Advent reading?

Advent reading? December 9, 2013

Most of my Facebook friends are Catholic, so I often see quotes about spiritual matters on my feed, often with the comment, “Needed to hear this today!”  And then the quote is something like, “We must strive to love each other always!”  Okay, sure, fine, I guess I needed to hear that.  Or sometimes it’s like, “You say to  me, ‘I wasn’t feeling up to putting on eyeliner today!’ and I say to you, ‘You weren’t feeling up to glorifying God in all things.  Shape up, loser.'”

BUT, sometimes I hear something that is genuinely helpful and seems to apply to my actual life, with a combination of compassion and realism, and with encouragement to do better because God knows me and loves me.  And every single time, it turns out to be a quote by Francis De Sales.  So I finally broke down and bought one of his books, Introduction to the Devout Life.  It just came this morning.  I am seriously looking forward to this book.  There’s still plenty of Advent left!

How about you?  Reading anything good for Advent?  What’s the most helpful spiritual reading you’ve done?

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  • theevangelista

    Currently reading: The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander (my all-time favorite book on Mary)
    Favorite Advent reading: What It Means To Be A Christian (a short little book comprised of three Advent homilies given by Joseph Ratzinger in 1964. I’ve bought copies for lots of friends and they’ve all loved it.)
    Most helpful spiritual reading: Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe

  • Brian Sullivan

    Intro to the Devout Life was one of the first books my parish priest recommended to me after I came back into the Church. Very good and perfect for Advent. I also like Fr. John Sawards’s Redeemer in the Womb and Cradle of Redeeming Love.

  • Lydia

    My problem is that I have all the books but my sloth prevents me from actually reading much of them. I would much rather read something that does not challenge me to do better.

  • Vera Hough

    I just finished _Come Rack! Come Rope!_. No actual person has ever urged me to read it but lots of Catholic booksellers have been pushing it for years. In terms of Elizabeth detail and a charming portrait of Edmund Campion, it suffered by comparison to Elizabeth Goudge’s _Towers In The Mist_. I’m still glad I read it, though, and Advent was a good time to do so.

  • Jen

    Reading “Wood of the Cradle, Wood of the Cross” by Caryll Houselander. It doesn’t always sink in exactly what she’s saying, but some of it does, and that some is very beautiful. (Personally, I need to focus on the “God came to you as a baby so you could just stop being afraid of Him” message every Advent!)

  • Kelly Reineke

    Life of Christ by Bp Sheen.

  • MightyMighty1

    I’m reading that now, and making my husband and three closest friends read it too. Every single page is amazing. And the chapters are muy muy short! So even if you only have a minute or two, you can read a chapter. Enjoy!

  • TimJohn

    “Donkey Bells” by Catherine Doherty (foundress of Madonna House). A beautiful set of meditations and reflections on Advent.

  • Josh

    Books by this guy:

    He writes about the interior life in an accessible, pleasantly spare way that isn’t at all saccharine or cryptic. (These have been my two complaints with most contemporary books on prayer I’ve looked at.) The books are short, direct, and not obviously written for a specific gender (complaint #3). Highly recommended for men who want to develop their interior lives but are afraid (justifiably or not) that doing so requires emasculation and a willingness to endure guided meditations.

    Interior Freedom is a good place to start. Great book.

    • anna lisa

      Yes!!!!!!! Loved Interior Freedom.

  • Kathy

    “To Know Christ Jesus” by Frank Sheed really makes the gospels come alive–and therefore much more meaningful. The first time I finished reading it, I immediately started over and read it again–twice.

  • Anne Bender

    The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander is my all-time favorite book by my all-time favorite author. I read it and mark it up every Advent. There’s hardly a page that isn’t underlined! Pretty soon I won’t be able to see the words anymore!

  • richard

    I have been reading (albeit slowly) “Self-esteem Without Selfishness” by Michel Esparza.

  • anna lisa

    In Conversation with God (five or six volumes). They are truly great for reading an uplifting tidbit to get the day on the right foot. They are geared toward lay people, so they refer a lot to family life, and dealing with the world. There are three meditations for each day, and they correspond to the liturgical year. My set is older than seven years old, so I try to just get the season (ordinary time, Advent, Easter etc.) right, and just open up any random page St Augustine style. There are lots of great quotes from saints like Franis de Sales and JPII.

    Right now I’m *trying* to read “Forming Intentional Disciples”, but my 4 y.o. has discovered she can watch Disney movies via Netflix on my Kindle, and the boys have downloaded at least ten games, so the battery is Constantly. Drained. My kids are like locusts on electronics. They toss me the dry bones after they suck all the juice out.