Holiness and the Spiritual Life

Holiness and the Spiritual Life


When Saint Norbert founded our Order in the 12th Century, he was part of the great Gregorian Reform movement that was restoring holiness to the Church and the world of his day. The Church and the world are still very much in need of renewal, and we Norbertines at St. Michael's Abbey strive to be a driving force of that renewal.

When a young man comes to our monastery to take up the Norbertine way of life, he very quickly discovers that evangelization, renewal, growth in holiness has to begin first inside his own heart, and so he begins to pray a lot ... and to read a lot! 

Many of the books on this Spiritual Life reading list are books that a young religious will encounter, either before he hears Our Lord's call to enter the monastery and to study for the priesthood, or after he enters and begins to dive deeply into the Catholic tradition. Most of them are books that will be a tremendous source of inspiration and encouragement to anyone who wants to become a woman or a man of deep prayer, anyone who wants to become a Saint. 

You'll find here a wide variety of texts from authors ancient and new. Some will help you love Our Lord and Lady even more than you already do (The Imitation of Christ, Life of Christ, True Devotion to Mary). Others will give you the powerful example of real people who became real Saints (Confessions, The Way of Perfection, Story of a Soul). There are a few books to help you learn better how to live a committed Christian life and how to pray (Introduction to the Devout Life, The Practice of the Presence of God, Abandonment to Divine Providence, Conversation with Christ). Finally, there are few of the great monuments of 20th Century Catholic/Christian literature (Screwtape Letters, Orthodoxy, Diary of a Country Priest).

Are you eager to be a part of the renewal of the Church and the world that Our Lord and Lady are undertaking in our times? With Our Holy Father Saint Norbert and all the great spiritual giants of our Catholic lineage, that renewal begins in every one of our hearts, and this reading list will help.

I once heard a holy old priest say, "There are only so many times that your eyes can pass across a printed page in your lifetime. We don't have time to read good books. We only have time to read great books!" God bless you.

- Father Ambrose