, fasting, almsgiving, small mortifications, putting up patiently with the disappointments and difficulties of life, being ready to accept the monotonous aspects of our job and the tiredness that is part and parcel of work.”

“God wants us to bear difficulties peacefully and firmly, being happy to place our trust in him. He never lets his friends down, especially when their only care is to do his will.”

“Denying oneself means refusing to be the centre of one’s own attention. The true disciple must be centred on Christ, to whom must be directed all thoughts and cares, so that our entire day truly becomes an offering to God.”

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. And as mentioned this is part of 1 volume 4 dedicated to Ordinary time weeks 13 through to 18. 

These books are incredible 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. As stated this is my eighth 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:

1 comment:

Steve said...

Simplicity means having rectitude of intention and behaving with firmness and consistency. Prudence always points out to us the most appropriate means of achieving our end

Beautifully stated above we have to conscientiously act with consistency, as humans and hoping for better tommorrow.