The flourishing website known as the Episcopal Café (www.episcopalcafe.org) produced by the Diocese of Washington attracts several thousand visitors a day. Its popular column “Speaking to the Soul,” which contains a concise, well-developed spiritual reflection for every day of the year, draws from many different sources, including scripture, church history, saints’ biographies, books of prayers, liturgies, and ancient and contemporary theologians and spiritual writers.
This daily reader grew out of that column. It follows the Episcopal Church’s liturgical seasons and includes observation of major feast days as well as saints’ days.
The reading for a particular saint’s day might be taken from the saint’s writings, prayers, or biography, or might develop a theme such as martyrdom or growth in the spirit. Other readings focus on particular emphases of the seasons (the Incarnation during Advent and Christmas; spiritual disciplines during Lent); or speak more generally to the Christian life (prayer, discipleship, ministry, the sacraments, conflict and reconciliation, and so on).
Readings are taken from every century of the church’s life, with particular attention to how the writings and experiences of earlier Christians can shed light on the difficulties, joys, and concerns of the church today. Excerpts are long enough to give a satisfying and complete context of the writer’s intended meaning.