Update: Dear friends, I decided to update this post to draw it to your attention for summer reading.
Question: What books do you recommend for Sojourners?
Answer: Sojourners have an informal relationship with Apostoli Viae and are thus under no obligation for any particular path of formation. However, If the Sojourner has a desire for deeper association, it makes sense that they would begin pursuing formation and commitments that would prepare them for deeper affiliation and that would allow them to grow spiritually and more effectively discern the path that God has called them to.
All Apostoli Viae formation can be understood through two diagrams or graphic representations of the charism. The first is our crest; the second is the Way of Ascent diagram here. Each reinforces the other and reveals formation priorities for all engaged with the Way. Both reveal sacramental participation as foundational to spiritual progress. Beyond this foundation, we then look to other foundational elements in prayer and ascesis. Where does this lead regarding spiritual reading for a Sojourner?
The first place to begin all reading on any topic in the Church is the Catechism. The four pillars of the Catechism correspond perfectly to our foundational emphases. Thus, the most important document to read, end to end, is the Catechism. If this feels like a bit too much to bite off, then the Compendium to the Catechism can be a great place to start. It is very brief and clear. Regardless, association beyond the Sojourner stage requires complete assent to all the teachings of the Church, and thus the Catechism is necessary reading for Disciples.
The second path of emphasis is mental prayer. Those who enter into Discipleship with Apostoli Viae will all have at least a basic commitment to daily mental prayer. Here are a few foundational texts on prayer and peace, in order of importance, and one on discernment that we recommend (along with links):
- Into the Deep – Finding Peace Through Prayer – Dan Burke
- Contemplative Rosary – Dan Burke and Connie Rossini
- Prayer Primer – Igniting a Fire Within – Fr. Thomas Dubay
- Thirsting for Prayer – Fr. Jacques Philippe
- Time for God – Fr. Jacques Philippe
- Searching for and Maintaining Peace – Fr. Jacques Philippe
- Discernment of Spirits – Fr. Timothy Gallagher
One more book that will help you understand our approach to progress in the interior life is Navigating the Interior Life – Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God. This book provides a concise overview of spiritual progress from the beginning stages to the realm of sainthood.
Beyond these texts, the journey more deeply into the Way will reveal a six-year systematic formation program that has essential reading and recommended texts along the way. The adventure into the heart of God is always rich and beautiful, and this path of formation will no doubt be a life-changing experience for those called to it.