Once again, I hope that all is well. As we (hopefully) begin to settle into a new normal and maybe have a little bit of room to breathe now, I thought I could also share some thoughts on some helpful spiritual reading. These books are good regardless, but my hope is to recommend books that might help us to grow in faith and trust and abandon ourselves to God’s providence in the midst of these uncertain times or changing situations. Of course, God speaks to each person in his or her own way.
The Way of Trust and Love by Jacques Philippe. (Pictured above). This is a short (140 pages) book on Saint Therese of Lisieux’s spirituality. Saint Therese is the statue on the left side of the sanctuary in Saint Timothy’s, holding the crucifix and flowers. This book is a great way to go deeper in just abandoning ourselves to God as His “little child” and to His love, to pursue the “Little Way” of Saint Therese’. Many people have read this book repeatedly and tend to read just a few pages before pausing and taking those insights to prayer. It was originally a set of talks for a retreat.
Into Your Hands Father: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us by Wilfrid Stinissen. This is also a very short book at only 105 pages. As the title implies, it is all about abandoning ourselves to God and His love and providence. Some have called it a modern “Abandonment to Divine Providence” for those who know that classic. Again, in the midst of changing circumstances, perhaps some frustrations about changing plans, perhaps serious economic challenges with layoffs or other things happening in life, this book would be a great read to abandon ourselves to God, His love, and His plan.
Consoling the Heart of Jesus: A Do-It-Yourself Retreat by Michael E. Gaitley
I haven’t been able to read this myself yet, but I have heard many of you and others recommend this book as a powerful way to grow spiritually. From the back cover: “Endorsed by EWTN hosts Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ, and Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR, this do-it-yourself retreat combines the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius with the teachings of Sts. Therese of Lisieux, Faustina Kowlaska, and Louis de Montfort. The author, Br. Michael Gaitley, MIC, has a remarkable gift for inspiring little souls to trust in Jesus, The Divine Mercy. As Danielle Bean, editorial director of Faith & Family magazine, puts it, “The voice of Christ in these pages is one that even this hopelessly distracted wife and mother of eight could hear and respond to.” Includes practical helps an in appendix. .”
Other Books that Have Been Recommended. Again, unfortunately, I have not had the chance to read all of these but I am sure they are great. Each has his own writing style, approach, appeal, and density of language, of course:
- Praise God and Thank Him by Jeff Cavins
- God With Us by Edward Sri
- Searching for and Maintaining Peace by Jacque Philippe
- Way to Happiness by Venerable Bishop Sheen
These are all books that are somehow related to trust, abandonment to God’s providence, and finding joy and peace in the midst of sometimes challenging situations. Perhaps you don’t want or need that focus and, of course, there are many other great spiritual books out there. Feel free to share any recommendations that you might have in the comments to this post on Facebook. I thought it might be helpful to give some promptings for those who might be looking for some suggestions. I’m sure all, or most, of these would be available at Saint Patrick’s in town or Amazon, if you’re not able to head there and shop locally.