I've gotten started on this book two times before, and quit before or at Chapter 2. I guess it was a bit hard reading; I had to remember (or reread) wI've gotten started on this book two times before, and quit before or at Chapter 2. I guess it was a bit hard reading; I had to remember (or reread) what the author talked about before, to understand what point he's trying to make. It seemed circuitous...
I'm liking it better now. I'm glad for the Philosophy course I took, because I could tell in one place where Chesterton kind of referred to Descartes without naming names - the extreme sceptic that disbelieves even his own senses, who believes in demons and spirits, but not in material things. Of course Descartes argued back to believing his senses, but that was the start: that he couldn't tell whether everything was a dream or reality...
I came across this sentence on page 103 about the saints: "They, being humble could parade themselves, but we are too proud to be prominent." It might seem like a paradox unless you have some context, but I liked this powerful statement. It tells me that it's okay to have high goals, if they are the right kind of goals.
The last few pages of the last chapter were confusing. I still don't know what he was trying to say there. Oh, well. I'll try rereading in a couple of years, to see if I understand better.
In the last chapter Chesterton answers a question that a hypothetical agnostic may ask a person who has found truths in certain doctrines, "But even supposing that those doctrines do include those truths, why cannot you take the truths and leave the doctrines? [...:] If you see clearly the kernel of common sense in the nut of Christian orthodoxy, why cannot you simply take the kernel and leave the nut? Why cannot you simply take what is good in Christianity, what you can define as valuable, and leave all the rest, all the absolute dogmas that are in their nature incomprehensible?"
The answer he gives essentially is that he has looked into the many and various objections to Christianity and found them false, based on incorrect assumptions. The truths of the Christianity however just add up, so to speak. The bottom line is this: "... my reason for accepting the religion and not merely the scattered and secular truths out of the religion. I do it because the thing has not merely told this truth or that truth, but has revealed itself as a truth-telling thing. All other philosophies say the things that plainly seem to be true; only this philosophy has again and again said the thing that does not seem to be true, but is true. Alone of all creeds it is convincing where it is not attractive; it turns out to be right..." ...more
This was a book about ideas, philosophy more than about the math, and I guess this is why I liked it. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who knows mucThis was a book about ideas, philosophy more than about the math, and I guess this is why I liked it. I wouldn't recommend it to someone who knows much about philosophy, but for me this was kind of the first introduction and it was good....more
I think this was a birthday gift. I've learned some of the new interesting poses, but this is a rather challenging book. There's a lot of stuff I justI think this was a birthday gift. I've learned some of the new interesting poses, but this is a rather challenging book. There's a lot of stuff I just can't do.
Addendum: If I recall correctly, there's a section on food, and a bit about yogic philosophy, and stuff about breathing (this is the "Mind" part that's referred to in the title I suppose). All of which I paid very little attention to, because I'm merely interested in the exercises themselves: I have my beliefs and I like them just fine....more
Thursday I found a free copy of this book that I wanted to read.
In between the table of contents and the actual start of the book, Matthew Kelly tellsThursday I found a free copy of this book that I wanted to read.
In between the table of contents and the actual start of the book, Matthew Kelly tells a striking story. Imagine that the world is suddenly struck with a mysterious flu, highly contagious and incurable. Within a couple of week of getting it, people die. It keeps spreading despite all efforts to contain it or find a cure. The countries close their borders, but find the disease is already in. Long story short, finally the cure is found; the scientists can make the vaccine to save everyone. However, they need blood of an uninfected person to make the vaccine. Everyone is called out for blood-testing. All are infected except your child. The doctors are triumphant of course, smiles on their faces ... but they didn't expect it would be a child, and they tell you that they need all of his blood and ask you to sign a release form. "We are talking about the whole world here. Please sign. We ... we ... need to hurry." And there's no other clean blood to give a transfusion to your child.
What would you do? I'd say a definite "no". I'd say they can take only as much blood as possible while keeping my child alive, and I'd demand other solutions, another way. The ends can't justify the means.
But that's not how this story goes. This story is an allegory illustrating the Father giving His Son for the salvation of the world. And it left me asking, "Why wasn't there any other way?"
I heard of Kelly's buzz phrase "the-best-version-of-oneself"... Kinda cheesy. Well as I'm reading this on page 5 (not sure, since it's actually unnumbered): "There is something ultimately attractive about men and women striving to become the-best-version-of-themselves. It is this striving that we need to rediscover as a Church." and in my mind "the-best-version-of-themselves" gets converted to "saints". I suppose the reason he doesn't say that word is because that would sound impossible to achieve!
Chapter 2 is called "The Prevailing Philosophy" and I already disagree with the author, teehe. The author distinguishes three major practical philosophies of the modern culture: Individualism ("What's in it for me?"), Hedonism ("If it feels good, do it!"), and Minimalism ("What's the least I can do...?") and that these three are ultimately self-destructive philosophies ("will destroy every individual and community that practices them").
Okay, individualism taken to the extreme may be destructive, but it is not in itself bad. It upholds the value of human life, encourages enterprise (industriousness / personal achievement). We also know how the opposite of individualism taken to its extreme can be demeaning (socialism/communism). Just the way Matthew Kelly wrote about Individualism rubbed me in the wrong way. Too harsh, too short - didn't give justice.
I could totally see the Minimalism though... I man when I was in university, I heard many students just saying "I'll be happy with a C / just need a passing grade". ...more
I'm enjoying this book greatly, and I think it complements the Bible study of the book of Matthew that I'm currently in very nicely. It brings out somI'm enjoying this book greatly, and I think it complements the Bible study of the book of Matthew that I'm currently in very nicely. It brings out some of the same points, but mostly is different, and I like that. I think I'll have to recommend this book to my Bible study group.
