Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reading for Lent: Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers

Chari and I talked last weekend on the phone for a few minutes and the subject was, as you might guess, BOOKS.

Specifically, what we should read for Lent.

Perhaps most of you have already settled on your Lenten reading.   We both had some ideas but were still trying to decide.

Chari encouraged me to read Reformer: Saint Charles Borromeo by Margaret Yeo.   She lent it to me a year ago, so in the interests of getting it back to her someday I think that's a good idea.    I am more wrapped up in the Dark Ages right now, and am not the biggest biography reader in the world, but all the better for Lent, I suppose.

As for me, I told her I was thinking of studying Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers.  I originally read it at her house a few years ago, bought my own copy even though it was quite pricey (the nice hardcover put out by Roman Catholic Books) and have picked it up probably once a year since then.

Anyway, Chari and I agreed that this would be a good book to read together and blog about for Lent this year.    If you want to join, please do!    If you don't have the book and don't feel like getting it right now, I will try to make the posts able to stand on their own two feet. 

The book is an easy read as far as language goes.

The difficulty is in a more old-fashioned style of Catholic thought and language (it was written just about a century ago), which makes it sometimes challenging to apply to one's own life,  Plus, there is simply the difficulty of facing one's own inadequacies, at least for me.  Therefore it is a good Lenten read.. chastening but still encouraging.  One thing I've noticed is that reading it every year, I find I have progressed at least marginally.   One still has a long way to go, though. 

Way back in 2009 I started studying this book for Lent and blogged about it on my old blog.    I forget why I stopped.   

The reason I picked it up again this year is because a priest advised me to compose a simple Rule for myself.   This book has advice for a rule of life for Christian mothers.    Most of us have read or heard of the more recent book called A Mother's Rule of Life.   This book has the advantage of being written in the 21st century by a homeschooling mother of many, "in the trenches" like us.  But Counsels of Perfection has the advantage of being written by a holy priest of a different time, who has a different focus and perspective, which I have found useful. 

I found a blog devoted entirely to a daily study of the book, from Lent 2012:  Counsels of Perfection for Christian Mothers.   I just found it, and haven't read through it, but it looks good (note:  the free PDF copy the blogger mentions is unfortunately no longer available, but you can find a reprint of the book for a decent price at Amazon)

There are 28 chapters and I don't want to read too fast, especially since Chari doesn't have much time to read these days.  Consequently I think I will post on Wednesdays through Lent and then on Saturday or Sunday during the Easter season.   But if you want to read a chapter a day for six days a week (the chapters are short) you can be done by Monday of Holy Week.    In that case, the blog I linked to above would be a very useful resource. 


  1. Willa, I remember discussing AMROL way back when! Thank you for explaining the connection to COPFCM. I placed it in my Amazon box. Hope springs eternal that I will have time to take up and read yet another book :)

    1. Love seeing you here, Angie! Thanks for stopping by. Lenten blessings to you.....


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