I took it to Adoration and when I couldn't focus on praying read this. This is a very little book, but very deep. I feel like I should be sitting withI took it to Adoration and when I couldn't focus on praying read this. This is a very little book, but very deep. I feel like I should be sitting with pen and paper and taking notes like I'm in school. And I might just do that, so I can remember the details better.
I don't have much experience with Lectio Divina, but this book makes me want to try it. It highly recommends doing this with the Gospels, more than other scripture. And it does make a certain amount of sense. I take all these different books to Adoration sometimes, but not the Bible!
Things to keep in mind: there is no one specific method of Teresian prayer, and we "pray as we can not as we ought"....more
The book for the most part consists of The Book of Her Foundations, all the details of which are rather difficult to retain especially the way St. TerThe book for the most part consists of The Book of Her Foundations, all the details of which are rather difficult to retain especially the way St. Teresa writes jumping around. The parts that still stick with me are the stories of miracles regarding the ladies wishing to become nuns....more
This book is available on Gutenberg.org. I downloaded it to my Kindle and now am slowly reading it. As I'm reading I find that it enhances meditationThis book is available on Gutenberg.org. I downloaded it to my Kindle and now am slowly reading it. As I'm reading I find that it enhances meditation in my rosaries. This book gets into such detail that I never thought of before, but makes a lot of sense.
Completed. I felt the beginning was stronger than the end - up to (not including) the start of Jesus's ministry....more
This little book costs more than the actual Catechism that it's meant to summarize. But I have the Catechism and it's a little daunting, whereas thisThis little book costs more than the actual Catechism that it's meant to summarize. But I have the Catechism and it's a little daunting, whereas this looks manageable, and I like the question-answer format and all the nice color illustrations, haha.
This is good. I know that it's brief, and I still have questions about certain questions, but like I said, it's more manageable reading it in this shorter format, and I enjoy the illustrations, and the explanations of the symbolic meaning of these illustrations are fantastic.
Question 58 "Why does God permit evil?" isn't answered fully, because I know that there is more to it, having to do with the freedom of will. I guess I'll try to look up the full Catechism in a bit.
This in the Question 87 struck me as highly significant: "He [Jesus] was made true man, our brother, without ceasing to be God, our Lord." Sometimes, it's good to be reminded of the familial relation, and sometimes I can take this fact that Jesus is our brother rather for granted and forget the other part.
Question 90 says that the Son of God "knew fully the eternal plans which he had come to reveal". Right, except that if I recall correctly even the Son of Man doesn't know the hour of the end times. And also here I had a question if He knew he'd rise from the dead; and then duh! of course. ...more
I found this in our parish's library, and I think I've had it on my to-read list. Someone has actually gone through this book and underlined key thingI found this in our parish's library, and I think I've had it on my to-read list. Someone has actually gone through this book and underlined key things, which I'm finding very helpful, because of the circuitous way Chesterton can be. This is actually pretty interesting, although at times it feels dated, because I have no clue of the (apparently well-known at the time) people Chesterton mentions.
A few times as I read I make notes to look up certain names, and then see that Chesterton explains it in the following few pages. I took a break from reading this book; about a couple of months, and now I lost track of whatever Chesterton was talking about. I rather like this book, but I think I'm going to forget it as quickly as I read it. I think I need to reread it a few times.
This is autobiographical, about his imprisonment in Russia.
-- Just started reading a couple of days ago. It reminds me of the memoir by Ginzburg a bitThis is autobiographical, about his imprisonment in Russia.
-- Just started reading a couple of days ago. It reminds me of the memoir by Ginzburg a bit (Journey into the Whirlwind) which basically also had to do with the Russian prisons, interrogations and work camps in Siberia and Ginzburg also was a political prisoner, but obviously this author has a rather different perspective as an American and a priest. (As far as I remember, it seemed that the interrogators were tougher on Ginzburg. I wondered if it's due to the fact that Ciszek was an American citizen and they were concerned that if he ever went back he'd tell stories about torture, etc.)
