Summer Reading and Growing in the Gospel Life


Usually this blog comes from Cardinal Wuerl but in anticipation of summer, which for many is traditionally a time for reading, the Archdiocesan Communications Office would like to use this space to present, in place of the Cardinal’s comments, the following proposed reading list:  

Ways to Pray: Growing Closer to God (2015).  As social media and texting illustrate, we need to keep communication lines open for any kind of relationship.  The same is true with our relationship with God. Even amid life’s distractions, when we connect to the Lord through prayer, our hearts can be transformed, and his light can shine in our lives.  The goal of Ways to Pray is to help people better appreciate and learn how to enter more deeply into God’s intimate presence through the language of heaven.

Seek First the Kingdom: Challenging the Culture by Living Our Faith (2012). Confronted with extraordinary challenges from an aggressive secularism, each of us will face many moments when we are called upon to stand as a defender of the faith, a witness to the truth. Seek First the Kingdom is an attempt to encourage mostly the lay faithful in their vocation to bring about the evangelization and sanctification of the temporal order.  It is precisely in daily activity – whether it involves our family, our profession, our work or our ministry – that the presence of God’s kingdom love, truth, justice, compassion and peace is realized.

Open to the Holy Spirit: Living the Gospel with Wisdom and Power (2014).  In seeking to live and share the Gospel, we are not alone, and Open to the Holy Spirit is intended to help people better understand this divine presence which is a relationship of the utmost importance.  With our hearts open to him, the Holy Spirit will dwell within us and work with us in all our uniqueness and weakness so we can grow in holiness and bear witness to the Lord in our work and professions, in education, culture, the arts, science and news media, and in our interactions with the people we meet. In this way, with the Spirit acting through us, we and the whole the world are transformed.

The Marriage God Wants for You: Why the Sacrament Makes All the Difference (2015).  In preparing for the 2014-15 Synod of Bishops on the Family, The Marriage God Wants for You was written.  In anticipation of the World Meeting of Families in August, it might be helpful to revisit this work, which includes reflections and the testimonies of many couples who offer invaluable lessons in the art and practice of married and family life. Key are those ordinary acts done in love – the unassuming attention, small sacrifices, consolation and affection for the sake of that special someone else – made even better in the grace of the Spirit.

Whether by reading these books or other spiritual works – or perhaps using this summer to write your own spiritual reflections – the important thing is to stay connected to the Word Incarnate. Only with his infinite life and love are we truly renewed.

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