My reading goals in 2017 focus on spiritual formation. Some for my child, some for me. You’ll notice there is a considerable overlap. Chiefly because motherhood, my vocation, is itself a spiritual formation. Let’s get started!
Cindy Rollins is one of those wise women we all need in life. After 30 years of baby-raising, and homeschool-grading, she finally committed to paper her mothering memoirs. I’m moved to tears by almost every podcast and conference recording I’ve heard of Cindy. So I’m deeply looking forward to reading her wisdom.
This summer, my son was diagnosed with moderate autism. The diagnosis did not come as a bolt out of the blue, but it still sent me stumbling. My husband and I had always planned on homeschooling, but along with our son’s diagnosis came a heap of self-doubt.
Cheryl Swope writes from her experience as a classical educator, and mother of special-needs child herself.
As Martin Cothran said in his review of this book, “All children, including academically-challenged students, are human beings, and they deserve an education commensurate with that fact… If a child cannot accommodate the amount or depth of knowledge of most children, it is not less, but more important, that what they learn be of the highest quality.”
I’m cheating on this one, since I’ve already read it. However, that was just a quick read-through since my son is only a preschooler. I’m very excited to read this again, since the author herself is hosting a read-along group starting January 11th.
Another book by Cindy Rollins, this is the nitty-gritty practical guide to the cornerstone of her homeschooling. Full of book lists to enrich your children’s hearts, I’m sure I’ll enjoy this a resource for the future as well.
This quick book is actually a collection of lectures given by C.S. Lewis (of allegorical children’s lit. fame) at Oxford University. I’ve read snippets and quotations over the years, so I’m looking forward to reading the whole source at last.
From G.K. Chesterton, the endlessly witty Christian apologist, a defense of man. His humanity, and his spiritual journey. Chesterton lived during the explosion of social Darwinism. This book hits back at the idea that humanity is on a one-way journey from primitivism to civilization, and examines what it means to be human.
The focus of the book is on families, including the youngest members, praying in the home. I’ve seen it recommended countless times for parent’s building their domestic church. I’m particularly looking forward to the guidance on setting a home altar, and keeping the Liturgy of Hours with littles.
A collection of reflections from multiple Catholic authors. They reflect on the mysteries of the rosary, all through the lens of motherhood.
Fr. Dwight Longenecker begins with C.S. Lewis’ premise that Christianity is no mere myth. Rather, it is the culmination, fulfilment, and realization of every fairy tale and romantic story come true. I hear this book is a powerful answer for a dry or dour spiritual life.
Another salve for those feeling brokenhearted, dusty, or despondent in their faith. Heather King has had more than anyone’s fair share of heartache in this crazy fallen world. This is a memoir of how the “great cloud of witnesses” can witness across centuries, even in our modern lives.
My family is one year out from downsizing. We sold a big minivan and an even bigger house, to move to a prius and apartment. It has been utterly fulfilling! But my work is far from done. I hope to grow less materialistic, and more purposeful with our resources in 2017.
I can’t figure out contemplative prayer. I suspect that, as in most things, I’m simply over thinking it. Reading Thomas Merton’s Seven Storey Mountain was one of the high-points of 2016 for me. So I look forward to reading more of his rich spiritual writing.
I’ve never done a novena. How lame is that? What better way to get started than this little booklet from John-Paul and Anne Deddens, founders of PrayMoreNovenas.com
Getting away for a retreat is not possible for me in this season. Sometimes I dream of a silent weekend retreat, or the engaged encounter my husband and I enjoyed before we wed. Alas, running a DIY retreat will have to do for now.
Another DIY retreat. This one has more structure with short readings and prayers for each day. It’s also been described to me as “Mariology for beginners”. Perfect!
16. Interior Castle
By far the most ambitious book on my list, this is a medieval classic of Christian spiritual development. St. Teresa of Avila, great reformer of the Carmelites, wrote her seminal work on the soul’s journey of faith. A practical blueprint to the interior life. My INTJ heart is giddy with anticipation!
17. Your Suggestion Here
Did you read anything particularly edifying in 2016? Anything you plan on delving into in 2017? Or perhaps there’s your perennial favorite author is missing from my list. Let me know below!