I was so happy to read about the first time Fr. Ciszek was able to celebrate Mass after 5 years. Oh, and the part where he got the high recognition of "Zvanie Udarnika Kommunisticheskogo Truda" (translated in the book as "Shock Troop of Communist Labor") made me laugh out loud. (I was reading that on my luch break at work: not sure what my co-workers thought...) It was just so unexpected; it's a very old term.
I was impressed with the way Ciszek argued with the authorities about conducting his missionary work after his release (with restrictions). So brave to continue doing it after numerous hints. ...more
This book is fantastic. Apparently, Mark Twain considered this his best work. It's the biography of Joan of Arc with a bit of fiction mixed in. It reaThis book is fantastic. Apparently, Mark Twain considered this his best work. It's the biography of Joan of Arc with a bit of fiction mixed in. It reads like an adventure. I knew of her story in broad strokes: I even researched it once for a school project I think. But this is much more detailed, and more interesting than the accounts I've read.
It's fun to read a few books at the same time and make connections to each other... Lately, anything I read reminds me of Saint Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox. This particular quote caught my attention in view of the criticism of Platonism: "When [nations:] love a great and noble thing, they embody it--they want it so that they can see it with their eyes; like Liberty, for instance. They are not content with the cloudy abstract idea, they make a beautiful statue of it, and then their beloved idea is substantial and they can look at it and worship it." (pp. 225-226) I was like "Exactly!" Well, I suppose you can go overboard either way: keeping things too abstract at a distance, or idolizing things; and I think in society today both are evident.
(Note: I'm reviewing a different edition than what I've selected -- this library book published in 1924 by Harper & Row Publishers has no ISBN number in it. It's hardcover with 288 pages.)
On page 224ff, Joan of Arc is threatened with torture and makes a response that just blows the witnesses away:
"I will tell you nothing more than I have told you; no, not even if you tear the limbs from my body. And even if in my pain I did say something otherwise, I would always say afterward that it was the torture that spoke and not I."
No, there was no crushing that spirit, and no beclouding that clear mind. Consider the depth, the wisdom of that answer, coming from an ignorant girl. Why, there were not six men in the world who had ever reflected that words forced out of a person by horrible tortures were not necessarily words of verity and truth, yet this unlettered peasant-girl put her finger upon that flaw with an unerring instinct. I had always supposed that torture brought out the truth--everybody supposed it; and when Joan came out with those simple common-sense words they seemed to flood the place with light. It was like a lightning-flash at midnight which suddenly reveals a fair valley sprinkled over with silver streams and gleaming villages and farmsteads where was only an impenetrable world of darkness before. Manchon stole a sidewise look at me, and his face was full of surprise; and there was the like to be seen in other faces there. Consider--they were old, and deeply cultured, yet here was a village maid able to teach them something which they had not known before. I heard one of them mutter:
"Verily it is a wonderful creature. She has laid her hand upon an accepted truth that is as old and the world, and it has crumbled to dust and rubbish under her touch. Now whence got she that marvelous insight?"
I mean nowadays everyone knows this truth, but I guess I didn't realize how they had no inkling of it at all....more
A free online version is available from Christian Classics Ethereal Library (the same translation, though different edition). I was reading this alongA free online version is available from Christian Classics Ethereal Library (the same translation, though different edition). I was reading this along with the now-defunct Benedict's Book Club. First from the online version, but then I went ahead and purchased the actual book on paper, because it's more convenient than staring at the screen. (The advantage of the online version is that you can over over the Bible citations and see a bit of the context. The other is if you want to quote long passages, you can just copy and not type them in.) Some of the comments I made about it in the bookclub:
Reading Imitation of Christ seems to almost go against what it says... I mean the way it says that it's not about how learned you become (e.g. through reading books!) but what you do. I've finally gotten started on the book, using the online version, and ordered the actual book too, because that's more convenient than reading off the screen. And this was my first thought upon reading the first couple of chapters... The other thing is for some reason as I'm reading it's not memorable to me. These words just sort of slide over me and don't stick. Perhaps I'm distracted right now, but it's not striking the cord with me, as when I first read the book.
