Just as there is an objective reality to the order of the physical universe, so has God ordered the world of the spirit, which shall endure long after time as we understand it, has come to an end.

What was truth 5,000 years ago, is truth today, and will still be truth tomorrow. Different movements of the Holy Spirit for each generation, give a new understanding, but underlying these movements is the Eternal, He who never changes nor has any shadow of turning.

The technologies of our generation are built upon the discoveries of the past, principles that have been tested over and over again, and found to be true in every situation. Engineers who work with these concepts understand that they can be applied with consistent results.

The world of the Spirit is no different. Saints and mystics are extremely practical people, who have learned to listen with their hearts for the voice of the Holy Spirit, from those who have conquered themselves in the past and have been used by God to help others, with consistent results.

Many of the books listed below are from the reading lists of the saints. They have been used for spiritual formation for hundreds of years, with predictable results: personal holiness.

The contemporary authors that have been included, are those we have used with consistent results in our very brief life times, and carry a special anointing for our generation. Wherever the Holy Spirit of Truth has been received and cultivated there is a harvest of wisdom.

The Church began in A.D. 33 in Jerusalem, she has been fragmented into many different parts by man, but she is One Body, with One Head and One truth. Whenever that truth is presented, be it only a little bit of the truth, if it has been brought to us by the Holy Spirit, we must be humble enough to hear it. If the Lord had to use Balaam's donkey to get his attention, how much more should we be open to those vessels unto honor chosen from many different backgrounds, who have prepared and served up a timely word for us to strengthen us for the journey. Better to be refreshed from that cup of cool water than to die of thirst in the desert.

Below I have included Russian and Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Evangelical, and Non Denominational authors.

Discovering His Perspective

Translated from the Latin Vulgate that was written by St. Jerome, 340-420 AD, a holy man who spoke the languages fluently and understood the context of the writings as one who lived in the culture.

The very large Haydock version includes many interesting historical details and commentaries from the early church fathers, apostles and desert fathers, and much information on early heresies, in footnote form on the same page as the Scripture passage. The smaller Challoner version, is less expensive yet with the same accuracy. Translated into old English, it is a little more difficult to read for those who are not used to the King James Version, but for accuracy in interpretation I trust this version of the Holy Scriptures more than any other.

I like this edition because it contains the Deuterocanonical books. It also works well with a NIV concordance. It is nice to work with a Bible that is clearly printed, easy to read, well organized and has headlines for topics, even when that subject is divided by a chapter heading.

The main consideration is that the translation be reasonably accurate and speaks to your heart. We need to live and breath the Word of God, and a language barrier is for many, a hindrance to this living relationship with the living God, through His living Word. I also encourage marking the Bible passages given to you by the Holy Spirit for your own encouragement. I even draw rainbows, waterfalls, doves, trees, lightening, etc. alongside the pertinent chapters.

St. Faustina Kowalska.
This book, a dialogue between a Saint and Christ is profoundly relevant for understanding the right dispositions for an intimate relationship with God. Her response to grace is so perfect that we could hardly have a better model (other than Mary). Though she was a cloistered nun, she encountered the same personality dynamics in the convent as we do in the world. Her dialogues with the Lord are profoundly insightful and full of instruction by example. Her diary reveals a great deal about how Jesus feels about each one of us, and especially the rich interior life He is ready to bestow on any soul who will completely turn over their lives to Him.

Thomas Merton, A Trappist monk, he writes beautifully yet very concisely about the true nature of interior solitude and meditation. Any of his books on prayer will go straight to the heart of the matter, and help us to look at our motives.

by Thomas A Kempis, any traditional edition.
This book is like holding God's mirror before your face. Used selectively each day, one reading, will acquaint you with the Mind of Christ and how we are to pick up our cross and follow Him. I use it first since it is like a scalpel to cut to the heart of the matter, especially exposing my motives.

Alexander de Rouville, Catholic Book Publishing
I never fail to hear my Mothers heavenly voice when I open this book. The dialogue between disciple and Mary puts me intimately in conversation with her. This is the perfect companion volume to the Imitation of Christ. Mary's sweetness and uncompromising spiritual depth are conveyed with simplicity.

