There are some books I keep looking for and not finding. I want the financial planning book that tells me how I can end up rich by spending more money than I make. I want the diet and exercise book that features sweets and web surfing. I want the book on improving my spiritual life that lets me do what I want to do when I want to do it. I guess those three books must be in the same box somewhere because I haven't been able to find them. While I held out some faint hope that this book might be the spiritual one I was looking for, I was sadly disappointed.
The author, Fr. Thomas Morrow starts off reminding us that heaven, hell and purgatory are real, and that heaven is where we want to go. He speaks of the glory of heaven, the reality of hell, and the suffering of purgatory. He promotes prayer as the foundation of the spiritual life, and briefly discusses adoration, contrition, petition and thanksgiving. He suggests the Psalms, particularly the Liturgy of the Hours as a form of prayer. He recommends 5-10 pages a day of spiritual reading; and he defines spiritual reading as reading scripture or some spiritual classic, particularly the biographies of saints. Distractions during prayer are addressed, as well as difficulties that are often experienced. Regarding how long we should pray, Fr. suggests starting with a short time, but making sure we are faithful to it; and slowly adding more until we are up to 10% of our waking hours. Father Morrow even had the nerve to recommend monthly celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and attendance at daily mass. After encouraging Eucharistic adoration, he goes into the spiritual and corporal works of mercy and the cardinal virtues and suggests how to practice them.
I wonder if, when I go look for another book from the Catholic Company, they'll have that one I've been looking for? I mean this one is well-written, divided into short sections that are easy to to understand, and contains some helpful concrete suggestions, like making a list of your three worst sins, and examining it nightly before retiring. The hope is that over time one or more of these can be replaced with another less serious sin that is now the worst. Unfortunately all this advice takes work and results in a changed life.
I wonder where that box of books I want is hidden? Oh well, until I find it, I guess I'll try the advice in this one, Be Holy, a Catholic's Guide to the Spiritual Life. The Catholic Company sent it to me without charge, with the understanding that I'd review it here; I'm sure if they get in the one I want, they'll offer it to me for review too, right Chris?
This review is part of Book Review Party Wednesday. Stop at Cym's blog and see what else is being reviewed this week.