Over the past few weeks I have been really diving in to listening to CD’s and reading books to help me deepen my spirituality. It is all in preparation to Lent, I really want to make this Lent a deeper lent than I have ever had. So I purchased some CD’s on the Catholic faith and a few books to help me along.
The CD’s are in my car, and I listen to them where ever I drive. I am finding it very interesting and stimulating to my mind and soul. We never seem to know enough about our own faith, or at least I don’t. So I truly enjoy the process of learning more about my faith. Each CD is on a very specific topic of the Catholic Church, they are intended to be apologetic talks that you listen to and give to others that wish to learn more about the Catholic Faith, but I have a feeling I will be listening to them a few more times before I hand them off to anyone. Each one is filled with so many facts and truths that, like a good movie or book, you need to reprocess the information over and over again until you get it all. I have gone through about 15 CD’s so far, and have 15 or so to still listen to, than I will start all over again, mixing up the order a bit.
It’s kind of funny how the order worked out, call it God’s hand, but it seems that I have listen to them in a very specific order, they seem to feed off of each other, and the lessons learned in the previous CD is expanded upon in the next, very cool if you ask me.
As for the books, well some I started a year or two ago (If you don’t know me, you would not
understand this, but I read 5 or so books at one time, so I end up starting books that will take me a year or more to read. I will pick them up when the spirit wills it) and some books I just purchased for Lent. One of the books I purchased for Lent is “Peace of Soul” by Fulton J. Sheen. I have spoken of him in this blog, so you know how much I respect him and consider him to be a saint.
This Book, “Peace of Soul” is a play on the words “Peace of Mind”. To tell you the truth I went to the book store looking for a book I could read during Lent, and this was the only title that caught my eye. All the other books I saw where not of particular interest or where not Catholic in faith. Normally I would not concern myself if the author was Catholic or not, I have read many great books on deepening your faith from authors who were not Catholic. But I made a conscious decision to purchase a Catholic book. For anyone who has ever gone to a secular book store, finding a Catholic book is hard, finding a good Catholic book is almost impossible. It is easy to find Catholic bashing books, but not so easy to find uplifting Catholic books. So finding this one Fulton Sheen book was an act of God, I am convinced of that. The Holy Spirit led me to it, and now I am reading it.
But back to the topic at hand, I purchased this book to help me deepen my faith, I have never heard of it and I have never read any of Fulton Sheens writings before. But I knew of him, and I trusted his work. This book is turning out to be the exact book I needed at this time in my life. It is a book about modern man, and how we have gone away from God and turned to science. How we look to psychiatrist to heal our mind, but forget that the soul is what needs heeling. How we look to the outside world for help, and not to the inside for God. The book is a treasure of the Church that should be given to all to read. It may have been written in the 50’s, but it has as much if not more relevance now than it did then.
Fulton Sheen was a man of great insight, and he has the ability to make simple the complex, and he does so in this book. Taking the complex world and all her issues that man has to struggle with and turns them in to a simple solution. I recommend each and every one of you who read this blog to purchase this book, “Peace of Soul” by Fulton J. Sheen, you will not be disappointed.
Lent is a time to renew and refresh your soul, a time to deepen your faith and become closer to God. You cannot achieve this goal if you do not act upon it. Lent is not a passive thing, it is a very active time, and we are called by the Church, by God himself, to participate in Lent. We are to give alums to the poor, fast and prayer. Each of them requires our active participation.
Lent is not a check list of activities that is not becoming active; to check off alums giving because you sent in a donation to St. Vincent DePaul does not count. It is more than that, it is truly giving of self, yes money is needed, and yes send it in, but realize that that does not cover it all. You are called to be active in the process.
So how can you be active in alums giving, what more can you do besides donate money, How about time or prayer. Just sending in a check requires nothing of you, but offering one week of prayer to them along with the check, of skipping a meal each day for the poor and your check, that takes effort. And effort is what we are called to give.
As part of my Lent this year, I am focusing on a deeper life with God; I am actively pursuing it through alums giving, prayer and fasting. I will offer it all up to the Lord and my simple offering. An offering of a humble servant not worthy of the graces of God, but one that is willing to ask for the graces anyway.
This Wednesday, February 25 is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. I pray that each of you have a deep and meaningful Lent and that it is not just 40 days of checking off the tasks to do list.