I found [...:] that I tend to skip around in this book finding particularly relevant sections to me. But I think it would be good to read it straight through once, so I know what there is, so I maybe can find relevant stuff more easily later... As of now I have no idea what I might find in the middle, since I've read only parts of the beginning and parts of the end.
A bit of an update... It looks like I may have spoken too soon, because although at first I didn't get into the book so much, later it amazed me: a few of the chapters were nearly direct answers to a prayer, and other chapters had to do with something I've been thinking of throughout the day.
The other day I came across this passage: "When the grace of God comes to a man he can do all things, but when it leaves him he becomes poor and weak, abandoned, as it were, to affliction. Yet, in his condition he should not become dejected or despair. On the contrary, he should calmly await the will of God and bear whatever befalls him in praise of Jesus Christ, for after winter comes summer, after night, day, and after the storm, a great calm." Not sure how helpful this would be if I was in that situation, but right now it just makes so much sense. Whenever I've had dark times, I always came out of them and it was just like that: night and day, storm and great calm.
Also I've just realized that in the original Book Four was Book Three. Here's from the translators' note: "There is but one major change. The treatise on Holy Communion, which A Kempis places as Book Three, is here titled Book Four. The move makes the order of the whole more logical and agrees with the thought of most editors." I could actually see it as Book Three, because the Holy Communion is so important. We need the Eucharist to develop the interior life, to hear His voice, and to follow Him. It's helpful, at any rate. You can't really try doing it alone; then afterwards receive Christ. We need Him right now as we are, and then (hopefully!) we are transformed by Him. So there is the logic of men, which says that the part titled "Internal Consolation" fits better as Book Three following the other two books about "Thoughts Helpful in the Life of the Soul" and "Interior Life". And then there is the spiritual logic that says that Holy Communion should come before, because it will bring about the "Internal Consolation" and all those things discussed in that section.
It's interesting to note that it seems I even was reading the book that way: the first two Books, then skipping Book Three directly to Book Four on the Holy Communion. ...more
This is St. Ignatius' autobiography although he wrote it in the third person and called himself simply a pilgrim. This is a story of his conversion anThis is St. Ignatius' autobiography although he wrote it in the third person and called himself simply a pilgrim. This is a story of his conversion and how he formed the Company of Jesus. Our parish pastor talked a little about his spirituality, and Spiritual Exercises, and recommended this book. And apparently he describes clearly what his influences were, his spiritual condition (the consolations and the desolation), etc. Sounds interesting. ...more
The beginning of the book reminded me of Angels & Demons because it starts with the death of a pope and election of a new one. But it seems betterThe beginning of the book reminded me of Angels & Demons because it starts with the death of a pope and election of a new one. But it seems better researched. And so far that's the only similarity. I'm not very far into it, but I'm enjoying it so far. A little bit slow-moving, but thoughtful.
This was different from what I usually read... Not a whole lot of action, but still fascinating to read about the thinking of all these characters. There's a lot in there. The book also lacks a neat resolution; it ends after the main character makes a decision with regard to the world crisis, but before it's implemented, and so we don't get to see any results. I suppose that's kinda realistic - it's a leap in the dark, doing something without knowing what the outcome will be... So I found it unusual, but it sort of makes sense. Unless there's supposed to be a sequel??
Hah! Wikipedia mentions that the character of Jean Telemond was based on Pierre Teilhard de Chardin; and I've actually was thinking that his idea sounded like Teilhard's, and also the fact it was banned (at least for a time)... Not that I know much about Teilhard - it came up in one of Pope Benedict XVI's writings (The Spirit of the Liturgy maybe?) very briefly and I looked it up to understand what he was talking about....more
This book is somewhat expensive, but it's on my wishlist. I think its whole contents is also available online here, but it would be just so much moreThis book is somewhat expensive, but it's on my wishlist. I think its whole contents is also available online here, but it would be just so much more convenient to have it on hand, rather than on computer screen.
