It’s always beneficial to read spiritual books, but sometimes we are tempted to read too quickly. We may be able to finish a book in a speedy manner, but do we truly understand what we read? Did it reach our heart?
Fr. Francis Xavier Lasance, in his My Prayer Book, explains that spiritual reading should be accompanied by reflection questions that allow the book to impact our lives.
We can easily turn our spiritual reading into a meditation, as, for instance, when we read only a few lines at a time from [a spiritual book]; then meditate, reflect, consider our own conduct in connection with the subject treated, make devout acts and pious resolutions, and finally pray to God for His grace.
Lasance then gives concrete questions we should consider when reading a spiritual book.
Further to help the mind you can ask yourself some such questions as the following:
- What does this mean?
- What lesson does it teach me?
- What has been my conduct regarding this matter?
- What have I done, what shall I do, and how shall I do it?
- What particular virtue must I practice?
The key in all spiritual reading is to take what we learn from our head to our heart. By doing so, our lives will be changed and we can move forward in our relationship with God.
A simple way to achieve stillness in Christian meditation