Happy new year, sisters, and welcome to 2019! I hope that this idle Tuesday serves as a day of peace. Whether it is savored early in the morning over coffee, seized during naps, or in the cacoon of a quiet armchair still illuminated by Christmas lights, find a moment for yourself to take a deep breath and stand on the cusp of this new year. Resolutions aside, there can be such a wonderful feeling of possibility that comes with turning the first page of a calendar.
What do you hope to try this year?
What invitation is awaiting your “yes” or “no”?
How do you hope to grow in the next twelve months?
The Blessed is She Planner + the Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Speaking of calendars, if you’re looking for one, the 2019 Blessed is She liturgical planners are debuting on kitchen tables, offices, and in purses across the country this week.
I wanted to offer a little sneak peek inside (get yours here—I like the mini). The planners have been beautifully paired with the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit in hopes that each month might serve as an invitation to grow more deeply in that particular fruit.
At the request of one thoughtful sister, we’ve put together a booklist for 2019 that mirrors the 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit as outlined in the BIS liturgical planner. You might use this to supplement or add to your spiritual reading moving forward. Feel free to implement with a book club or Bible study group as well!
Fruits of the Spirit Book List
As you will notice, some of these suggestions are really hefty theological reading. Others tend more toward the practical application—or even what this virtue is not. I’ve tried to be really intentional about sharing a good variety of voices that represent lay, religious, ordained, and ecumenical men and women (not all books are explicitly Catholic) in recognition of the spectrum of vocations and life experiences represented by this growing community of women.
I hope that this provides at least a jumping off point, but I think this would make for a great Facebook group discussion, too. What books would you add?
January // Charity
Justice and Charity, Fulton Sheen
The Poor Belong to Us: Catholic Charities and American Welfare, Dorothy M. Brown and Elizabeth McKeowen
God is Love (Deus Caritas Est), Pope Benedict XVI
The Way of Trust and Love, Fr. Jacques Phillipe
February // Joy
The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Living, St. Mother Teresa
The Joy of Discipleship, Pope Francis
Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, Kay Warren
The Pursuit of Happiness God’s Way: Living the Beatitudes, Servais Pinekaers, OP
March // Peace
On the Other Side of Fear: How I Found Peace, Hallie Lord
Way to Inner Peace, Fulton Sheen
The Peace Promise, John Kuypers
Searching for and Maintaining Peace, Fr. Jacques Philippe
April // Patience
A Golden Book of the Three Tabernacles: Poverty, Humility and Patience, Thomas A. Kempis
Patience and Humility: A Handbook for Christians, Fr. William Ullathorne
Love is Patient, But I’m Not, Christopher West
May // Kindness
On the Exceeding Worth of Kindness, Reverend J. Guibert, S.S.
Compassion: A Reflection on the Christian Life, Henri J.M. Nouwen
June // Goodness
You Crown the Year With Your Goodness: Sermons Throughout the Liturgical Year, Hans Urs von Balthasar
Gracious Goodness: Living Each Day in the Gifts of the Spirit, Melanie Svoboda
Taste and See: Experiencing the Goodness of God with Our Five Senses, Ginny Kubitz Moyer
A Man of the Beatitudes, Luciana Frassati
July // Generosity
Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen
Happy Are You Poor, Fr. Thomas DuBay
Not of This World: A Guide to Catholic Minimalism, Sterling Jaquith
August // Gentleness
The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown
Contemplate the Gentleness of God, C. Dumont
Gentleness, Robert Strand
September // Faithfulness
Come, Be My Light, St. Teresa of Calcutta
The Duty of Delight, Dorothy Day
The Reed of God, Caryll Houselander
Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy, Simone Troisi
October // Modesty
A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue, Wendy Shalit
Humility: Wellspring of Virtue, Dietrich von Hildebrand
The Other Side of Beauty, Leah Darrow
Dressing with Dignity, Colleen Hammond
November // Self-Control
Leisure as the Basis of Culture, Josef Pieper
Momnipotent, Danielle Bean
Story of a Soul, St. Therese of Lisieux
December // Chastity
Back to Virtue, Peter Kreeft
The Courage to Be Chaste, Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel C.F.R.
Theology of the Body for Beginners, Christopher West
Reading, Learning, and Loving in the New Year
I cannot imagine what the past year has meant for you or what the new year will bring. And yet, this is as good a new beginning as any. Being a native of the cold north, I continue to hold onto this notion of the new year as this wonderful, windy, wild place—which are many of the same adjectives I find myself using to describe the Holy Spirit.
Here’s to a new year full of life, inspiration, wisdom, virtue, community, and sisterhood.
Come, Holy Spirit!
What spiritual books are you reading this year? Will you pick up anything from this list? Let’s share ideas in the comments!Fruits of the Spirit Book List for 2019 #BISblog // Click To Tweet