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 will be all in all; that is, since God is love, love will bring
it to pass that what each has will be common to all. That which one
loves in another is one's own, though one have it not. There will be
no envy at superior grace, because of the unity of love.
What time we call to Jesus in our need bodily or ghostly, though we
find it not anon but rather hardness and contrariety we shall bot leave
therefore to call upon him by good hope. Till through his mercy and
grace the unsavoury water and cold of adversity and penance be turned
into wine and comfort and ghostly liking.
The Mirror of the Blessed Life of Jesus Christ, translated by Nicholas Love.
To the Christian love is the works of love. To say that love is a
feeling or anything of the kind is really an un-Christian conception of
love. That is the aesthetic definition and therefore fits the erotic and
everything of that nature. But to the Christian love is the works of
love. Christ's love was not an inner feeling, a full heart and what not,
it was the work of love which was his life.
Søren Kierkegaard: Journals.
An old man said, "One man is thought to be silent, and yet his heart
judgeth and condemneth others, and the man who acteth thus speaketh
continually; another man speaketh from morning till evening; and yet
keepeth silence, that is to say, he speaketh nothing which is not
To love one another as oneself is only the halfway house to Heaven,
though it seems as far as it was prudent to bid man go. The "greater
love than this" of which our Lord speaks, though He does not command
it, is to give oneself for one's friends. And when one does this, or
is ready to do this, prayer even for "us" seems too selfish—and it is
unnecessary, for we then possess all that God Himself can give us. The
easy renunciation of self for the Beloved being the very breath of
Beg our Lord to grant you perfect love for your neighbour, and leave
the rest to Him. He will give you more than you know how to desire if
you constrain yourselves and strive with all your power to gain it,
forcing your will as far as possible to comply in all things with your
sisters' wishes, although you may sometimes forfeit your own rights by
so doing. Forget your self-interests for theirs, however much nature
may rebel; when opportunity occurs take some burden upon yourself to
ease your neighbour of it.
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.