Since opening my heart and centering my life on Christ a little over twelve years ago, I have spent time with Him in a devotional almost every single day – at least that’s always been the goal.
And among those books, I’ve found some to be okay, others that have long since become relics at the local thrift store, and then there are a select few that have become long-term favorites that now accompany the classics on my bookshelves.
A Year of Daily Offerings by James Kubicki, S.J is one of these.
In this book, Fr. James Kubicki carries us through the seasons of the year with brief but relevant and inspirational stories, scripture readings, and prayers.
As an added bonus, at the end of each daily reading is a related short phrase for meditation (which is simple enough to be remembered throughout the day) and then a question for evening review. This question not only helps us to acquire the habit of remembering and inviting Christ into our daily activities, but it also encourages us to take stock of how our thoughts and actions either helped or hurt the mission of Christ.
Some of you might be asking how we can know what our personal mission is from God and how we can know if we’re accomplishing it? And while this is not the post to give you all those details, I can tell you from experience that it is learned over time by living a life steeped in relationship with Him; by spending daily, quality time, listening to, and speaking with Him.
Just like in our human relationships — where we grow together based on the thought and effort we put in — we grow into an understanding of God and His will for us as we begin to recognize his presence in our daily lives.
Since He is omnipresent, we can spend time with Him at any and every moment available to us: commuting through traffic, eating breakfast, checking our email, watching a movie, enjoying a ballgame, etc. But equally as important, if not more so, is taking advantage of the opportunity to spend at least a few minutes of devoted quiet time with Him each day.
And when I say, ‘at least a few,’ I mean it. As a wife and mother, I know the struggle for time can be real. But Fr. Kubicki also seemed to understand this. While each daily reading is guaranteed to bring you inspiration and life, he also keeps it brief and concise — likely only costing you about a minute and a half each day.
[That being said, I have to recommend spending at least ten minutes with it in the morning or afternoon (reading and then meditating), and then a few minutes at night as you walk back through your thoughts and activities.]
And though this book has been my ‘go-to’ for some time now — almost two years, I still find it important to regularly break open the scriptures and read other prayerful and inspirational books in addition to my devotionals. After all, this is what relationship is all about: drawing near to one another in love; not just checking off the ‘boxes’ in order to get it over with and move on.
So…if I’m going on a plane with seriously limited space and have to choose one book – this is it. If I only have a few minutes in the morning and I have to pick one that is going to draw me into His presence in the least amount of time – this is it.
Daria Sockey, author of Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours said, “Fr. Kubicki’s daily mediations will help us to grasp what a great gift and glory it is to unite our daily ups and downs to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. Even the busiest person could build a solid prayer life with this book.” [Emphasis mine.]
Yes – even the busiest person could build a solid prayer life with this book!
In short, if you’re interested in a new read that will fill an entire year with inspiration, encouragement, and wisdom, ‘requiring’ only a bit of time each day, with modern, down-to-Earth English, I am whole-heartedly convinced that this is the one. And…if you genuinely use it as intended — with faith, you can rest assured that you will be better for it.
It is often said, ‘You will get out what you put in,’ but this statement implies equal measure. Jesus, on the other hand, tells us, “…give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap…” (Luke 6:38) and “…these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty, and a hundredfold.” (Mark 4:20)
God has so much more for us than we could ever imagine for ourselves – but we have to spend time with Him in order to find out what that means…maybe you should start with this book! 😉
Here’s to a merry Christmas and happy devotional reading in the New Year!
***All opinions are my own; I have received no endorsement or compensation for my views. All information is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge but is meant for informational and entertainment purposes only. Should there be an omission, error, or mistake, I cannot be held legally responsible as you read and choose to honor my recommendations at your own risk. I am not a theologian so feel free to check with a Deacon, Priest, or other trustworthy spiritual mentor before choosing to follow my suggestions. I reserve the right to change how I manage my blog, postings, etc. at any time in addition to my focus and/or content. Thanks for reading!