For the past few years Saint Benedict Press has released a series of books in the “A Year With…” series. These titles have been A Year with the Church Fathers, A Year with the Saints, A Year with the Bible, A Year with the Angels, A Year with the Eucahrist and, A Year with Mary. They have added a new title to the series and it is just as good as the previous one. A Year With the Mystics: Visionary Wisdom for Daily Living was written and compiled by Kathryn Jean Lopez and it’s one you will want to add to your prayer library ASAP.
For these unfamiliar these books are in a daily reader format. The nice thing about them however is that they are not dated. Rather, each page is has a day number on it which means you can start you year-long journey with the mystics at any time of the year.
Quality is a huge plus with the books in this series as well. The cover of the gift-edition is made of Premium UltraSoft two-tone binding. They have included a ribbon marker (I’m a fan of ribbon markers!), gold edges, and the interior pages are made of a heavy coated paper. This combination of materials ensures this is a rugged book meant for daily use that can be used year after year.
Like the other entries in the series each day you are presented with a brief reflection from Kathryn followed by an excerpt from the writings of a saint (or son to be saint), classic spiritual writing, and even a few Psalms are sprinkled throughout for good measure. The writings really run the gambit from contemporary saints like John Paul II, Mother Teresa and Edith Stein, to more historical figures such as Catherine of Siena, John of the Cross, and Teresa of Avila. Next readers are presented with an “In God’s Presence Consider…” section. These are comprised of a question or series of questions based upon the excerpt that serve as perfect springboards for meditation. Each daily reading closes with a brief prayer.
So what does this book contain? Here a few examples of the 365 daily readings:
Learning love himself – Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon on the Song of Songs
The secret to everything! – Saint Teresa of Calcutta, talk on prayer, June 8, 1980
Find all in God – Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Tepid isn’t the Christian temperature – Blessed Henry Suso, The Little Book of Eternal Wisdom
Tormenting evil – Saint Pio of Pietrelcina
Finding God in all things – Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi
And much, much more.
I encourage you to make this book a part of your daily prayer routine. The mystics are those who have had a special insight into the heart of God himself. In our busy world filled with so much noise and distraction we often miss that. We need quite and we need to slow down so that we can hear His voice speak to us. The writings including in this daily prayer companion can do just that. Spend a year with the mystics, rediscover your faith and your God.