Fr. Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure S.J., Tan Publishers.
This book is a very strong remedy for the self reliant, independent, materialistic Modern mentality. It proves over and over again the absolute necessity of dependance on providence for the consecrated soul who is sincerely pursuing personal holiness in their life. I prefer the ABANDONMENT TO DIVINE PROVIDENCE, Image books edition, since it contains the same lessons but is shorter.

the blue and white cover, or any good traditional edition without interpretations. Saint Francis was raised during an era of great corruption in the church. His profoundly pure response to the Gospel did much to rescue the Church and set the example for all Christians to follow if they would live as the early apostles did. It presents a new perspective for our warped and twisted morality of materialism which was no less a problem in his day than it is in ours.

Franciscan Herald Press, Chicago, Illinois.
This book is much deeper and more detailed on the life of the early Franciscans. It is actually a collection of many books, Biographies of St. Francis by St. Bonaventure, Celano and Mirror of Perfection, Legend of the Three Companions, Little Flowers and Sacrum Commercium which is the classic allegorical dialogue with Lady Poverty that shows the splendor of this virtue. It has recently been reprinted into a two volume set. I treasure this volume, as almost the very presence of St. Francis. It is full of colorful examples of the practice of Gospel virtue by his first companions. Written in many short paragraphs, it is easy to grasp what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. It is a perfect book for rhemas.

by St. Athanasius (251-356)
This is a wonderful, short, yet deep little book on the founder of monasticism, his struggles, victories and counsels to those seeking to follow the Lord in great detachment and perfection.

Ray Simpson
This is a wonderful book for us, in the contemporary church to get a handle on living the essence of our faith, without forcing cultural molds on souls who are seeking God. The Celts, close to the earth, and most appreciative of creation, were and are determined to practice their faith from the heart. They have a great deal in common with the desert fathers, the monks of Mt. Athos, St. Francis and his early followers, and the pure faith of the first century church. I have underlined this book almost from start to finish it is so full of solid, pertinent content.

Celtic insights into spiritual mentoring.
Ray Simpson. This spirituality is the remedy for the heavy handed discipleship techniques so often used to control and mold newborn Christians into something God never intended them to become. And for those who are trapped in politically heavy handed religious structures. It gently unmasks presumption and judgment, so that we can approach souls with heartfelt humility, meekness and respect.

Ray Simpson.
This book brings out the richness of the Celtic tradition, so aromatically laden with appreciation for the earth and all creation, not as an object of worship, but as a celebration of the beauty God created. It is very inspiring to read day by day, as the meditations lead us to worship God in simplicity and holiness.

Valentine Zander, This is a precious book about a most precious man. His charity, purity and simplicity shine off the pages which have many wonderful counsels on simple holiness of life. The stories from the Russian mothers and fathers are rich and inspiring. He is a most endearing soul and I cannot help but believe that he and St. Francis are very close in Heaven.

Archimandrite Sophrony
An excellent book on traditional Orthodox monasticism, and the spiritual wisdom of the elders of Mt. Athos. Much is written on deep prayer, detachment and the joys of the spiritual life. This book has much in common with the early Franciscan writings.

compiled by Brother Angelo, Servant Books, the exhortations of Mother Theresa to her brothers and sisters. This is a wonderful book to help us form proper attitudes about service; in Jesus, through Jesus, and to Jesus. As well as about virtue and charity in community life. There are many excellent books of hers available, the main point is to make her a part of our daily formation.

JESUS, CEO, Laurie Beth Jones.
I highly recommend this book to Christians called to an apostolate in the modern world, who feel inadequate, ill equipped, unsuited and poorly motivated. I know this is not a traditional book, and it does have a few concepts alien to religious life, but while we're arguing over whose tradition to follow, Satan is taking the world by storm by sowing a defeatist attitude in the lowly instruments God has chosen. I am speaking of little ones that seem hardly the choice for the job and get very little encouragement from those around them. None the less, they are God's choice and this book will help to motivate and encourage. Mother Theresa said that we owe it to the Lord to become saints, St. Francis said, that if he could do it, anyone could do it. Ms Jones has a bit of the modern day entrepreneurial spirit that encourages us to reach for Heaven's best. Using Jesus as the perfect model, the Holy Spirit has used her book to pull me out of many a pit. Strong Medicine.

