Been over a decade since I last read this, but still it enraptures me. This time around I noticed just how much scripture was weaved into everything hBeen over a decade since I last read this, but still it enraptures me. This time around I noticed just how much scripture was weaved into everything he said. Often he blends St. Paul into whatever he is talking about; especially in the later chapters after the main part of his conversion story.
Also this time I tried an audiobook version for my commute.
The narrator was Bernard Mayes whose voice matched the material. Kind of British professorial.
Didn't know who he was and looked up his Wiki entry. Oddly for a narrator of St. Augustine the man was a priest who left the priesthood became an atheist and had same-sex attraction. Still he did an excellent job of narration.
I managed to get this audiobook for basically $3.99, by buying the .99 Kindle ebook and then the Audible version for another $2.99. Thank you Amazon....more
A decent enough thriller and the context of it was pretty interesting. Although one piece of storytelling regarding a character was rather obvious toA decent enough thriller and the context of it was pretty interesting. Although one piece of storytelling regarding a character was rather obvious to me....more
Mix in some solid history of the customs of the Jewish people at the time of Jesus and apply them to the hidden years of Jesus and in this casSo good.
Mix in some solid history of the customs of the Jewish people at the time of Jesus and apply them to the hidden years of Jesus and in this case you get an excellent meditation. I've read other things that have attempted this, but none that were better....more
I remember that this book was very good, wow just forgot how good. Such an excellent meditation on Mary and Jesus. Really brings out the truth of theI remember that this book was very good, wow just forgot how good. Such an excellent meditation on Mary and Jesus. Really brings out the truth of the phrase "To Jesus through Mary."...more
Just never bonded with the characters. The story was fine it, the idea of the story is one I would normally quite enjoy. Just that I have seen other aJust never bonded with the characters. The story was fine it, the idea of the story is one I would normally quite enjoy. Just that I have seen other authors actually pull if off without being so contrived. ...more
One great thing about reading is that there is often a new favorite author around the corner.
When I read "Swan Song" by Robert McCammon I found anotheOne great thing about reading is that there is often a new favorite author around the corner.
When I read "Swan Song" by Robert McCammon I found another favorite author. That book was simply outstanding. Now that I have read this one this is certainly a new favorite author. Wow just wow....more
Once again Lent is coming around again in it’s a annual cycle. Yet with Easter being a movable feast we still are always a bit surprised by the startOnce again Lent is coming around again in it’s a annual cycle. Yet with Easter being a movable feast we still are always a bit surprised by the start of Lent regardless of whether Ash Wednesday starts earlier or later than average. Lent is almost something you can look forward to. We know we need that spring cleaning of the soul and that we have some work to do to get our spiritual lives untangled. Still if we think of an upcoming Lent at all we also know that we want to make good use of it.
Yet once Lent starts we can hardly wait for it to be over. The saying “no plan survives contact with the enemy” is often true of Lenten plans and we do have an enemy that would disrupt any plan towards growing in holiness. So exactly how do you maintain a good Lent? No doubt there are plenty of strategies to do so that we learn to adapt to our own personalities.
I’ve always found spiritual reading greatly helpful in this, but our moving inward must help us also move outward in the world. Fasting is very useful, but it also has to move into the dimensions of the spiritual works.
So I was presently surprised to find an excellent book with all this in mind. Marcellino D’ambrosio sent me a couple of his recent books including 40 Days, 40 Ways: A New Look at Lent. While there is a treasury of books with daily meditations during Lent, this book has that solid core while also being filled with practical suggestions. These suggestions help with concrete examples of how to live the faith. To externalize what you are learning. To take us out of ourselves.
His personable style brings what he has learned in his own life through examples easy to relate to. This book is something to help challenge you through Lent and to make of Lent what you always intended but still fell away like a New Year’s resolution. Two to three pages a day makes reading this through Lent quite doable.
I especially liked this points at the end of the book regarding Easter and the Easter season. Lent gets all the attention, yet it is the joy of Easter we are striving towards
After reading it I now look at the reviews and see that my own opinion was matched by many others whose opinions I trust, including my previous bishop.
Marcellino D’Ambrosio offers the neophyte as well as the seasoned Catholic a potpourri of Lenten reflections that are as engaging as they are practical. If you want to fall more in love with Jesus, then nourish yourself with 40 Days, 40 Ways! — Victor Galeone, Bishop Emeritus of St. Augustine, Florida...more
At first considering this is a nuclear war dystopia I was finding it rather bleak and nihilistic at the start. Yet that in no way describes this novelAt first considering this is a nuclear war dystopia I was finding it rather bleak and nihilistic at the start. Yet that in no way describes this novel at all. The more I read the more I was comparing it to Stephen King's "The Stand", one of my all-time favorite books. There are certainly similarities with a massive die-off followed by the stories of distinct groups of people. A vaguely Randall Flagg like character as a personification of evil. A story of good versus evil with a confrontation between the two sides.
