Easily among the most significant of my devotional aids is the 30 Days With a Great Spiritual Teacher series, published by Ave Maria Press. I have every volume in the series, and I’ve used them as the first step in morning prayer since 1998.
I rotate the series of the 17 volumes I have. (I’m not sure all of them are still in print.) Each presents 30 days of devotions based on the work of a significant person of faith. You get a morning prayer, a thought to revisit during the day, and an evening prayer.
Two volumes contain work from Francis of Assisi, and another specifically for Lent contains work from several people. My favorites include:
- “You Shall Not Want,” King David and others who wrote Psalms
- “Living in the Presence of God,” Brother Lawrence
- “Set Your Heart Free,” Francis de Sales
- “Simply Surrender,” Theresa of Lisieux
- “Let Nothing Disturb You,” Teresa of Avila
- “Draw Ever Closer,” Henri J.M. Nouwen
Two new volumes, based of the works of Thomas Merton and Augustine of Hippo, are scheduled to come out this year. The books come from a Catholic publishing house, but they are very useful for any Christian. I fully recommend these books for contemplative prayer of any kind. Other resources can be found here.
[…] Michelle and many others also suggest that, if you can’t go back to sleep, get up and read. Many of my friends read the Psalms to calm in the middle of the night. I tend to meditate over scripture or elements in the Thirty Days With a Great Spiritual Teacher series. […]
[…] also start my meditation, particularly in the morning, with a short reading from the 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher series. Others start by following their breathing. You can say the Jesus prayer or another short […]
[…] It is the Holy Ghost that will transform me, sanctify me … My own natural powers are helpless. I can do nothing about it. … If I wait upon the Holy Ghost with desire, this great gift Who is God will be given to me. And it is like a kind of awakening, a sort of intimation of all that may happen the day after tomorrow — what tremendous possibilities! Meanwhile I will do everything I can to remain empty. My only desire is to give myself completely to the action of this infinite love Who is God, Who demands to transform me into Himself secretly, darkly, in simplicity, in a way that has no drama about it and is infinitely beyond everything spectacular and astonishing, so is its significance and its power. We have got to let God do His Will in us. His Spirit must work in us and not our own. But since original sin, we always tend to work against Him when we work under our own direction. Thomas Merton, "Entering the Silence," pp. 48, 52 quoted in "Come into the Silence" with Thomas Merton, 30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher series […]