Andrew Murray This is a no-nonsense handbook on intercessory prayer for those who are very serious about obtaining results.

This is not a book, but a system. Your own personal system to be reached by the Spirit in ways that are totally at His control. This is a very fruitful tradition we have been using for only a few years but goes back to the concept of drawing lots in the Scriptures.

During our devotions, when the Holy Spirit anoints a very special word for us, from the Scriptures or from a pious book, we make a little three and a half by five inch file card with the encouragement on it, and place it into an open file card box. In the mornings when we get up to pray and are still feeling groggy we go to this box, and ask the Holy Spirit to give us an instruction. We usually pull several such cards, and I cannot even begin to tell you what "out of context" readings we have gotten that day that turned out to be nothing short of miraculous counsel for an unexpected situation.

There is no doubt in my mind Who guided the fingers that picked that card. The catch is of course, we must go to God with a mind free from the entanglements of self-will, or we are likely to hear something the Spirit of God is not saying. We also use a copy of a book called, Bible Promises when we feel the need to touch bases with the Mind of Christ while out on our day to day errands.

This approach to discernment may seem overly simplistic to some, and it can certainly be abused, but when combined with constant prayer and yielding to the will of God, and solid spiritual works, it becomes very useful. Again, Our Lord is pleased with the innocent and childlike soul that comes to Him for guidance over every little thing, expecting answers that it can act on and fulfill the words He taught us to pray, "Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth, as it is in Heaven." Amen

This incredible saint, very tangible and present to those who call on his intercession and assistance, will never turn loose of you once you seek his prayers and counsels. A stigmatist priest for 50 years, his life is still bearing prolific fruit for the kingdom of Heaven. He has taught me so much on suffering and purity of intention. My favorite books of his are his letters which are only available through a foundation here in the U.S.

If you can find this out of print book, it is a treasure.
One of St. Francis' dearly beloved companions, Brother Giles refused to be called a saint because he did not want people fighting over his remains. His sayings are very brief and to the point. Very Zen. One saying is enough to lead you to deep places within yourself.

by Maria Valtorta.
If you struggle with profound doubts about your calling, and if your calling is to be a voice in the wilderness, this book will bring you great encouragement. Things have not changed much since her time. We are still killing our prophets.

Rev. Francois Jamart O.C.D.
The littleness and childlike spirit of St. Therese is essential to our entrance into Heaven for it is written, "Jesus called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of Heaven." She shares her struggles journeying in this "Little Way" that has earned for her the title "Doctor of the Church." I never fail to receive exhortation and encouragement to continue on in the battle against my flesh and self will, when I read this book. I also sense her presence very strongly during the readings. (She did say that she would spend her heaven doing good on earth.)

and other writings of Rick Joyner who has a wonderful perspective on the in-firmed condition of the Body of Christ and the necessity for personal holiness and humility. His teachings are unique and traditional without being religious. He uses many allegories and visions given to him in dreams, which are disarming and yet penetrating. His writings illustrate the drama that is going on all around us, with the spirits of the air, (especially crippling religious spirits) in a way that is unforgettable, and will certainly warn and inspire you to stay clear of those traps, have courage and press in.

Selected Sayings and Examples of Saints: St. Paul Books and Media. Sayings collected together under topics such as humility, diligence, simplicity, etc. Each page contains rich quotations and stories from holy brothers and sisters gone before. I especially like this book because it is easy to discern exactly what God is getting at. Each paragraph is brief and to the point.

Jack Deere, A very balanced and thorough book on the methods God uses to communicate through prophecies, dreams and visions. The author is candid about his own mistakes in discernment and obstructions in the body of Christ that hinder accurate listening (to the Holy Spirit). This is a good book for one who is still very skeptical about hearing the Lord speak to them in their lives.

and Biblical Revelations Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich An Augustinian nun, she lived during the early 1800's and assisted archeologists in finding the ruins of ancient dwellings. Bedridden, the Lord took her up into the Spirit and she experienced visions of Biblical events, observing and relating many fascinating details, in writings that she dictated. Not to be taken as Scripture, but beautiful meditations non the less. Her life of the Blessed Virgin Mary is well worth reading. The Passion Of The Christ, by Mel Gibson, drew extensively from her narratives.