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".
God must act and the soul must suffer; for him to know and love
himself in her, for her to know with his knowledge, love with his love;
and since she is far happier in his than hers it follows that her
happiness depends upon his work more than on her own.
If to obtain the temporal inheritance of his human father, a man
must be born of the womb of his mother; to obtain the eternal
inheritance of his Heavenly Father, he must be born of the womb of the
St. Augustine, quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas: Catena Aurea.
When the Kingdom is delivered up to God, even the Father, and all
his powers are put down, then perfection begins. Here is hindrance,
here weakness even of the perfect; there full protection . . . We then
must strive for those things wherein is perfection and wherein is the
reality. Here is the shadow, here the symbol; there the reality. Here
we walk in the symbol, we see in the symbol; there face to face, where
there is full perfection; for all perfection is in the reality.
The names of first or last derogate from it (God's mercy), for first
and last are but rags of time, and his mercy hath no relation to time,
no limitation in time, it is not the first nor the last but eternal,
everlasting. Let the devil make me so far desperate as to conceive a
time when there was no mercy, and he hath made me so far an atheist as
to conceive a time when there was no God: if I despoil him of his
mercy, any one minute, and say, Now God hath no mercy, for that minute
I discontinue his very Godhead, and his being . . . As long as there
hath been love, and God is love, there hath been mercy.
O Lord Jesus Christ, our Watchman and Keeper, take us to thy care:
grant that, our bodies sleeping, our minds may watch in thee, and be
made merry by some sight of that celestial and heavenly life, wherein
thou art the King and Prince, together with the Father and the Holy
Spirit, where thy angels and holy souls, keep clean our bodies, that in
both we may please thee, sleeping and waking, for ever. Amen.