I've always loved this quotation from St. Josemaria Escriva: "Spiritual reading has made many saints."
It's certainly true that, if you look at the lives of the saints, many of them came to know God through reading. Some examples include St. Teresa of Avila, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Edith Stein... can you think of others?
Keeping this in mind, I try to keep a regular habit of spiritual reading. I find that I'm more fervent and dedicated to my faith when I'm reading good spiritual works that encourage and cultivate my interior life.
Here's what I'm reading right now:
I discovered "Searching for and Maintaining Peace" by Father Jacques Phillipe thanks to a blog post by the lovely Martha Reilly (whose blog is no longer public, sadly). Even though I'm only a short way into it, this book is already one of my favorites. I find that it inspires me to seek interior peace while giving me the spiritual tools to maintain it throughout all the little trials that come my way.
Meanwhile, I was inspired to read "The Seven Storey Mountain" by Thomas Merton after seeing a plaque dedicated to him on a recent trip to Louisville, Kentucky. I'm not very far into that one either, but so far it's very interesting and beautifully written.
Here's one of my favorite passages so far:
In case you can't read that, it says: "It is a law of man's nature, written into his very essence, and just as much a part of him as the desire to build houses and cultivate the land and marry and have children and read books and sing songs, that he should want to stand together with other men in order to acknowledge their common dependence on God, their Father and Creator. In fact, this desire is much more fundamental than any purely physical necessity."
Isn't that beautiful?
What spiritual books are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite spiritual work?