I had an opportunity to go to this Eucharistic Miracles Exhibit and took it, because I was just thinking recently about how I wanted to learn more about the Eucharistic miracles. I heard one story from a friend back in Latvia... There was a ton of miracles, and I didn't even get to see all of it. It was interesting, but overwhelming; it's like you have to visit it several times. Or you know, get this book ;)
(view spoiler)[The miracle told to me by a friend is actually on a very common theme, as I found out. As the priest celebrates the Mass, he has a doubt about the Real Presence, and the wine turns into actual blood, or the bread into flesh (or both!). One of the miracles in the exhibit had a twist to this theme, as the priest hesitated to raise the chalice, the crucifix on the altar came to life, and Jesus took the chalice from the priest's hands and raised it for the faithful to see. Can you imagine the priest's reaction?
Another common theme included someone stealing the consecrated host from church and trying to do magic with it or desecrate it, and the host turning into bleeding flesh (partially or entirely), making noise or giving off a lot of light if hidden, or resisting every attempt to destroy it. Usually it scared the perpetrators, who then confessed what they did and returned the relic. There was this one person who stole the host to desecrate it, pierced it and found that it started to bleed, so he tried to destroy the host and put it into the fire. The host rose from the fire completely unharmed. So you gotta get into the mind of this person, "Aha, fire doesn't work; how about water?" and he put it in boiling water! Just so funny... Water couldn't harm it either, so this person gave the host to a pious woman who brought it back to the church.
One interesting twist on this theme was about a person who stole the host so he could devoutly pray to it, because the church was just too far for this person to go to as often as he wanted. He placed the host inside of some stick, and when he would go out into the field with his sheep, he would stick the stick into the ground and pray before it for hours. Once he without thinking threw the stick at something, and the host fell out. He was instantly sorry, and tried to pick it up, but he couldn't move it at all. Chagrined he called the priest and confessed what he had done, but the priest could not move the host either. They called the bishop; the bishop could not lift the host until he promised he would build a church there.
There were neat stories where animals were involved. For instance, one was of the priest who kinda slipped and dropped the ciborium with the consecrated hosts into the river. He thought they were lost, but then a few fishermen pointed out to him that there were some fish by the shore with the hosts in their mouths. The priest ran to the church to get another ciborium without even checking the fishermen's story, rushed back, and indeed he saw three fish with the hosts. He knelt down with the open ciborium and prayed, and the fish came up from the water and placed the hosts into the ciborium. And this priest was just so overwhelmed that only after all this he noticed that there was like a crowd of people witnessing this miraculous event behind him.
A wealthy trader challenged Saint Anthony, saying basically, "I will lock one of my mules for three days without food. Then if he refuses the food I give him and instead goes up to you to worship the Eucharist, I will convert." And so it happened.
There were a couple of relatively recent miracles dealing with natural disasters. In 1902 on an island in the Caribbean, a volcano erupted which destroyed a city, but spared a village that lay in between the volcano and the city. The people of the village had a particular devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When this was happening they rushed to the confessionals, and the priest gave a general absolution since there were so many. So that day the village was spared; in a few months the volcano erupted again, but at least the people had the chance to reconcile themselves with God and stuff.
The other natural disaster miracle occurred on another island in 1906. A tsunami threatened to engulf this island and drown everyone on it. The people were afraid and ran to the priest asking to set up a procession with the Blessed Sacrament, which he did. The people were comforted by the Blessed Sacrament, and they followed the priest with the monstrance to the beach and the waves. The priest made a sign of the cross with the monstrance right at the huge wave coming down. The wave hesitated, and then fell back. The waters receded, the island was saved. (hide spoiler)]
Update: I purchased this book finally, and been perusing it. I actually came across a very recent miracle - in India in 2001! Just 10 years ago. Very cool. (I missed that one in the exhibit, so ti was a surprise.) It made me think of the comments someone made at the exhibition, that these miracles tended to happen when they were needed: during times when the doctrine of Real Presence was under attack in particular. If so, this current century needs its miracles.
