The other day, I replied to a post @ a Group that I belong to, where another member had asked what we are reading at this present time...and it occurred to me that I should expand on that just a bit.
I had listed two or three books that I am reading, just for the fun of it, for entertainment, and also several magazines to which I subscribe. But there are also a couple of books that I am reading that are along the Catholic bent...The City of God, by Ven. Mary of Agreda, although I must admit that with this one, just like the last time I read it, it has been slow going...not that the books themselves (there are four in the series) are that hard to read, it's just that there is so much in the reading, that I must stop now and then to get my breath!
This series is the story of Our Lady's private life ~ before, during and after She became the Mother of the Most High Son of God, and Her life with Him now and always is a never-ending source of inspiration to me, as it should be to us all. I have not gotten too far into it yet, but even the first chapters of the first volume are enough to give me reason to reflect for days...
We are not bound by Church Law to believe in these narratives, but by reason of our Faith as Catholics, we believe ~ or at least we should believe ~ what the Church has deigned to declare as true and worthy of belief...and Her appearances to the Ven. Mary have been declared as believable by the Faithful. As we are bound to believe the Gospel, this is different, to be sure...but I choose to believe what Holy Mother Church has declared as far as private revelations are concerned!
And as Our Lady did, so I want to do...so knowing more about Her personal life is a plus. I can more easily respond to God's Will for myself, if I know how She might have done. As always, She is the Perfect Example...
Another Catholic pursuit of mine at this time is my preparation for entry into the Opus Sanctorum Angelorum (Work of the Holy Angels) ~ link @ the right ~ to which I am now in my eighth month of reading and preparing.
Fr. Wolfgang, the Nat. Director, sends us monthly readings and a practice for the month, as well...usually something from the Bible, another reading from the Catechism, a series of practical observances (a particular prayer, a new good habit to form, etc.) and together with his monthly newsletter for all new members, there is more than enough to sink my teeth into! Learning about the Angels, especially my own beloved Friend, is a wonderful way to get closer to Our Lord and His Mother.
Usually, this would be enough for anyone to keep up with, since it is also possible to be into other readings as well ~ which I am ~ but it is nice to have a variety! And besides all this, there is another set of Catholic readings that I am into at this time...a friend of mine, a Catholic writer, emails me passages that she has written (for various things she is doing) and I have learned so much from her...from individual writing to information about Saints of whom I have never heard before...hence, always expanding my horizons.
This, together with other books that I have read, is my favorite method of learning more about my Faith ~ excepting, of course, the Readings @ Holy Mass and the good Priests' sermons.
Ever since I came back to the Church (nearly 30 years ago), when I was told in Confession that I needed to 'read more and learn', I have read everything I can lay my hands on...nonstop...it is a never-ending pursuit!
And I see no reason to let up even now...