None other than St. Frances de Sales recommended reading daily devotional books by Catholic writer, theologian and Dominican priest Venerable Louis of Granada with the following admonition:
“…to read him with fruit you must not run through him hastily; he must be pondered, and have his full weight, and chapter after chapter must be mused upon and applied to the soul with much thought and prayer to God. You must read him with reverence and devotion, like a book containing the most useful inspirations man can receive from on high, and thereby reform all the powers of the soul.“
That’s fairly weighty stuff.
So weighty, apparently, that even the devil doesn’t want you to read his books, particularly The Book of Prayer and Meditation. St. Rose of Lima liked the book so much that she found reading it useful to confound the temptations of the devil. Which then caused the devil to throw it on the trash heap. (Yes, she got it back.)
Many saints, including St. Theresa of Avila, number The Sinner’s Guide among their favorite spiritual books. This Spanish devotional dates back to 1555 but has remained a classic source of inspiration for Catholic saints, priests, and laity.
Today’s quote on the question of faith by Venerable Louis of Granada comes from the March 8th meditation found in the Magnificat Year of Faith Companion: The Essential Guide.
Faith is a master and tutor that teaches us how to live. It is a candle that enlightens our understanding and gives us a knowledge of the truth. It is a physician that shows us the remedies by which we can cure the illness of our soul; a legislator that gives us laws of good living and guides our life by salutary precepts; an architect of the spiritual edifice that declares to the other laborers what each one must do in his particular capacity. Faith is the sun of our lives, brightening the darkness and showing us where and by what paths we should travel. It is the eyes by which the wise man directs the steps of his life. It is the commander-in-chief that marches in advance to point out the ambushes of the enemy and guide us by a safe path. It is the wings of prayer by which we soar to the presence of God and obtain from him that which we ask, as our Lord has told us. “All things whatsoever you ask when you pray, believe that you shall receive, and they shall come to you.” …
Faith does not know what falsity is; it grasps that which reason itself cannot understand; it embraces obscure things and immense things; it understands the future and passes beyond the limits of human reason and the boundaries of experience; in its narrow breast it contains all eternity. ~ Venerable Louis of Granada
There are several images that speak to me and I love that first line. I only wish I were a better student.
I’ve found a couple of Louis of Granada’s books online but am still looking for Saint Rose of Lima’s favorite. I guess I’ll be adding a couple of this friar’s works as daily devotional books to my growing Catholic writers reading list. What do you think? Who tops your reading list?
Share your thoughts and books that you like to read in the comment section below.