In this section of the D. H. Ruffle Memorial Library, we offer you a classic selection of books from a broad range of Traditions of the Church that will help us pray, and draw us closer and closer to the heart of God.
ANCIENT PRAYERS AND LITURGIES:
:: Read or download: Communion Prayers (St John Orthodox Church)
:: Read or download: THE DIDACHE -2nd Century Liturgy (Ruffle Library)
In prepararation: An exclusive new version of The Didache using current English usage, in PDF format that can be printed off both sides, and assembled into a 16 page booklet.
St. FRANCIS de SALES (1567-1622) Introduction to the Devout Life
He was born in 16th century France, the remarkable backdrop to St. Francis de Sales life must have been the Protestant Reformation, which stormed Europe during his lifetime. After a personal crisis of faith, (a hallmark of so many great Christians from St. Peter and St. Paul onwards to the present day), he decided to dedicate his entire life to God. Francis came to the conclusion that whatever God had in store for him was good, because “God is love”. This faithful devotion to the God of love not only expelled his doubts, but also influenced the rest of his life and his teachings.
He was consecrated bishop of of Geneva in 1602, during which time he gained a reputation as an inspirational preacher and something of an ascetic; in particular, he was known as a friend of the poor; very approachable and of a deeply understanding and compassionate nature. These last qualities come through in his books, the most famous of which was Introduction à la vie dévote (“Introduction to the Devout Life”), which he wrote not as a theological treatise, but rather to help the non-clergy Christian faithful deepen his or her faith and devotion to Christ. (He uses the address “my daughter” in his writings.) His manner of teaching is often referred to as the Way of Divine Love, or the Devout Life, taken from the book he wrote of a similar name: “Introduction to the Devout Life”, added in its entirely here, on his feast-day of 24th January.
:: Read or download: Introduction to the Devout Life -St. Francis de Sales
For 18 years, Bound’s principal work was rising at 4 am and praying until 7 am. While on speaking engagements, he would not neglect his early morning time in prayer. “No man could have made more melting appeals for lost souls and backslidden ministers than did Bounds.. Tears ran down his face as he pleaded for us all.. He was one of the most intense eagles of God that ever penetrated the spiritual ether. Yet only two of his books were published before he died.” The Rev. Claudius Chilton, who edited his work after Bound’s death, said: “These books are unfailing wells for a lifetime of spiritual water-drawing. They are hidden treasures, wrought in the darkness of dawn and the heat of the noon, on the anvil of experience,and beaten into wondrous form by the mighty stroke of the divine. They are living voices whereby he, being dead, yet speaketh!”
:: Read or download: The ESSENTIALS of Prayer
:: Read or download: The NECESSITY of Prayer
:: Read or download: The POSSIBILITY of Prayer
:: Read or download: POWER Through Prayer
:: Read or download: PURPOSE in Prayer
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola, (composed from 1522-1524) are a set of Christian meditations, prayers and mental exercises, divided into four thematic ‘weeks’ of variable length, designed to be carried out over a period of 28 to 30 days. They were composed with the intention of helping those on retreat to discern Jesus in his or her life, leading them on to a personal commitment to follow it. While the underlying spiritual outlook of the Exercises are Catholic, this writing is widely accepted and becoming universal to the entire Body of Christ in this 21st century. The Exercises were approved by Pope Paul III in 1548.
Revised April 23, 2014 JR
:: Read or download: ‘The Spiritual Exercises’ of St. Ignatius Loyola
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