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Live Today Well Paperback – July 21, 2015
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"St. Francis de Sales is a master of spiritual direction and the interior life. Fr. Dailey has given us a gift in unfolding and presenting St. Francis wisdom to the hearts and minds of our time. Illumined by this great saint, in a clear and direct way, you will discover that the path to God can be found and trod with peace and confidence."
Executive Director, National Catholic Register, A Service of EWTN
"Fr. Thomas Dailey like St. Francis de Sales is a champion of practical spirituality. Live Today Well is a life-changing book for anyone who thought they were too busy to grow in holiness."
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
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Yours, learning to be'; I have seen my life purpose as learning to be and to become good at being. Or as Mathew Kelly puts it so often 'to become the best version of myself'; and therefore the title of the book grabbed my attention, but the subtitle fits with my daily goals, each day to be better than the day before, to grow in holiness and God's grace. And this book really lives up to my high expectations.
The sections in this book are:
Part 1 Salesian Spirituality
The Devout Life
St. Francis's Spiritual Directory
Part 2 Our Daily Routine
Our Daily Routine
On Rising: Starting Your Day Right
On the Day's Preparation: Looking to Be Holy
On the Direction of Intention: The Key to Spiritual Perfection
On Meals: Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary
On Work: And Taking Spiritual Repose
On Leisure: Interacting with Others
The Examen: Reviewing Our Daily Progress
On Retiring: Practicing Detachment
Part 3 Sacred Moments
Prayer: Communing with the Divine
Living the "Little Virtues"
Confession and the Grace of Reconciliation
Mass and the Grace of Encounter
The Universal Call to Holiness
The Spiritual Directory
Helpful Resources for Living Well
This book begins with an excellent quote:
Let us be firmly resolved to serve God with our whole heart and life. Beyond that, let us have no care about tomorrow. Let us think only of living today well, and when tomorrow comes, it also will be today and we can think of it then.
- St. Francis de Sales, letter CXC, to Mademoiselle de Soulfour, July 22, 1603
And the book only gets better from there. Father Dailey states: "The seminal insight of the Salesian tradition remains as relevant today as it was in the saint's time - namely, that a life of devotion is a universal human calling, that holiness is possible in all walks of life, that a meaningful and fulfilling existence awaits all those who live well." And the book goes on from there to give real, concrete examples of what this spirituality is, and how to live it out, and through living it out learning to live today well.
This book does an excellent job of giving guidance in living a spiritual life, but balancing that with living in the world and all of our responsibilities. The book is very well written. It is not a complicated theological treatise, it is intended as a simple guide and it meets that goal. There are tricks and tips for the spiritual life. You will learn about overcoming your greatest temptation, yow to make good confessions, yow to manage your time, and different ways to become aware of God's presence.
This book is an excellent read. It is a great introduction to Salesian spirituality. It was way more than I expected and I was hoping for a lot from this book. Father Thomas writes in a very engaging manner. This is another excellent resource from Sophia Institute Press and I commend it to you if you are serious about growing in your spiritual life!
My favorite line from Fr. Dailey’s book is this:
By seeking ways to practice a particular virtue throughout the day, we can counteract those imperfections toward which prior examinations have revealed we may be inclined (page 113).
How to Live Each Day Well
How often have we looked back on our day and said to ourselves, “I should have been kinder to that person in the grocery store today,” or “I should have been more patient with my co-worker today.” We see our failings and wonder if we can ever grasp the virtue in question. Well, both Fr. Dailey and Saint Francis de Sales teach us in this book on Salesian spirituality that each day graced to us by God, is another opportunity to “counteract those imperfections” with renewed effort. Since God is ever willing to forgive us seventy times seven (an endless amount of times), we too, must be willing to leave the past in the past, focus on the present and work on one virtue at a time, each day, until we master it. Then move on to the next virtue.
This book is a must read for anyone seeking to grow in virtue and grow closer to God.
It is clear in Dailey’s writing the inspiration that St. Francis de Sales has instilled in him. It is an easy and quick read that makes one yearn for more. Living in a day and age that is tremendously different from St. Francis de Sales's time, Dailey was able to connect and relate all of St. Francis de Sales’s teaching to today.
By taking St. Francis de Sales' spiritual plan, Fr. Thomas Dailey created a resource that can be read and used for a lifetime.