This year at Conception, there has been a change in the schedule and there is now a meditation period every morning for roughly forty minutes in between Office of Readings and Morning Prayer.

During this time students are permitted to pray, write in their spiritual journal, or read some form of spiritual reading. I tend to spend my time engaging in the third option: spiritual reading.

Before arriving at Conception, I had not done much spiritual reading, and I’m not sure I can quite put into words, how awesome the practice has been for me so far. I have gained immeasurably from this reading.

In middle school I like reading “for fun” but in high school and college I never had time, if I was reading, it was for a class. Fortunately now I have the opportunity to read “for fun” again, and I’m very grateful of the opportunity.

In the beginning of the year I read a book titled’ “A Priest Forever” by Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel C.F.R. It tells the story of a seminarian from the Archdiocese of New York who was diagnosed with cancer, and was eventually ordained on his deathbed with special permission from Pope John Paul II. I found this story to be very moving, the way this young man handled interpreting God’s will when faced with terminal disease is an inspiration.

Then, after suggestion from my spiritual director, I began reading a series of books by Henri Nouwen. I find his way with words and language to be amazing. He does a great job at explaining what could be perceived as complex issues of faith, in simple metaphors with beautiful metaphors. Here’s a list of the books I’ve read by Nouwen:

Now I am reading “God is Near Us: the Eucharist, the Heart of Life” by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI.

After talking with Eric Martin, and the Knights of Columbus, I have started a book club of sorts here at CSC. We will be meeting once a month to discuss a spiritual book, this month it will be the aforementioned book by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI.

That’s just a little bit on a new practice I have picked up after arriving at the seminary. Now every time I here someone recommend  a book, I want to read it right away. Instead I usually just add them to a list on Amazon so I can keep track of all the books. I’ve got 45 on the list now. Do you have any to recommend?

2 thoughts on “Spiritual reading

  1. Geoffrey,
    How exciting for you to have time for spiritual reading! I think that is a wise idea on the part of the seminary. A seminarian can never have read too much, at least not about the right things. I haven’t read any of Nouwen’s works, but I’ll have to look into them. Thank you for the recommendation.
    I absolutely love Augustine’s Confessions. Also, I recommend reading any and all of the writings of John Paul II.
    Good luck with the book club and thanks again for sending me this blog.
    Blessings and sunshine,
    Kaitlyn Willy

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