Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

November 2021 newsletter

Posted by universalis on 12 November 2021

The newsletter is a bit long this month, because this is the time of year to be thinking about books. Advent is round the corner, so if you get the annual or semi-annual e-books of Hours and Mass readings for the Amazon Kindle or some other e-book reader, now is the time to be getting the next one. Christmas is round the corner, so if you enjoyed last year’s “New Every Day” e-book, or gave it as a present to a friend, now is the time to do something about that. We also have a new e-book available this year, just in time for Christmas.

First, a note about social media.

Twitter and Instagram

People either love these services or hate them. They can be a source of news and ideas, or a constant distraction. If you use either Twitter or Instagram, enrich your life by following one of our feeds!

Twitter (newly updated): there are daily tweets, in the evening (UK time), giving all the saints for the following day, including pictures where we have them. The name of the feed is @CatholicFeasts.

Instagram (new): one of our supporters is providing a feed whenever there is a picture of the saints of the day. The name of the feed is universalis_com.

New Kindle e-books

If you buy the ready-made Universalis e-books from Amazon, for the Kindle, then the old ones have nearly run out. The new season’s e-books are ready now: the Liturgy of the Hours for the half-year from Advent to next Pentecost, and the readings at Mass for the “long year” from this Advent to the end of next year. Our catalogue has links to all the available e-books.

Of course you don’t need to buy from Amazon: if you have a Universalis registration code, you can make e-books for yourself whenever you want, and it won’t cost you anything. You will find the instructions here.

Revelations of Divine Love

A year ago we added Revelations of Divine Love, by Julian of Norwich, to the Daily Books feature in the Universalis apps: this let you read the book in daily instalments. We think that people who don’t have the apps ought to be able to read this book too, so this year we have published Revelations of Divine Love as an e-book, both for the Amazon Kindle and for Apple Books.

“Revelations of Divine Love” is the greatest work of spirituality ever written in English.

When its author, Julian of Norwich (1342-1416), was 30 years old, she received a series of sixteen visions of the Passion of Christ. She spent the next twenty years in meditation on them and in deep study of the theological vistas which they opened up.

“Revelations of Divine Love” is the result. It presents the visions in all their physical detail; it contemplates the joy of the Passion and redemption from sin, the hidden depths of the Incarnation and the Motherhood of Christ. While reaching to the heights of heaven it keeps its feet firmly on the ground. It speaks with simplicity and directness, and it is ideal material for reading as a daily meditation.

Julian is a wonderful writer, but she wrote in the English of East Anglia 650 years ago, which by now is too hard for anyone but a scholar to read. Translations into modern English exist, but they lose Julian’s distinctive voice. In 1901 Grace Warrack did an adaptation of Julian which removed stumbling-blocks such as words that don’t exist any more, but preserved the immediacy of actually listening to Julian speaking. In the course of a century this version has in turn come to need adaptation since most readers aren’t used to “the Authorised Version and Shakespeare” any more. So we have gone through adapting the adaptation, so that you can both hear Julian’s voice and understand what she is saying.

New Every Day 2022

“New Every Day” is the sort of e-book you will want to keep with you all year, to read or just dip into. Your friends will love it too. It is the perfect present. “New Every Day” has 365 chapters, one for each day of the year. It celebrates not only every day but also a huge number of saints: over 600 of them. There are spiritual readings for every day and for many of the saints of the day. There are biographies of the saints and over 300 illustrations.

The readings come from all periods, from the early 2nd century to the end of the 20th. Some of the authors are famous, like St Augustine. Some are great orators, like St Leo the Great. About others, nothing at all is known, like the anonymous ancient author (11 April) who imagines Jesus going down into the underworld and meeting Adam face to face. There are readings by the saints and readings about them. St Peter Claver (9 September) describes the arrival of a slave ship in Colombia and what has to be done for its passengers. Mr Masten, Protestant chaplain of Newgate prison, writes (23 June) about the last night and morning of the martyr St Thomas Garnet: “I never saw him so full of life, and almost miraculous cheerfulness”. St Thérèse of Lisieux (1 October) lays out her unique spirituality, which changed our notions of sainthood for ever and led her to be acclaimed as a Doctor of the Church.

If you are familiar with the Office of Readings: the readings in “New Every Day” are taken from the Second Readings for every day. But not just the ones you would see if you celebrated that hour today. All the possible readings for today are included in today’s chapter, including readings from all over the world, wherever we have the data in our database. For instance, you would never normally see Mr Masten’s story about St Thomas Garnet unless you lived in Arundel diocese, in southern England.

“New Every Day” is not a prayer-book. It is more human and delightful than that. It is a treasury of spiritual uplift and refreshment. You can dip into it most days, or look through and explore whenever you need it, or just feel like it.

“New Every Day” is available as an e-book in Kindle and ePub formats. Read all about the book, and how to buy it from the Amazon Kindle Store and Apple Books.

Resurrection Is Now

“Resurrection Is Now”, by Dom Aelred Watkin, is the great discovery of the Daily Books feature. It was printed privately by Downside Abbey and they kindly gave us permission to reproduce it as a Daily Book in the Universalis apps and programs. We were so impressed by it that we automatically included it in everyone’s “About Today” page for the month of November. It attracted an enormous amount of fan mail, and no wonder: Dom Aelred, who was the greatest Head Master of Downside I have known, was a learned man full of deep wisdom, and in “Resurrection Is Now” there is encouragement and enlightenment on every page. It is one of those books where every sentence is worth chewing over and re-reading.

If you have a Universalis app or program, then you can put daily instalments of “Resurrection Is Now” into your About Today page (or another page, if you prefer). The instructions are here.

A lot of people have asked about a printed copy of the book, or even an e-book. The monks of Downside are looking into reprinting Dom Aelred’s book (it will be a best-seller when they do it) but they are fully occupied at present with moving to a new location. Please join your prayers to ours for them in this important time of both upheaval and discernment.

As far as the e-book format goes, “New Every Day” includes “Resurrection Is Now”, split into daily instalments for the month of November. So if you don’t want to wait for a separate e-book, that is a way of getting hold of it now.

Thank you all for using Universalis. If you have trouble or questions, or suggestions, do write to us at universalis@universalis.com or use the Contact Us button in one of the apps.

Let us all keep one another in our prayers, as always.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.