Saturday, May 21, 2011

Voices of the Saints: A Year of Readings

There I was, in my favorite thrift store, minding my own business, when I came across this volume in the "religion/spirituality" section of used books. That's when it occurred to me ...

As a boy, I may have been bored by religion class (oh, yes, the truth can now be told), but I very much enjoyed reading about the lives of the saints. It always fascinated Grandma Rosselot that I knew as much as I did about saints by the time I received my First Holy Communion, which is probably why (ahem!) I was one of her favorites.

In this volume, edited by Bert Ghezzi, and published by Doubleday in 2000 (and for two dollars, I couldn't go wrong), we are reminded of the advice of Saint Philip Neri:

The best preparation for prayer is to read the lives of the saints, not from mere curiosity, but quietly and with recollection a little at a time. And to pause whenever you feel your heart touched with devotion.

From Aelred of Rievaulx to Willibrord, there is a summation of a life for every day of the year. They can be read alphabetically as presented, or you can begin with "Mary" and follow the "Go to" command at the end of each entry, to follow the history of the Church. There is also an index for topic, as well as patronage.

I do believe this is the one that will occupy my nightstand, along with whatever light-hearted selection is pulled from my library for retiring. Today is day 141 of the year of Our Lord. Tonight's selection will be Gregory Nazianzen, one of the Eastern Forefathers.

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