Saturday, April 16, 2005

spiritual reading as food for the journey

There is a great wealth of resources out there for those seeking to deepen their spiritual life and faith. I have in mind spiritual writers throughout the ages whose wisdom and insights have helped to nourish many in their spiritual journey to God. As a Church, Catholics have benefitted from the insights of the Fathers of the Church, our saints, our theologians, and our mystics--from the Patristic era up to the present time. However, we as Catholics can also recognize the truth in the insights by spiritual writers from other ecclesial communities: this is one of the achievements from the Second Vatican Council.

Personally I have been nourished by the writings of many Catholic authors as well as some spiritual writers from other communities. As a preacher, I know that if I am to feed my flock, I too will have to be fed. I cannot give that which I myself do not have.

So, as a reminder to myself of these rich gems of insight, and as a service to you, I will post here beginning tomorrow, Sunday, short excerpts from spiritual writers whose works have helped me, and continue to help me, in my own spiritual journey. These selections are from contemporary writers (either Catholic or non-Catholic), from the Fathers of the Church (the Patristics), theologians, and others. They will appear on this humble blog under the heading "Spiritual voices." Most if not all of these excerpts, including the short bio of the writers, will come directly from "Devotional Classics," edited by Richard Foster and James Smith.

I will begin with a selection from one of my favorite writers, C.S. Lewis, then one from John of the Cross, St. Augustine, and Jonathan Edwards to start with next week. I will perhaps post 3 to 4 excerpts a week--one for each day.

Our Christian spiritual heritage is vast. This is our birthright. We should be aware of this richness and claim this heritage by reading them so as to be nourished by them. By doing so it will help sustain us in our faith, in our service to God and to others.

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