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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Calling All Readers! Spiritual Combat

June 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Book Club, Vicki Burbach

spiritual combat

I’m the kind of person who loves to share what I’ve been reading. As a Catholic convert who is really excited about the Faith, much of my reading is “spiritual.”  But don’t think that deters me!  Whether the Bible, Catechism or Catholic classics, whatever the conversation, I can always find a segue into my latest book.

For example:

Friendly Acquaintance at a Mother’s Group: So are you keeping warm this week? I heard on the radio that we’ve been having the coldest temperatures on record!

Me: Actually, yes – I’ve been cozying up with the most amazing book – Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence. It’s unbelievable! With every page, I realize more and more the meaning of that song, “He’s Got the Whole World, in His Hands.” He really does!! And no matter what happens, God’s Holy will has allowed it either through His active or passive will, and I can be joyful even if someone brutally attacks me! If that doesn’t keep you warm inside, I don’t know what would!

Often, these conversations end abruptly because “Friendly…” spots her sister’s babysitters’s mother’s best friend across the room, and she must say hello or risk being rude.

After several years of this kind of phenomenon – which as you can tell, allowed very little in actual two-way discussion – I started a Catholic book club. At least in this venue, I was able to meet with four or five friends once a month and discuss the latest book. Actually, we were often lucky if two of us showed up because we were all busy mothers with several children whose extracurricular activities came before book club.

Regardless, this venue was a great improvement over my last circumstance, because when we did show up, chances were good that three out of four of us had at least heard of the book. But there were still problems.  Book clubs are great, but often inconvenient in a “time-consuming” and “scheduling” sort of way.

This latest idea – an online spiritual reading book club where readers can step in or out depending on what life brings – solves the scheduling problems, while allowing us to interact and discuss all these amazing works!

Well now that you’ve learned a little about me (perhaps more than you wanted to know), here’s a brief profile of our first book:

Spiritual Combat by Lorenzo Scupoli

Schedule: June 11 – July 27

The following paragraphs are copied from the back of my version (My copy is published by Sophia Press, but whatever version you have should be fine – this book has been published by several publishers):

There’s a battle raging for your soul: make sure now that you’re on the winning side!

It’s no longer fashionable to speak of the Christian life as a “battle,” but there’s actually no better way to describe the tug-of-war for your soul that’s raging right now between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.

Here, Dom Lorenzo Scupoli helps you take your proper part in this spiritual battle so that you can win – decisively – the war for your soul.

Spiritual Combat was first published in a world externally much different from ours. But spiritual realities haven’t changed, and this book has been cherished for four centuries by saints and sinners alike (including St. Francis de Sales, who carried it in his pocket for eighteen years). Why? Because it gives sober and realistic guidance on how to overcome spiritual obstacles and achieve spiritual perfection and salvation.

Best of all, Spiritual Combat doesn’t just tell you what you ought to be doing in order to live a truly Christian life – it shows you how.  

These directions include:

  • Seven reflections to help you be sorry for sinning
  • Seven ways to think about death – they’ll help you live better today!
  • What to do when prayer is dry and burdensome – or simply impossible 
  • And much more to help you overcome the most formidable spiritual obstacles!

With guidance like this and much more, you’ll soon be winning all your spiritual battles – battles that most people today concede without a fight!

Wow! I hope that inspires you to race to the book store if you haven’t already!

I’ve planned seven weeks for this book.  Only because (if you’re anything like me) you probably like to read more than one book at a time, and tight deadlines mean the only book you can read on any given day is your book club book. I wouldn’t do that to you!

There are 219 pages in my version.  That averages out to roughly 30 pages per week, or a little more than 4 pages per day.  I will try to keep my posts on schedule, so we can read and discuss together. Remember, the more you comment, the more interactive our book club will be.  And the more interactive we are, the more we will each grow from this experience. If you are curious about our guidelines for how to interact, no worries, the first principal is to jump in and share what is on your heart! With respect to more specific instructions, check out our FAQ's here (especially numbers three and four). It is important to note that ALL are welcome to the discussion who are seeking to understand faithful Catholic spirituality.

With that, why don’t we start the discussion right now?! What do you think of the book blurb above? Or if you’ve read this book, what was your greatest take-away?

PS: Unless you specifically want to remain anonymous, it really helps when people can see each other's faces. So, if you are open to it, please update your DISQUS profile to include your picture and information about you!

Read more: Previous Book Club Posts

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About Vicki Burbach

Vicki Burbach is a wife and homeschooling mother of six children ages four to sixteen years who relishes the calm inspiration of spiritual reading amidst the roller coaster of life. A passionate convert to the Faith, Vicki is an avid reader who started the SpiritualDirection.com book club so she could embark with like-minded bibliophiles on a spiritual journey through some of the greatest Catholic books ever written. She is author of the new book How to Read Your Way to Heaven - A Spiritual Reading Program for the Worst of Sinners, the Greatest of Saints, and Everyone in Between. You can also find her at pelicansbreast.com

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