I am just totally blown over by this book. The story, characters, and how the author uses of simile were very descriptive and immediate brought to mind what they intended. Still since on my wish list I added it to my audible wish list and it went on sale this week. This book made it to my wish list some years ago. I had never read anything from this author so it was not a high priority on my wish list.
What was the most surprising to me was not only that it stood up well in my estimation with The Stand, is that it was as good as that book or even better. There were plenty of interesting ideas regarding the development of the story and some very imaginative plot points that made it even better. The fact that I totally fell in love with the characters made it all the better. Usually in a story you can detect major plot points and to what end they were going. While true here to some extent, there was much to find out and the direction was not always what you expected. There was a tension of suspense throughout. Plus the universal themes were well done as I cared for the characters and appreciated the humanness of even some of the evil characters. That even the vilest might reach for repentance.
I found this totally enjoyable all along the way especially considering the confrontation and the epilogue. I will be totally exploring this author's catalog, especially since I found he has lots of books available via KindleUnlimited....more
This is a book likely I would never had come in contact with if not given as a Christmas gift.
In the last hundred years and more there has been multipThis is a book likely I would never had come in contact with if not given as a Christmas gift.
In the last hundred years and more there has been multiple attacks on the reliability of the New Testament. Much of this has come from trying to apply new scholarly critical methods and some from skeptics simply trying to undermine the texts. There are also many common sense approaches that seem to bear out reasons to be distrustful. Some of these approaches became very useful in approaching these texts while others were built on incorrect assumptions such as aspects of form criticism.
So I was delighted to find that this book takes the current research in multiple fields and looks at some of the assumptions made in the past and see how they hold up. One of the areas regarding reliability of the Gospels has assumed facts such as communities changing texts and the unreliability of testimony of eyewitnesses.
This book is quite amazing in scope and quite an amazing undertaking. I leaned so much along the way regarding memory and what the latest research found in modern communities with a primary oral tradition. Memory can and does fail due to false memories, blending, and trying to pull together forgotten details is spelled out. Yet there are areas where memory are much more reliable in the main events. This provides some of the background. But there is also intense study regarding the structure and narratives involved in the Gospels along with all the clues that can be found. This is combined with what was known historically regarding the authors and composition of the Gospels. The Gospels of Mark and John are especially studied. There is even study of personal names and historical statistical usage to show evidence regarding testimony.
This book is quite scholarly with tons of footnotes. Yet as a non-scholar I was absorbed by the details and the forensic examination of the Gospels. Strangely it also makes the Gospels come more alive for me as it erases some of the modern assumptions I had.
This is the third techno-thriller I have read from this author and the weakest of the lot. On the plus side this is a very imaginative technology wiseThis is the third techno-thriller I have read from this author and the weakest of the lot. On the plus side this is a very imaginative technology wise knitting together science and speculation with other elements. I enjoyed the majority of this. The flaw was in execution and that I figured out a head of time exactly what was going to happen. Something that should have been a surprise. But the structure of the storytelling gave it away for me since I couldn't accept what happened as the actual answer and this lead me to the solution.
The attack in the book on priestly celibacy was rather idiotic saying it would attract child abusers, something that is not born out by any study as compared to other groups. Just not sure why this was included in the story at all. Some of the theology in the book could have used a good dose of Aquinas since it was rather off, but speculative theology with speculative science can certainly be part of the genre....more
While I enjoyed this book and the case presented. I don't myself find that what he called the forgotten story was really forgotten, at least in CatholWhile I enjoyed this book and the case presented. I don't myself find that what he called the forgotten story was really forgotten, at least in Catholic circles in my experience. Although he did have a general caveat about where this was true among Protestant churches, especially ones with a more pauline focus.
Still I found some interesting insights regarding the narrative of kingdom and cross and one especially useful metaphor...more
Solid summary of the life of this great saint. Still not much more detail or insight for those who already have some more than casual awareness of hisSolid summary of the life of this great saint. Still not much more detail or insight for those who already have some more than casual awareness of his story....more
I am still kind of processing this last entry in the Odd Thomas series. There were surprises and a trajectory I expected. There were cerCloser to 4.5.
I am still kind of processing this last entry in the Odd Thomas series. There were surprises and a trajectory I expected. There were certainly expressions at what make Odd Thomas such a great character. Humble and meek, but meek in the old sense of the word always willing to do what is right as the situation calls for it. Navigating all the external dangers while also navigating the spiritual dangers.
Overall a fitting end to the series. Really it makes me want to go back and read the first and third books which really excelled....more