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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Spiritual manual for laypeople: Introduction to the Devout Life, by St. Francis de Sales

Few are the books with concrete instructions for how a layperson is to live the Catholic life; here's one of them: Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales. The great saint originally wrote it for Madame de Charmoisy, wife of an ambassador of the Duke of Savoy. Unlike, say, The Imitation of Christ which was written for religious, this guide was written specifically for people who wish to practice their faith while living in the world.

You must learn how to pass from prayer to the duties of your stateā€¦The lawyer must learn to pass from prayer to pleading a case; the business man to commerce, the married woman to her housework, with such gentleness and tranquility that the soul is not disturbed.

You can probably find a copy at a library or bookstore; good translations are also available online.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Text of the Douay-Rheims translation available for download

Here's something worth sticking on your PDA or SmartPhone: the entire text of the venerable Douay-Rheims translation of the New Testament (1.2 MB), or alternatively, the Old and New Testaments (5.4 MB).

Officially approved by the Church, and still popular with traditionalist Catholics today, the translation has a quaint ring to it:
And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. John beareth witness of him and crieth out, saying: This was he of whom I spoke: He that shall come after me is preferred before me: because he was before me.

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