Loving God is the most important business of our lives....The truly practical Catholic, the Catholic who takes seriously his vocation to love God, will try to make spiritual reading a regular part of his weekly, if not daily, program.
And so, every day I read Scripture, or an entry in the Lives of the Saints, or a chapter in the Imitation of Christ, etc. At present I'm reading the life and ministry of Christ in chronological order in scripture. It puts things in perspective. What happened first? What did Jesus do right after His Baptism and temptation in the desert? I never thought about a lot of it before. His meeting with the woman at the well, for example happened very early in His ministry, so did the nighttime visit of Nicodemus. How does that impact my understanding of Jesus and His ministry?
You can find a number of chronologies on the internet. Here are a few:
This one is pretty extensive, but starts with the Baptism in the Jordan:
This one includes the infancy narratives:
There are websites that offer the entire Bible in chronological order. At some point I want to follow that order. "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God." The Word came first, before creation. Jesus was always the Word of the Trinity. What did He speak before "Let there be light?" It's exciting to me just to think about it -- that for all eternity He had those words of creation in mind, that He had my creation in mind. The God of the Universe was already thinking about bringing me into existence. It makes me a little dizzy to think of it.
At any rate, my husband and I are also reading together a book about the angels after our evening rosary. It's really increased my awareness throughout the day that I have a powerful friend to help and guide me. I have never interceded with my angel so much as I have in the last month, sending him to pray with family members and friends in need. Realizing how much I need his help and how willing he is to give it. Merci, mon ange!
I also like to read encyclicals. I'm currently working on Leo XIII's Libertas. So many people today are confused about the nature of freedom and liberty. It's very much an encyclical for our time. And it's easily available at the Vatican website
Today is the feast of St. John Chrysostom, one of the wisest and most learned Catholic saints, renowned for his preaching. think of the difference in our churches if the congregation paid attention to his words:
When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you, and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.
Reading about the saints of the day offers so many great role models to encourage our own proper disposition and behavior. What a treasure, if we have the sense to make use of it.
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