December 31, 2017
The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph
“The child grew and became strong,
filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.”
New Year’s Resolution
As 2017 comes to a close and we begin 2018 I want to recommend a “New Year’s Resolution” for everyone: Read at least one good faith-building book this year.
First and foremost, if reading the Bible is not already a part of your daily or weekly prayer routine, then start there. We believe that the Holy Scriptures are the inspired Word of God, and have the power to change our lives by drawing us closer to the Lord who speaks to us. Read a chapter of the Bible at least once a week.
One of the most popular New Year’s Resolutions is to read the Bible completely or at least more often, however, very few people actually succeed. I would encourage you to begin by just reading the four Gospels. The Gospels are the writings about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, and are the very heart of the entire Bible, and they should have a primacy of place in our own reading and study of the Bible too.
Almost every night before I go to bed, I either say the rosary (if I haven’t already done it during the day), or I read one chapter of the Bible. This is a great way to end the day, and also to ensure that reading of the Scriptures is a normal part of my daily life.
In addition to reading the Bible, we should all be reading good faith-building books. This past year I read 24 books (some audiobooks)—About 20 of which were faith related books. Among those, here is a short summary of two of the best:
by G K Chesterton
Orthodoxy has become a classic of Christian apologetics. In the book’s preface Chesterton states the purpose is to “attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian Faith can be believed, but of how he personally has come to believe it.” He sees the faith as the answer to natural human needs, the “answer to a riddle” in his own words, and not simply as an arbitrary truth received from somewhere outside the boundaries of human experience. Chesterton is one of the most insightful authors, and is able to look at reality in a completely different, outside of the box, kind of way. However, as a fair warning, some parts in this book can seem a little confusing or strange at first, but after I read this a few times, I realized the depth of Chesterton’s thought. Orthodoxy is one of my favorite books…ever.
by Fr. Thomas Dubay
This book is an excellent introduction to prayer. Fr. Dubay invites the reader beyond simply memorized prayers and introduces you to the basics of meditation and leading into contemplation. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to develop a prayer life.
You are in my daily prayers.
God bless you,
Fr. Nick VanDenBroeke