However, the introduction to this book rightly emphasizes that the Eucharistic miracle that happens every day in our own parishes, when mass is celebrated, must not be discounted or undervalued.
Also: this book reminded me of the sad sad incident which happened in one of the local parishes (Catholic Student Center/Sacred Heart of Jesus). One day in February a host was discovered stuck in the sleeve of a pew with missalets. I'm thinking of buying an extra copy of the book for that parish, so it could be placed somewhere etc.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more
The cover of this book is so beautiful. It's a detail from Botticelli's Virgin and Child with Five Angels (Madonna del Magnificat). I'd like a print oThe cover of this book is so beautiful. It's a detail from Botticelli's Virgin and Child with Five Angels (Madonna del Magnificat). I'd like a print of this painting :)
I like this book the most of all the other Scott Hahn's books I've read so far. Maybe I'm just getting used to his style? It's as he describes someone else's writing "compact but rich".
This book is much better with the chapter headings than Lord, Have Mercy; the subsections in chapter are still bizarre at times, but you can get the feel of what the chapters are about, especially because there's a subtitle for each chapter. Examples:
INTRODUCTION Every Mother's Son: Confessions of a Marian Prodigal (Pretty much self-explanatory; this was about the author who as a Protestant was dead-set against the Marian devotions as practiced by Catholics)
CHAPTER 1 My Type of Mother: The Loving Logic of Mary's Maternity (I don't remember what this chapter was about; it's was sort of introductory, I think)
CHAPTER 2 Christmas's Eve: Mary's Motherhood Is Eden Revisited (This chapter shows the ways in which Mary is the New Eve)
CHAPTER 3 Venerators of the Lost Ark: Israel and the Bearer of the New Covenant (This chapter explains why Mary is the new Ark of the Covenant)
CHAPTER 4 Power Behind the Throne: The Queen Mother and the Davidic King (I haven't gotten to this chapter yet, but you can sort of see how it goes)
I love the way Scott Hahn explains the scriptures, drawing from both the Old and the New Testament. It's very detailed. He also referred to the Church Fathers a lot in this book, which I also like....more
This book (1914 edition) is freely available on Project Gutenberg through the efforts of the fine folks at Distributed Proofreaders. It's a neat littlThis book (1914 edition) is freely available on Project Gutenberg through the efforts of the fine folks at Distributed Proofreaders. It's a neat little book about Benson's pilgrimage to Lourdes, with neat black and white photographs of Lourdes or relating to Lourdes. I learned something about this pilgrimage site, which I was curious about previously. For those who don't know, Lourdes is the place where Virgin Mary appeared to a little peasant girl (St. Bernadette). I don't think I can give the story justice, so I won't go on... ...more
I just got this new book for lectors through my parish. Its structure looks similar to the one for the previous year, but the authors are different, aI just got this new book for lectors through my parish. Its structure looks similar to the one for the previous year, but the authors are different, and while the introduction in the 2009 edition focused a lot on the spiritual preparation, this year the introduction is more about the technical presentation. I like that it's somewhat different and I can learn something new. This is what I mean:
Word value is also determined by context. The words "one, two, thee..." are neutral by themselves, but put in context they intensify: "Three seconds until lift-off! One ... two...!" If, in reading that sentence, "One, two..." sounds the same as when followed by "buckle my shoe" you've got work to do.
Not that it's something new to me, but it's funny! :D...more
Wow. There's so much great information in this book, and it's written in such an easy way. I mean, after reading some of the Pope Benedict XVI's booksWow. There's so much great information in this book, and it's written in such an easy way. I mean, after reading some of the Pope Benedict XVI's books, this -- I could get used to.
