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".
A gift is properly an unreturnable giving . . . hence it is manifest
that love has the nature of a first gift, through which all free gifts
are given. So since the Holy Ghost proceeds as Love, He proceeds as
the first gift. Gift . . . is the proper name of the Holy Ghost.
If we are to have the nature of Christ regenerated in us, as the
life of Adam is born in us; if we are to be like Him in nature as we
are like Adam in nature; if we are to be the heavenly sons of the one
as we are the earthly sons of the other, then there is an absolute
necessity that that which was done and born in the Virgin Mary be also
by the same power of the Holy Ghost done and born in us, by a seed of
life derived into us from Christ our regenerator.
Two things make our delight pure. One is turning of sensuality to
the skill [intelligence]; for when any is turning to delight of his
five wits [senses], all soon uncleanness enters into his soul. Another
is, that the skill meekly be used in ghostly things, as in meditations
and orisons, and looking in holy books. Therefore the delight that was
naught of unordained stirring, and meekly has stirring in Christ, and
in which sensuality is turned to skill, all set and used to God, makes
a man's soul in rest and secureness and aye to dwell in good hope, and
to be paid with all God's gifts, without grumbling or heaviness of
Not only do we know God by Jesus Christ alone, but we know ourselves
only by Jesus Christ. We know life and death only through Jesus
Christ. Apart from Jesus Christ, we do no know what is our life, nor
our death, nor God, nor ourselves.