Spiritual December

Posted on November 30, 2011 by | Posted in about LibriVox, Blog, Monthly Picks, News | Comments: 7 Comments on Spiritual December

The year draws to a close, and many people use this time for retro- and introspection. Maybe the folllowing 10 gems from our catalog will help you on your spiritual journey.

Let’s start with the obvious: Christmas! You know the story: Bethlehem, manger, shepherds, star, three wise men,… Well, there is also the Story of the other Wise Man, who got lost on the way… Listen to the story by Henry van Dyke to find out if he reached his goal in the end.

Great similarities there are between the story of Jesus and that of John the Baptist. His life starts around the same time, and ends almost equally tragic: through the sheer stubbornness of Salome. Listen to our dramatic production of Oscar Wilde’s play.

Henryk Sienkiewicz tells about the burning of Rome by Emperor Nero, and the love that blossoms in its ruins between the Roman Marcus Vinicius and the Christian Lygia, in his famous book Quo Vadis.

“Where are you going?” is also asked of Evan McIan and James Turnbull. The devout Catholic and convinced atheist wander about to find a good spot for their duel. Whether the former gains satisfaction from the latter for insulting the Virgin Mary can be read in G. K. Chesterton’s novel The Ball and the Cross.

Seeking satisfaction and revenge was the cause for the War between the Kauravas and the Pandavas. The big battle shall start tomorrow, but the warrior Arjuna has doubts over the killing. This is when Krishna takes him aside and their talk is recorded as the Bhagavad Gita, the central text of Hindu theology. This recording is also available in German.

Buddhism is the other important Eastern religion, and it goes back to the prince Gautama Buddha, who left his palace to seek enlightenment. Read the famous Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse to delve deeper into the life of Buddha.

The prophet Mohammed is considered the founder of Islam, as its most sacred text has been written down by him. Since then, The Meaning of the Glorious Koran has been sought for by countless people. This specific translation is by Mohammed M. Pickthall.

Mary Antin’s family left their Jewish traditions behind in Russia, when they emigrated to America. Read Mary’s touching accout of their new life in The Promised Land where they hoped to find peace and acceptance.

The ancestors of Charles Alexander Eastman, also known as Ohiyesa, emigrated also to North America, albeit thousands of years ago. Read The Soul of the Indian for an in depth view of their unique religion.

Let’s get back to where we started: Christmas. If baking cookies, wrapping presents and other holiday activities contribute to a heightened feeling of stress rather than spirituality, take a break with the first volume of our Hymn Collection.

Happy holidays to people of all faiths!



  1. Anon says:

    “Buddhism is the other important Eastern religion…”

    That’s really rather offensive.

  2. Samuel says:

    It may be considered rather a small point, but the prophet Mohammed was actually illiterate, thus he didn’t write the Quran, but rather recited it to his companions, who also memorised it and among whom were scribes.

  3. Jimson says:

    THIS comment is offensive, in a LOL kinda way:

    “‘Buddhism is the other important Eastern religion…’

    That’s really rather offensive.”

    offended at this? ridiculous.

  4. Andy says:

    Thanks a lot for an interesting and balanced collection!!

  5. John says:

    That’s religion for you – intolerance and bickering.

  6. Anonymous says:

    That’s religion for you — people who donate their time to put books on Librivox so that others may choose to use them or bicker about them, whichever they please.

  7. Sara says:

    “Spiritual December”. (naming religions is not so important)- We enjoyed the warm, inclusive, sharing spirit of the essay. Thank you so much.

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