I wish I could look back on my senior year of college without any regrets as this shining moment in my life where everything came together and it all made sense.
Instead, when I look back on that time of my life it was just a mess. Oh, it was fun and filled with great memories, but I was a bit of mess.
Trying to figure out what to do after I had that diploma in hand, trying to understand how to really be an adult, navigating some major changes in life from long term relationships and major breakups. Looking back, the one thing I wish I had had was more guidance, and of course, the sense to listen to that advice.
Sadly, most of us are going through those years with wonderful people who are navigating, succeeding and failing at many of the same things—sometimes they’re wise beyond their years and sometimes we should have known better. I wish I had had a few more resources to not only inspire but guide me—to push me not only to be a great student but to push me to be a great person, and especially a great Christian.
One of the great things about moderating the Blessed is She communities is that I get to see that support there for the girls currently striving for more in those last college years. They have the resources I didn’t through social media to reach out to women who are more than ready to with lists of “I wish I had” and “Don’t do what I did.” Recently, we had a great discussion about books to read during that pivotal senior year. It was filled with excellent resources and we’ve collected them here to share with you.
Story of a Soul by Saint Therese of Liseux
Her life in her own words and probably the most recommended book on our list. It is filled with wonderful gems from a woman convinced that her ordinary little life was destined for great things. “God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized; so in spite of my littleness, I can hope to be a saint.” If Saint Therese interests you, also consider “I Believe in Love: A Personal Retreat Based on the Teaching of St. Therese of Lisieux.”
In the School of the Holy Spirit by Jacques Phillippe
A much-recommended book focusing on the interior life and awareness of the movement of the Holy Spirit in your life. “One of the petitions we make to God most often should be: “Inspire me in all my decisions, and never let me neglect any of your inspirations.”
Abandonment to Divine Providence by Jean-Pierre de Caussade
A Catholic classic focusing on living in the present moment and learning to trust in God. Though it was written over 300 hundred years ago this practical guidebook still offers much to the modern reader.
“All simple souls must admire and respect one another, saying: ‘Let us proceed each one along our path to the same goal, united in purpose and by means of God’s order which, in its great variety, is in us all.”
The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
A guide to opening yourself to and feeling His presence in your life every day.
“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”
Letters to a Young Catholic by George Weigel
A journey through Catholic landmarks from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to G.K. Chesterton’s favorite pub this book takes you through not only some of the most important places in Catholicism, but through some of the most important ideas in Catholicism.
Sober Intoxication of the Spirit: Filled with the Fullness of God by Raniero Cantalamessa
A reflection the incredible power of the Holy Spirit with reflection on the examples given to us by Scripture and the Church Fathers.
True Devotion to the Holy Spirit by Luis M. Martinez
Another practical guide book for listening to and responding to the call of the Holy Spirit in your life and how the Holy Spirit helps one grow in virtue.
From our member’s recommendations, it seems to be clear there’s a theme in the books they’d recommend for a well-rounded year—focus on listening to and discerning the Holy Spirit while learning to experience God in the present moment. That sounds like a tall order with final tests and thesis projects on the horizons, just remember you don’t need to read all at once. Pick the one that seems to call to where you are at in your personal developement and see where the Holy Spirit leads you this year.
Written by Molly Walter. Find out more about her here.