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".
We repeat the Scriptures with our mouth, and we go though the Psalms of David in our service, but that which God requireth, and which is necessary, we have not, that is to say, a good word for each other.
Do not despise or think lightly of him that standeth before thee, for thou knowest not whether the Spirit of God is in thee or in him, though thou callest him who standeth before thee him that ministereth unto thee.
Abba Agathon used to say to himself, whensoever he saw any act or anything which his thought wished to judge or condemn, "Do not commit the thing thyself," and in this manner he quieted his mind, and held his peace.
Our souls may lose their peace and even disturb other people's if we are always criticising trivial actions which often are not real defects at all, but we construe them wrongly through ignorance of their motives.
Virtue is nought else but an ordered and a measured affection, plainly directed unto God for himself. For why, he in himself is the clean cause of all virtues: insomuch, that if any man be stirred to any virtue by any other cause mingled with him—yea, though he be the chief—yet that virtue is then imperfect. As thus for example, may be seen in one virtue or two instead of all the other; and well may these two virtues be meekness and charity. For whoso might get these two clearly, he needeth no more: for why, he hath all.
Every thing that works in nature and creature, except sin, is the working of God in nature and creature. The creature has nothing else in its power but the free use of its will; and its free will has no other power but that of concurring with or resisting the working of God in nature. The creature with its free will can bring nothing into being nor make any alteration in the working of nature, it can only change its own state or place in the working of nature, and so feel and find something in its state that it did not feel or find before.
For all other creatures and their works—yea, and the works of God himself—may a man through grace have fullness of knowing, and well came he think of them; but of God himself can no man think. And therefore I would leave all that thing that I can think, and choose to my love that thing I cannot think. For why, he may well be loved but not thought. By love may he be gotten and holden; but by thought never.