What do you say? The reading of these good books does not concern you? But I find this duty more incumbent on you than on those living in the security of the cloister. For you who sail on the open sea, whether you will it or not, are beset by a thousand occasions of sin. Thus the aid of spiritual books is for you a necessity. A religious cannot be wounded, because she is far from the combat. But you who are in the midst of battle, must protect yourself with the buckler of holy thoughts drawn from good books. – St. John Chrysostom, Discourse 3
This world is a battleground, and we, the Church Militant, are called to fight evil – whether on a societal level or in the deepest recesses of our own souls – that we might grow in union with God and join Him for all eternity in heaven. But the battle is difficult. And weak as we are, it is easy to get get wounded, to grow soft in discipline or get distracted from our mission. Sometimes we succumb to the world and all its demands and then look up to find that we are not where we hoped we’d be. Somehow we need to ground ourselves before we head out into battle each day. To retreat from battle that we might arm ourselves with the Sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17), cling to the Pillar of Truth (1 Timothy 3:15), and fill ourselves with the buckler of holy thoughts, in order to face the enemy each day.
Prepare for Battle
What would you say if I offered you the opportunity to go on retreat for 15-30 minutes five days per week, directed by some of the greatest minds in the Church? This retreat will offer rewards like you’ve never dreamed. After 15-30 minutes of quiet, prayerful meditation, you will be ready to face your day like never before. If you embark on this retreat, I guarantee you will be equipped with everything you need to make progress in your spiritual life – progress that will be witnessed by your family, friends, colleagues and fellow pilgrims you meet each day.
You’ll find this retreat in How to Read Your Way to Heaven: A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints and Everyone in Between.
Sound like a far-fetched sales pitch?
Absolutely not! In just 15-30 minutes per day, you will
- Meditate on Sacred Scripture
- Read 1-2 paragraphs from the Catechism of the Catholic Church
- Read a few pages from some of the greatest minds in the history of the Church
Spiritual reading is organized around the Four Pillars of the Catechism:
- The Profession of Faith – What we Believe as Catholics
- The Celebration of the Christian Mystery – Liturgy and the Sacraments
- Life in Christ – Man’s Vocation as a Christian
- Christian Prayer
For the person who hasn’t done much spiritual reading…
this program offers a no-fail plan, sans dates or pressure, so you can get started right away, and pace yourself – while reaping great rewards found through Sacred Scripture, the direction of the Saints and wisdom of the Early Church Fathers.
For the avid reader…
this program provides rhyme and reason to your spiritual reading. It puts order into what is often a random process, allowing for accelerated progress in the spiritual life. Spending concentrated time in each pillar allows you to learn from various perspectives and to practice what you’ve learned in your daily life for an extended time, before moving on to the next topic.
The Time is Now
Lent is upon us – do not delay. Make spiritual reading your Lenten resolution. How to Read Your Way to Heaven is a tool that will help you with all facets of the process. Make this your best Lent ever by uniting yourself to Our Lord like never before!
- Why Spiritual Reading is critical to our lives as Christians
- Important considerations when embarking on a Spiritual Reading Program
- What is Syntopical Reading and how it can help you make great strides in your spiritual life
- What kinds of works to read
- How to read sacred scripture
- How to structure your reading time
- Specific assignments for a 1-Year, 3-Year or 5-Year Reading Program
- Blank spaces each day so you can add or substitute books of your choice
- Two Fabulous Book Lists: 99 of the favorite reads of notable Catholics; Fr. C. John McCloskey’s Lifetime Catholic Reading List
- A lay-flat binding to ensure years of use
There isn’t enough space to extoll the benefits of spiritual reading – Rather than belabor the point, I’ll leave you with a final quote from Venerable Louis of Granada, favorite spiritual writer of St. Teresa of Avila, St. John of the Cross, St. Francis de Sales, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Vincent de Paul and St. Rose of Lima:
So great is the light and fruit of spiritual reading that we know from experience many person who have changed their entire lives by this means. When asked the root and cause of such a change, they responded that after reading such and such a book they resolved to amend their lives…
So sublime are the mysteries that the Christian religion proposes to man and so powerful for moving hearts that I would not be surprised if they effected a great change in anyone who attentively considers them. – Summa of the Christian Life, p. 7-8
What People are Saying about How to Read Your Way to Heaven:
Recently, Catholic radio host Allison Gingras of breadboxmedia.com, sent me a link to a recent program, where she and guest Cristina Trinidad had been discussing my book. What a fun show! All discussions about Lent and spiritual reading should be so joyful!! I hope you’ll check it out – let these ladies give you their perspective on the book:
Just finished reading Rome Sweet Home and loved it. I’m also enjoying the Book of Matthew. I think it’s a great book to start with. I’m looking forward to my reading time early every morning. I thank God for giving me you…to show me the way to reading His Word. I love to read and this has been something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.
Check out Amazon for Reader Reviews!
“If you want to develop a deep knowledge of our Faith, here is a reliable book that shows you how.” Fr. C. John McCloskey III
“We can read all day and read forever, and still feel as if we’re not making progress. Vicki Burbach gets us out of the rut and onto a track toward real spiritual — and cultural and intellectual — progress. This is the kind of book that can make life so much richer — by leading to many more books, and all in good order.” Mike Aquilina
“Whether you’re a lifelong Catholic or a skeptical inquirer, you’ll find How to Read Your Way to Heaven by Vicki Burbach to be an indispensable gift for your intellectual and spiritual life. With this timeless treasure, Vicki has helped solve my so many books and so little time problem by providing a masterplan that’s both exciting and accomplishable.”
Lisa M. Hendey Founder of CatholicMom.com and author of The Grace of Yes
“Getting to heaven often requires that we rely on the wisdom of those who have gone before us. Vicki Burbach has done us a great service by providing an insightful reading plan and approach that, if absorbed and followed, will no doubt produce saints!”
Dan Burke, President of the Avila Institute