Continued from yesterday...
Chapter 8. Reading
Another easy and effective way of arriving at an eminent degree of holiness is spiritual reading.
We have pointed out that the reason for so little sanctity in many souls is not weakness or malice, but ignorance. Spiritual reading dispels this ignorance and helps us to feel all the charm and consolation of God's blessed love.
Every Catholic should without fail make spiritual reading daily for ten or fifteen minutes. The neglect of this duty is disastrous.
To derive benefit from our reading, we must observe the following rules, which will not only secure satisfactory results but will make our reading attractive and a real pleasure.
Read books that appeal to you.
It is of elementary prudence to choose proper books, for not every good and excellent book suits all readers.
It must be our aim to find a book or books that make an appeal to us personally, that will grip our attention and act as a driving force, a stimulant to our energies.
Pray before reading.
Next, it is well to say a short prayer, one Hail Mary, before commencing our reading, asking Our Blessed Lady to help us to understand what we are reading and to put it into practice. St. Thomas Aquinas told his fellow Dominican, Father Reginald, that he got his great treasures of knowledge more by prayer than by study.
Read your book not once but many times.
It is a fatal mistake to read a book quickly or to read it only once. That produces very little good. We must not read a spiritual book as we read a romance. However well-written a book may be, the truths it presents are so great that our poor weak minds only succeed in grasping them little by little.
It may treat of the first of all truths, viz., the love of God. Nothing seems easier to understand than that, yet daily experience shows how very vaguely and insufficiently this wonderful doctrine is grasped and, as a consequence, how very little God is loved.
One book read slowly does us more good than a hundred read hurriedly....
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint
by E. D. M. (1949)
The Catholic Printing Press
With Ecclesiastical Approbation
13th June 1949