I found this entire collection to be more "this is what radical feminists believe" more than the actual Catholic teachings.
I understand thI found this entire collection to be more "this is what radical feminists believe" more than the actual Catholic teachings.
I understand the format: Each essay begins with the apparent worldview on each topic, from reproductive issues (i.e., contraceptives and fertility) to the work/home balance. I learned a lot about radical feminists, but I don't think those views are anything near what your average woman/feminist actually believes. I found them to be presented more for the shock value than an actual basis for comparison.
The most informative essay was the one on fertility, which offered natural, Church-okay'ed methods to infertility treatments. The author herself went through it, and you can tell that she knows her stuff. The rest of the essays read like dissertations, which isn't inherently bad, but not exactly what I came here for.
But, it does challenge the core of modern-day feminism. It discusses the harmful effects of the sexual revolution a lot, even in those sections that aren't outwardly about sexuality. Because at its root, this "freedom" has caused more problems than solutions, and that affects nearly every facet of today's society....more
Prue's life is wholly ordinary, until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. Thus begins an adventure in the seemingly impassable forest,Prue's life is wholly ordinary, until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. Thus begins an adventure in the seemingly impassable forest, and a whole new, magical land is unveiled. I had high expectations for one of my favorite songwriter's debut novel, and it didn't disappoint. Talking birds and rabbits? Woodland magic? Count me in!
What starts as a mission to save her brother turns into a grander mission to save Wildwood itself from those who plan to control it for their own. There are so many unexpected twists and turns, victories from the evil side that you see no way to get out of. It doesn't shy away from hard trials, including the temptation to walk away from it entirely.
It's a charming tale, but could use some editing. The beginning is sharp, but the second half is wordy drag. I was eager to pick it up again to see how the story unfolds, but there's a lot to dig through. (Pet peeve: "She shrugged her shoulders." It's redundant!) It's supposedly middle grade, but has dark themes and images, and words I'm not sure how to pronounce. Maybe it's more "for adults who enjoy middle grade."...more
Sometimes, you force yourself to slog through classics for the sake of the prestige of reading classics. But this is one actually worthy if its placeSometimes, you force yourself to slog through classics for the sake of the prestige of reading classics. But this is one actually worthy if its place among the greats. These are two of many short stories featuring the Glass family (of which I must get my hands on the rest).
Franny is an undergraduate having a mental breakdown, seeing everything around her as meaningless as she learns more of the spiritual realm. Her short story is both sad and hilarious; it's a seemingly romantic weekend visiting her boyfriend and their lunch date before the big game. We all know people like each of them—Franny, the girl who hates all this fake college stuff; Lane, the boy who sees himself brilliant and simply wants a pretty girl to show off. About halfway through you start to see their pairing as doomed, which makes it both wonderful and cringeworthy.
Zooey is a longer tale of her brother, a sometimes-actor living in his parents' Manhattan apartment. Much of the story is his "brotherly advice" for Franny, who's now stuck recuperating at home from her mental breakdown. Everything about Zooey is classic: his caricature-ish cigar smoking, his hours-long baths, his bickering with his mother. Some of the best scenes are his conversations with his mom, a clueless woman who barges into the bathroom to have a deep conversation with her son as he's bathing and shaving. He's an idiot, but has sparks of intelligence, the sort of guy you roll you eyes at but also know there's a grain of truth in what he says.
The rest of the family is merely mentioned in passing, but I want to learn of the whole crew: The brother who became a priest; the one who died in the war; the father who I completely forgot was even there. I think I read it out of order (certain events have already passed), but I'm engaged enough in these two short tales to need the entire picture....more
This was gifted to me by a priest, when I came to him with innumerable questions about things he couldn't answer (which is fairly typical of me). InstThis was gifted to me by a priest, when I came to him with innumerable questions about things he couldn't answer (which is fairly typical of me). Instead, he handed me a copy of Jesus Calling and told me to read that day's devotional. As things happen, that reading was just what I needed.
A lot of people have issues with this series, because it's written in second person. It's like Jesus speaks directly to us, and it's a big no-no to claim to speak for God. But... I like this perspective. You can't view it as the authentic and genuine Word (read the Bible if you want that), but it provides direction. It gives comfort. And each devotional is inspired by the Bible, so there are real truths in here.
Some of the phrasing is weird, since it's written from a modern perspective. I'm not certain Jesus would use some of the word choices. But who am I to say? Maybe if he were here now, he'd use some of the modern lingo to relate to us better. Certainly he did back then.
I'll admit, I'm not great about reading it daily. I'll go days, or a weeks, without picking it up. But every time I do, I remember why it was gifted to me in the first place. It doesn't answer all your burning questions, but it's like having a little motivational speech from Jesus every day. I'm okay with that....more
Forget judging a book by its cover—this was destined to be mine by the title alone.
This is more a reference book than one to be read coverForget judging a book by its cover—this was destined to be mine by the title alone.
This is more a reference book than one to be read cover-to-cover. It's a good prayer guide, offering a little push when you don't know how to pray. It's categorized by mood, from happy to anxious to blah, and helps guide you when you don't know where to start. Each mood contains a Bible verse and an anecdote, and offers ways to talk with God—no matter how you feel, and especially when you don't feel like it.
I keep it now by my bedside, for those days I don't know where to start....more
For any Christian looking to understand where we came from, this book is a great place to start.
I took pages and pages of notes when it deFor any Christian looking to understand where we came from, this book is a great place to start.
I took pages and pages of notes when it delved into the history of our religions—from Abraham, to the Jewishness of Jesus, to the separation of that new Jewish sect that eventually became Christianity. It's not biased one way or the other, stating facts and admitting when each side messed up that pushed Christianity farther and farther away from its roots.
But it's not just history. It explores Jewish teachings, and how we can learn from them; it discusses Israel itself as our joint homeland. It ends with ways to bridge the gap, rebuilding a relationship between Jews and Christians that's not merely tolerant, but respectful and loving.
Like the book states, it's not enough for Christians to just know of our Jewish roots. It's our duty to also act on those teachings, because in that is our history, too. And we could learn a thing or two about divine love (and love for one another) from our Jewish neighbors....more
I consider this one line the entire purpose of the document:
The council brings to mankind light kindled from the Gospel, and puts at its disposal those saving resources which the Church herself, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, receives from her Founder. For the human person deserves to be preserved; human society deserves to be renewed. Hence the focal point of our total presentation will be man himself, whole and entire, body and soul, heart and conscience, mind and will.
And it does: It talks of human dignity, community, and literally the meaning of life. It talks of our unceasing need to stop war and bring peace to the world. It discusses the role of the Church itself, not as a political entity but one meant to serve for the betterment of mankind.
It gets political at the end, much like the Compendium, which I have trouble understanding. Because in the end, as it states, we are "to serve the men of the modern world with mounting generosity and success." Hopefully, at least....more