This is a reprint of 2 devotionals, "The New Christian Year" (1941) and "The Passion of Christ: Being the Gospel Narrative of the Passion with Short Passages Taken from the Saints and Doctors of the Church" (1939), both chosen by Charles Williams, an English poet, novelist, theologian, literary critic, and teacher. Charles Walter Stansby Williams was most often associated with the Inklings (a group of christian writers including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis), Williams was also cited as a major influence on W.H. Auden's conversion to christianity and he was a peer and friend of T.S. Eliot, Dorothy Sayers and Evelyn Underhill. These devotionals collect writings from throughout the history of christian thought. His choices were novel at the time, referencing Kierkegaard just as his translations were appearing in english print (Williams helped edit the first translations in England) and drawing upon the little known sermons of the poet John Donne.
For each day of the Church year (starting in Advent), quotes will be posted as they appeared in the 1941 edition of "The New Christian Year". They are categorized by the source on the left, so that readers can read more from each author. I will also add links to websites about each source.
During lent the "The New Christian Year" will be supplemented by quotes from "The Passion of the Christ". This text has passages from the Gospel accounts of the passion supplemented by quotes from the "Saints and Doctors of the Church".
Thou hast not commanded us continency alone, that is, from what things we should refrain our love: but justice also, that is, which way we should bestow that love: and, that it is not thy will to have us love thee only, but our neighbor also.
If you have no will but to all goodness, everything you meet, be it what it will, must be forced to be assistant to you. For the wrath of an enemy, the treachery of a friend, and every other evil, only helps the Spirit of Love to be more triumphant to live its own life and find all its own blessings in an higher degree. Whether therefore you consider perfection or happiness, it is all included in the Spirit of Love and must be so, for this reason, because the infinitely perfect and happy God is mere love, an unchangeable will to all goodness; and therefore every creature must be corrupt and unhappy so far as it is led by any other will than the one will to all goodness.
Lord, I perceive my soul deeply guilty of envy . . . I had rather thy work were undone than done better by another than by myself! . . . Dispossess me, Lord, of this bad spirit, and turn my envy into holy emulation; . . . yea, make other men's gifts to be mine, by making me thankful to thee for them.
To thee, O God, we turn for peace . . . but grant us too the blessed assurance that nothing shall deprive us of that peace, neither ourselves, nor our foolish, earthly desires, nor my wild longings, nor the anxious cravings of my heart.
What did He, in loving us, love, but God in us? not who was in us, but so that He might be? Wherefore let each of us love the other, as that by this working of love, we make each other the habitations of God.
I am no companion for myself, I must not be alone with myself, for I am as apt to take as to give infection; I am a reciprocal plague; passively and actively contagious; I breathe corruption, and breathe it upon myself; and I am the Babylon that I must go out of, or I perish.
Absolute poverty is thine when thou canst not remember whether anybody has ever owed thee or been indebted to thee for anything; just as all things will be forgotten by thee in the last journey of death.