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Book Recommendations

The following are book recommendations made by our Pastor, Fr. Michael Winn, either during his homilies or on other occasions.

The Practice of the Presence of God

The Practice of the Presence of God is a text compiled by Father Joseph de Beaufort of the wisdom and teachings of Brother Lawrence, a 17th century Carmelite monk.

Public Domain | Amazon | Indigo | McNally Robinson

The Didache. The Lord’s Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations

The Didache is probably the oldest patristic document. Its full title originally was, “The Lord’s Instruction to the Gentiles Through the Twelve Apostles.” The author and place of origin are unknown. In fact the work itself was discovered only at the end of the last century. The place of origin of the little book was probably Syria, though Egypt is not entirely out of question because of its popularity there. It was written some years before the end of the first century. This is indicated by the makeup of the Church when it was written. It is not impossible that some of the materials of the work derive from the apostles and that several older pieces were brought together in its composition. There are four sections in the little work: a moral catechesis on “The Two Ways,” a liturgical instruction on baptism, fasting, prayer, and the Eucharist, on bishops and deacons (priests are not mentioned), on Sunday worship, and an eschatological treatise.

Public Domain | Amazon | Indigo | McNally Robinson

The Imitation of Christ

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis is a Christian devotional book. It was first composed in Latin ca.1418-1427. It is a handbook for spiritual life arising from the Devotio Moderna movement, of which Kempis was a member. The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read devotional work next to the Bible, and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic.

From Fr. Bohdan Choly’s reflection on the Gospel from Sunday, February 6, 2022 (Luke 18:10-14) at Royal Doors:

In today’s parable Jesus teaches us about humility. There is a classic spiritual work called, Imitation of Christ, that has been the spiritual food for many saints. It talks much about humility and is a difficult book to bear in our age when self-confidence is strongly emphasized. So this book is not for the faint-hearted, but it is a book that can transform your attitude about pride and humility.

Here are 3 quotes from that book:

  1. To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom.
  2. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself.
  3. You must not think that you have made any progress until you look upon yourself as inferior to all others.

Ooh! A punch in the gut! We can eat such difficult food only in little doses.

Public Domain | Amazon | Indigo | McNally Robinson

Humility Matters For Practicing the Spiritual Life

This is the third volume of a trilogy that began with Thoughts Matter: The Practice of the Spiritual Life and continued with Tools Matter for Practicing the Spiritual Life. Thoughts Matter was a updating of the teaching of the fourth-century desert father John Cassian on the eight afflictive thoughts that impede the spiritual life (thoughts about food, sex, things, anger, etc.). Tools Matter presented a wide variety of practices from the Christian tradition, both ancient and modern, that help us lift our thoughts in prayer; practices such as lectio divina, the Jesus Prayer, the Cloud of Unknowing, St Therese’s Little Way, Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s Practice of Self-Abandonment. The springboard for Humility Matters is the teaching on humility of St Benedict, but the pool itself has been enriched by the fifteen years Sr Funk spent in inter religious dialogue. Humility, she says, is the essence of being human.

Amazon | Indigo | McNally Robinson