A Free Mind
Hopelessly Devoted: Daily Words Worth Reading
A Year with the Church Fathers: Patristic Wisdom for Daily Living
Saint Benedict Press, 20101
This is a well-planned daily retreat that progresses through a year, with the ancient Fathers as spiritual guides. The 365 meditations are intended to move the reader, with prayer and contemplation, to a deeper life with Jesus Christ. The title and summary for each day's reading helps orient the reader to the selected Father's thinking. The language is not difficult; Aquilina has kept it contemporary and accessible while retaining the full meaning intended by each author.
Each excerpt is followed by a question or two that help readers relate fully to the reading. A brief but specific prayer ends the session. My husband and I have been reading aloud to each other from this book every day for several months. We have been impressed by how easy it is to understand and that there is always a point or two that speaks to one of us for further thought and conversation.
Praying with Saint Mark's Gospel: Daily Reflections to Lead You Through the Word of God
Father Peter John Cameron, ed.
Magnificat's devotional provides a line-by-line meditation on Saint Mark's Gospel that I have found to be thought provoking and fruitful. In a sense it is like a directed form of Lectio Divina. Twenty-four different authors each take different sections of the gospel and provide commentary that often takes me in a direction I never considered before. If you are a regular subscriber to Magnificat as I am, then many of the authors will be familiar. What is less familiar is the in-depth coverage of the Gospel. The Gospel and commentaries are divided up to cover every calendar day of the year. Previous volumes have covered St. Matthew's Gospel and St. Paul's letters. When the new liturgical year begins in November, St. Mark's Gospel will be the main source for the Sunday Gospel readings and this book will be a wonderful companion to read during the year ahead
Assorted Homilies of Pope Benedict XVI
We have a great treasure in the different series of educational homilies that Pope Benedict has given over the years. Among other topics, he has focused on the apostles, Saint Paul, the The Fathers, and Holy Women. Each of these has been gathered into its own volume so that we may read them at our leisure. None of the homilies is ever more than a few pages since they were originally given during Papal Audiences, and for the same reason they all are easy to understand. Pope Benedict has the ability to simply and concisely convey the essence of a saint's life and legacy to the Church. He then always ties their lives to ours in modern times, leaving us with a fresh, almost tangible connection to God. Some volumes have illustrated versions, which I highly recommend for aiding understanding and meditation.
Julie Davis blogs about it at Happy Catholic and discusses both books and movies at A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast. Her new book is Happy Catholic, published by Servant Publishing. Follow Julie on Twitter and Facebook