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".
Hold fast this short and summary saying—"Leave all, and you shall find all; leave your desires and you shall find rest." Give your mind to this, and when you have put it into practice, you shall understand all things.
Grant me, O most sweet and loving Jesus, to rest in thee above every creature, above all health and beauty, above all glory and honour, above all power and dignity, above all joy and exultation, above all fame and praise, above all sweetness and consolation, above all hope and promise, above all desert and desire, above all gifts and presents which Thou art able to bestow or infuse, above all joy and gladness which the mind is capable of receiving and feeling; finally, above Angels and Archangels, and above all the host of Heaven, above all things visible and invisible, and above all that falls short of Thyself, O Thou, my God.
When you have read and learnt much, you will have ever to revert to the one First Principle. I am the One Who teaches men knowledge, and I impart to little ones a clearer knowledge than can be taught by man . . . I teach without the sound of words, without the strife of opinions, without ambition of honour, without the contention of controversy.
Grant to us, O Lord, to know that which is worth knowing, to love that which is worth loving, to praise that which pleases thee most, to esteem that which is most precious unto thee, and to dislike whatsoever is evil in thy eyes. Grant us with true judgement to distinguish things that differ, and above all to search out and to do what is well pleasing unto thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.