Sunday, February 24, 2013

Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers: Reading Plan

Here is a reading plan for Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers, if you would like to follow along.  Even if you don't have the book, you are welcome to comment and add thoughts from your own Lenten reading or from your own life.    Also, if you happen to come across this later, you are welcome to speak up as well. 


The book contains 28 chapters and is divided into 3 sections.   I am scheduling Part 1 for Lent, and Parts 2 and 3 for the Easter Season.  I hope to wrap up around Pentecost.

Here is the Introduction.  

Part 1: 

The End (and Obstacles)

Defines our goal  as Christian mothers and gives us some guidance about discerning where we are now, and what can prevent us from reaching the goal.

There are 11 chapters in this part, and  we have 5 weeks left of Lent, so I am going to divide it this way:

February 27:  chapters 1-2 on True and False Devotion and a Catalogue of Souls
March 6 :   chapters 3-4, on Naturalism and The Value of Time
March 13:  chapters 5-6 on The Need of a Rule of Life, and Promptness in Rising
March 20:    chapters 7-8, on Venial Sin, Its Ugliness and Its Effects
March 27:  chapters 9-11, on Impediments to Spiritual Progress, and Attachments and Aversions

Related Posts:
Rules of Life (some examples and discussion)
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (on the Ignatian idea of "Magis" or excellence)

Easter is March 31

A Blessed Easter Season to You!
Part 2:  

The Means

Some helps to reaching our goal:  spiritual reading, meditation, resolutions, examination of conscience, perseverance, our interior life, governing our tongues.

April 3:  chapters 1-3, Spiritual Reading
April 10:  chapters 4-5, on Meditation and Good Resolutions
April 17:   chapters 6-7, on Examination of Conscience, and Rising After We fall
April 24:   chapters 8-10, on the Interior Life, Government of the Tongue, and Spiritual Imperfection

Part 3:  

The Means Par Excellence 

On the sacraments and other divine helps, particularly on the Mass.
(I wrapped this section up in the one post since we were preparing for the Sacrament of Matrimony for my dear daughter).  

May 1:  chapters 1-3, on Holy Mass and Holy Communion
May 8:  chapters 4-6, on Communion of Children
May 15:   chapter 7, on The Church, and Wrapping Up

Pentecost is May 19

Conclusion:  The Heroic and Unheroic Moments


  1. This sounds interesting, Willa. I've bought the book and I'm just waiting for the email, now.

    I'm not sure how much I'll understand but I'm interesting in learning more:-)

    God bless, Willa:-)

  2. Thanks for leading a book study, with a book I actually own! ;)

    Glad to see you are here, Vicky! I have missed you!!

    God bless both of you!

    1. Thank you for adding a picture, Chari : )

      I am glad you are back too, Vicky!

  3. This sounds like a lovely idea, Willa! I'm not sure how much I can participate as I am taking a political science course at Benedictine and barely keeping my head above water, but I'd never even heard of this book before and it sounds like the kind of thing that would be spiritually very useful. And I would love to discuss it with you, Chari et al! Class is tonight, so, after I curl up with Chaput and Neuhaus....the three of us casting hugely dubious glares at Wald, Booth Fowler & company...I will find a copy of this, start reading, looking forward to listening in and gleaning what I can while hopeful I might be able to contribute something now and again.
    God bless you all!

    1. Hi Maria! So glad to see you here and hope you do get a chance to join in. I like the image of you and your book allies huddled together convivially :-).

    2. Got home from class just a bit ago. It was really fun...and I'm learning a lot, but I cannot say I am inclined to like politicians or lawyers even a smidge more than I ever was before this day. There are, of course, wonderful politicians and lawyers...they're just few and far between. (Garfield, for example, was awesome. Read Destiny of the Republic by Millard.) to find this book we're reading....and hopefully start to read it on my ipad. Really delighted to "see" you again, Willa, and thankful for the nudge/inspiration to concretely work at making this Lent and this Year of Faith more personally meaningful and constructively helpful.

    3. I don't much like politicians either : (.
      I am sure there are some good ones out there... Probably WD be more if there was any risk of martyrdom involved.

      I am presently trying to plow through Tocqueville.. To partially make up for some serious lacks in my own political education.

      Blessings on your reading,

  4. Have ordered the book, arriving 2/27! Can't wait! Thank you for doing this. I am currently reading a book about motherhood recommended by a dear (Protestant) friend. While it's fairly well-written, and there's nothing theologically "wrong," in general, it's not 100% my kind of book. I think this will be what I was looking for!

  5. So glad you are joining us! I guess you must have the book by now. Feel free to jump in or just read along if you prefer :-)


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