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Stoke the fire in your soul

WE are all creatures of habit. From the moment we get out of bed in the morning until we return there in the evening, our daily routines are much the same. We drive the same way to work, during which we listen to the same radio station; we stop at the same coffee shop where we buy the same coffee. At night, we make the same meals and mindlessly watch the same television shows. Then we pray the same prayers. And the cycle begins again the next morning.

We do this every day, all the while longing for more.

We crave the peace that we know will only come from knowing Christ better, understanding his Church more, learning about those who devoted their lives to doing his will. And yet we leave no time to tend that fire that is burning within us.

But in order to change our lives, we first must change our habits. St Paul of the Cross gives us a few suggestions: “Prayer, the frequentation of the sacraments, good reading … these are, believe me, the means of sanctifying yourself.”

While a stronger prayer life and more frequent reception of the sacraments are obvious ways to grow in faith, many ignore the third recommendation: good reading. Because in order to grow spiritually, we must grow in intellect and understanding – of God and of ourselves. More importantly, we must make time to sit in silence and be inspired.

St Jerome said, “When we pray, we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us.”

What God is offering us in that silence is an invitation to know him better. Are we too busy to accept?

Take the time this year to stir that fire within, because if you are tired of being stagnant in your faith, perhaps it is time to turn the page.

     Our Sunday Visitor (OSV) suggests a list of books: Fr Solanus Casey by Catherine Odell; A Mind at Peace: Reclaiming an Ordered Soul in the Age of Distraction by Christopher O. Blum and Joshua P. Hochschild; Adopted: the Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World by Kelley Nikondeha; From Atheism to Catholicism: Nine Converts Explain their Journey Home by Brandon McGinley; and others. – OSV

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