Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links -- thanks for your support!
On my learning wish list for last year was angels. When I spoke to the folks at St Benedict Press about reviewing books for them, they sent me a copy of A Year With the Angels. And not just any version, but the deluxe edition. It’s enough to make any bibliophile swoon! The binding is called Premium Ultrasoft — it essentially a modern leather-like binding. The inside pages are super thick and durable and there is a ribbon for marking your spot. It is truly a beautiful, quality book suitable for gift-giving. There is even an inscription page in the front.
Content-wise, A Year with the Angels contains 365 meditations about the angels from historical writings and church fathers, compiled by Mike Aquilina. In an effort to make the text readable and accessible, he has taken the passages and summarized and/or abridged them in modern language while keeping the heart of them in place. The book is laid out in a page per day format and includes a summary and a retranslated passage, followed by a question to consider in God’s presence and a short closing prayer. For people like me, with good intentions and not as good follow through, they are simply numbered 1-365. No days of the week, not tying in with liturgical seasons, no pressure. It’s well designed to begin at any time.
I love learning more about the angels from sources such as Dionysius, St. Augustine and St. John of Damascus. It meets my desire to learn more about them in light of Catholic theology but the meditation piece also uses what I’ve learned about angels and challenges me. This one in particular, really impacted me:
Do I tend to get bogged down in details when I try to learn about angels or other Christian truth? How do I decide what is really important?
They are easy to read and the text exposes me to teachings of saints that, lets face it, I would not otherwise get to. Because he has retranslated the passages, it’s easy enough for even a tired, brain-fried mom of littles to understand and process. I also like to low pressure and the ability to pick it up as I am able without feeling behind. So much so that I’m saying it twice :).
I’ve used several Catholic daily meditation books, and A Year With the Angels is my favorite so far. As a book lover, it feels luxurious to read and use this book. I get to learn something new AND something to consider. I have been greatly blessed in my limited minutes using this and enjoy it greatly. If your normal daily prayer and meditation seems a bit dry, you may want to give A Year With the Angels a try.
I’d recommend it to all Catholics, but most especially those who love to learn, are interested in angels or are time crunched. It would also make a fabulous gift for any Catholic book lover. Seriously, it’s a wonderful volume and I would like to have them all — stay tuned for a review of the newest one, A Year with the Saints, in February or March.