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Come, O blessed Spirit of knowledge and light, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father. Show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for your glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to you and your eternal reward.

-from Thirsting for God


Reading Spiritually About Spiritual Things by Henri Nouwen
Reading often means gathering information, acquiring new insight and knowledge, and mastering a new field.  It can lead us to degrees, diplomas, and certificates.   Spiritual reading, however, is different.  It means not simply reading about spiritual things but also reading about spiritual things in a spiritual way.  That requires a willingness not just to read but to be read, not just to master but to be mastered by words.  As long as we read the Bible or a spiritual book simply to acquire knowledge, our reading does not help us in our spiritual lives.  We can become very knowledgeable about spiritual matters without becoming truly spiritual people.

As we read spiritually about spiritual things, we open our hearts to God’s voice.  Sometimes we must be willing to put down the book we are reading and just listen to what God is saying to us through its words.


Pope Francis has exercised a worldwide and major imaginal change . . .
[just as] Francis and Clare have done for eight hundred years.
They told us by their lives that Christianity could be
joyful, simple, sweet, and beautiful.” -Richard Rohr, Eager to Love

April 2015