Divine Intimacy

My favorite Christmas gift of 2012 - although closely rivaled by the shiny new Leatherman tool - was a book I've been coveting for many a year.  My sisters each received a copy for graduation and both of my parents own it, so it's been on my Christmas and birthday wishlists for a long time.  Actually, my Sister's convent uses it for their daily meditation.  It is Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for every day of the Liturgical Year by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

Divine Intimacy is set up on the old liturgical calendar (which means I'll have to pay attention to the moveable days!) which has so much richness in its feasts and Scripture.  For each day, there are three parts.  First, a few sentences to help one put one's mind and heart in the presence of God.  This always fits with the theme or season.  Then, a "meditation" in two parts (in case you're one of those people who are better than I and do spiritual reading twice a day) which draws from the feast or the theme or the readings of Mass, and pulls in quotes from saints and fathers.  Then is a "colloquy" which is the soul speaking to God.

This book is so gently written and so beautiful!  There is so much to be gleaned from it, and yet it is very simple in the sense that it is easy to read.  It reminds me of Father Lasance and Abbot Gueranger, so very fatherly.  I also love in this book and in others of similar type how it is clear that the author himself delights in the beauty of what he writes, and is overjoyed to share the light of his Faith with anyone.

I wanted to share a little bit of the reading from Christmas Day, just to give an example of the beauty of this book.

"The three Christmas Masses place before us a majestic picture: the touching description of the birth of Jesus as man alternates with the sublime one of the eternal birth of the Word in the bosom of the Father; and there are also allusions to Christ's birth in our souls by grace.  However, this three-fold birth is but one single manifestation of God who is Charity.  No one on earth could know God's love; but the Word, who is in the bosom of the Father, knows it and can reveal it to us.  The Word was made flesh and has shown us the love of God.  Through the Word, God's incomprehensible, invisible charity is made manifest and tangible in the sweet little Babe, who from the manger holds out his arms to us."