And strangely enough it is consoling. It's not really relevant to the situation that I'm currently bothered by, but when he explains the book of Revelation, you get the distinct feeling that God has a plan that can't fail.
The latter part was a bit frustrating in that it seemed many concepts were introduced but only too briefly without going into the depth. Maybe it was my fault, reading too quickly or something. But it seemed like Scott Hahn was using key phrases that I would want to pause at and consider, but then he'd throw out the next semi-related sentence.
The final part of the book is where everything is kind of summarized and I liked it a lot. I wanted to quote a lot from that section, but I can't quote whole chapters! And besides you kind of need to know what goes before to "get it", get all the meaning from it.
I can say that this book enhanced my understanding of the mass; made me more attentive (at least this time! hope it lasts, because it was great!)...more
I listened to an abridged version of the book. It was part of the series "Catholic CD of the month", given to me by a fellow parishioner. I guess thisI listened to an abridged version of the book. It was part of the series "Catholic CD of the month", given to me by a fellow parishioner. I guess this is a CD for June.
The story highlights the value of integrity. Fr. Goldmann expressed his beliefs to the point that even his fellow seminarians wouldn't venture; and he was the only one of them who actually survived the war, although he had many hardships.
The power of prayer and faith is also a significant theme, and it's fantastic. A nun prayed for Goldmann for 20 years that he would be ordained a priest because he expressed such a desire to her. Goldmann did not believe it was possible, because of the disruption of the war. But it worked! I don't want to spoil the details.
I still want to read the book in full, since this was an abridgement. It was very good....more
This book is very useful. I like the way it presents the texts, breaking down the sentences by sense and highlighting important words for reading, andThis book is very useful. I like the way it presents the texts, breaking down the sentences by sense and highlighting important words for reading, and the commentary is great....more
I saw this little book early in my spiritual life in my parish bookstore. I don't really know what drew me to it. It had a simple red cover with someI saw this little book early in my spiritual life in my parish bookstore. I don't really know what drew me to it. It had a simple red cover with some symbol (looks like a mix between the cross and the sword) and the title "Sekošana Kristum" (Latvian for "Following Christ").* And I bought it.
I read bits and parts of it as I needed. I can't really read it all from the beginning to the end, although I certainly tried. But I don't think it's really necessary. Sometimes it's okay to skip ahead to the important bits about the Eucharist and such... It's a fantastic book.
However it's getting harder and harder to read with time, because I'm really rusty with Latvian. Not my native language, and I'm a long way from Latvia now, so I don't get to practice it... I was thinking of buying an English translation if I can find a good one.
* In fact, it was a lot like this edition with some differences - but the symbol is the same. What is it?...more
I finally visited the Visitation gift shop, which I always wanted to do, but it just seemed like too far out of my way. I decided I needed to buy at lI finally visited the Visitation gift shop, which I always wanted to do, but it just seemed like too far out of my way. I decided I needed to buy at least something, and I ended up with this book - "He Leadeth Me" by Walter Czizek. And that was wonderful. More expensive than it would be on Amazon, but you gotta support the only Catholic shop in town, hehe. The book is great; shorter than I expected, but it's very good in content. I was very touched by the chapter about the Mass; about the sacrifices made by these men every day to participate in Mass or receive Communion. It did make me think about how accessible Mass is here, and how I don't appreciate it as much as I should.
It also sort of gave me a bit of insight on dealing with a situation troubling me. Honestly, I need to set this all aside for the next almost two months, and just trust that nothing will happen that God doesn't want to happen. If the worst happens, then that's God's will and I need to accept it and be glad since that's His will for me.
"Whatever you want, Lord, I will do" is so easy to say and think you mean it. But "He Leadeth Me" revealed to me that whatever happens to me, that's what He wants. My part in it is just trusting him, looking for what He wants me to do, and cooperating. ...more