I've decided to clean up my exceedingly long "currently reading " list, and started with this one. This was really good. Worth rereading because of how much is covered. Pope Benedict XVI draws a lot of connections. There was a section on prayer that I liked especially since I got into the liturgy of the hours a bit. ...more
Got a free copy of this book, and I think it may be useful.
Well, now that I've started the book, I can tell that it's something I can't read straightGot a free copy of this book, and I think it may be useful.
Well, now that I've started the book, I can tell that it's something I can't read straight through once. It bears reading and reading again. I like the sentiment "Evangelize always. Use words when necessary." But that's hard! Both parts! Patrick Madrid says that the fact my close relatives are not Catholic is apparently a God's plan - to use me as a way to bring them home... He also says that nothing is impossible for God. Which is true of course, but when he describes the features that an evangelist should have: humility, love for God and love for "the neighbor", prayerful life -- I realize how far I am from that ideal. Really. Especially, since I've just recently prayed about humility and resolved to practice it with God's help, and then on vacation it all went haywire. I didn't pray as much; I was thinking more about myself than about others; I was grumpy with little provocation... He had some useful tips, though; that's why I think I'll need to read and reread.
I've gotten an opportunity to witness in my life, and decided to go one with the reading of this book looking for the tips. Once I decided I'm going to do it, the reading went smoother. I think the author should have moved the section on the excuses we make earlier! It does make some sense having it after the preparation, but still...
The book is choke-full of tips. I particularly like the advice on pages 192-194 about being patient.
At the end it also provides a list of suggested books to read afterward, with descriptions of what they are about and subdivided into Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced. I think Preliminary is the longest category, and Advanced the shortest....more
I'm on page 32, and I'm not sure about this book. It purports itself as a practical guide, but I haven't come across a single practical advice yet. ItI'm on page 32, and I'm not sure about this book. It purports itself as a practical guide, but I haven't come across a single practical advice yet. It's all words, words, words... Describing what kindness is, how it helps -- just I guess trying to motivate you to be kind. But I can't read more than a few pages at a time, and after reading them I recall nothing of essence. It's a bit frustrating that I can't focus on it: I was hoping it will get better...
The most significant part so far that kind of starts getting at what to actually do was on page 12:
1. Don't speak unkindly of anyone. 2. Don't speak unkindly to anyone. 3. Don't act unkindly to anyone.
1. Do speak kindly of someone at least once a day. 2. Do think kindly about someone at least once a day. 3. Do act kindly toward someone at least once a day.
For any unkindness committed:
1. Make a brief act of contrition, such as "My Jesus, mercy!" 2. Offer an apology, if possible. 3. Say a little prayer - such as "Bless N., O Lord" - for the one to whom you have been unkind.
The author is definitely well-intentioned, and has made me think about what I'm doing. One day I noticed how unkind I was towards someone, whereas before reading this book I wouldn't have given it a second thought. In fact, when I related the story to a couple of friends, they saw nothing wrong in my actions (the other person was in the wrong more, but I think that it started with my unkindness).
I haven't finished - had to return the book to the library. may be I'll try it some other time, and may be I'll be more receptive then....more
I was surprised by how small this book is when I checked it out of the library. But it's a real gem. It's going on my Amazon wishlist, because I'm surI was surprised by how small this book is when I checked it out of the library. But it's a real gem. It's going on my Amazon wishlist, because I'm sure I'll want to refer back to it again and again. It's quite inspirational. The ten prayers are very simple, but the insight in the chapters is amazing. I skipped over chapter 9 (Will I Ever Be Happy Again? God, Bring Good Out of This Bad Situation), because I don't think it's relevant to me right now.
The ten prayers are: 1. God, show me that you exist (and this chapter made me want to pray this even though I'm a believer!) 2. God, make me an instrument 3. God, outdo me in generosity 4. God, get me through this suffering 5. God, forgive me 6. God, give me peace 7. God, give me courage 8. God, give me wisdom 9. God, bring the good out of this bad situation 10. God, lead me to my destiny
And at the end of the book, the author presents these prayers in a poem format. Read the entire book before reading the poem - it makes it better, more poignant....more
The jacket is stunning. I've just started reading, and the first chapter is more like an overview, more of a preface or an introduction. I do hope theThe jacket is stunning. I've just started reading, and the first chapter is more like an overview, more of a preface or an introduction. I do hope the author will go into more detail in further chapters.
-- There's a lot of good information I didn't know. I liked the way the author sort of pointed out the importance of the Catholic ideas to the development of science, in particular (e.g. the universe - because it was created by God - is orderly and intelligible, so we can study it. By contrast, the ancients thought all nature was sort of personified, had its own will, and thus cannot be predicted, etc.).
There was a little bit hostility to other belief systems. For instance, I noticed in one place a debate between a catholic cardinal and a prominent protestant which wasn't relevant to the topic at hand, and so I thought it was unnecessary to describe it. I think he was just trying to sort of introduce that catholic cardinal this way by relating an anecdote about him. But it struck me as unfair to the other side, because there is probably a lot more to that debate than this. In a different chapter, the author contrasted a couple of economic ideas and tried to show that the protestant thinking led to the incorrect model... I thought he was pushing it a bit much....more
Very interesting. How what we search for online reveals who we are in a generalized way as a society. How on the basis of our Internet activity certaiVery interesting. How what we search for online reveals who we are in a generalized way as a society. How on the basis of our Internet activity certain things can be predicted....more