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29 August 2014


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I'm interested in reading more. I started the Introduction to the Devout Life during this past Lent but flamed out. I liked his approach and his general advice but got stuck with implementation.

I was frustrated in his suggestion to slip out to a church for an hour a day. An hour a day?!? Now I know there is nothing hard and fast about slipping into a church (which isn't possible) or spending an hour a day (which also isn't possible), but the suggestion didn't come at a good time for me mentally.

I also got hung up with the ?requirement? to make a general confession. First I had to figure out what such a thing was. Oh. Everything, ever? Well, I have no real desire to make such a confession with my parish priest. But it seems pointless to schedule a hit and run with some random priest around town. I thought the obvious spot for such a confession would be in the context of spiritual direction, but 1) I don't even know where to begin to find that and 2) I'm not sure I'm interested in that anyway, although it would probably do me some good.

So lots of spinning wheels and then Lent was over. I've carried the book around with me ever since, but it seems like cheating to go on without the confession and resolution. I need a fresh start and a better plan.


I skipped the spiritual direction/general confession bit too. I think it is safe to say that unless you are coming back to the sacraments after a long absence, an ordinary confession will do provided it is unhurried (i.e. not when there's a long line).

I agree with you that implementation was a little clumsy... did you ever see my posts where I suggested a new way to read the book? Out of order? (check the sidebar)

Melanie B


I had almost the same experience. I stalled out when I got to the bit about the General Confession. I guess I was reading too literally and didn't have the distance Erin has to take what was useful and leave what wasn't. I struggle with confession anyway and that was just like a huge do not enter sign barring my way. I did really enjoy a few other passages that other people have pointed me to at various times, but I have a hard time reading books out of order. So I gave up.

At some point I'll probably have to pick it up again and follow Erin's suggestions about reading out of order and being more selective about implementation.

I wonder if people's attraction to different spiritualities has as much to do with personalities as state in life? Obviously it's not all that because in any given order you'll find a range of personality types. But I once read a book about prayer and temperament that looked at how different MBTI types are attracted to different forms of prayer.


I too have always thought the Salesian style to be such a wonderful complement to the particular cares and needs of the life of married mothers. Looking forward to reading your thoughts on this topic.


Thought I'd share this little coincidence. I had long decided to buy Elisabeth Leseur's writings for my next book purchase. When you put up this post, I put the book in my Amazon cart so it would be purchased whenever anyone next bought something. Earlier this week Dave decided to buy a book and asked if I was ready to purchase this one in the cart. I said go ahead. It arrived in the mail today, Sept 11th. I flip the book open and the first thing I lay my eyes on is this sentence in the translator's note:

Elisabeth Leseur composed her spiritual journal in a distinctive process and for her own purposed from September 11, 1899, to April 4, 1906, and from October 19, 1911, to January 9, 1914.

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