Sunday, April 30, 2006

Anything good for Easter?

I was asking the same thing myself! I read Pope Benedict's On the Way to Jesus Christ, which has some wonderful chapters, but it's a collection of essays he gave at different times and not the same thing as a book he actually sat down and wrote (as he did with Spirit of the Liturgy). Chapter two is "Wounded by the Arrow of Beauty" and is worth reading even if you don't read the whole book. This part was great: "I have often said that I am convinced that the true apologetics for the Christian message, the most persuasive proof of its truth, offsetting everything that may appear negative, are the saints, on the one hand, and the beauty that the faith has generated, on the other. For faith to grow today, we must lead ourselves and the presons we meet to encounter the saints and to come in contact with the beautiful."

And if you haven't read Spirit of the Liturgy, I can't recommend it highly enough. I thought it was a book I would read and then pass on (which I a very good friend!), but turned out to be a book that I want to keep and re-read more than once. If the Mass was celebrated the way he describes in this book, our churches wouldn't be large enough to hold the people! But anyhow, since I did loan out the book, I was caught without an "Easter" book for meditation, so I found an older title on my book shelf that I'm enjoying all over again. Fully Human, Fully Divine, is one of those titles you rarely come across. The kind that you like so much, you're willing to buy it and give it away to others. (Trust me, on my limited budget, that's saying something!). It's written by an Australian Benedictine, Michael Casey, and is an incredibly well-written and practical book on Christology. It's the only book I have ever read three consecutive times. My copy is underlined, highlighted, tons of notations....and I still find something new every time I read it.

If you're looking for something shorter, but still spiritually "meaty", I'd suggest Nearer the Heart of God. I got a copy for Christmas and I'm using it every morning. It's a book of Daily Readings with the Christian Mystics. If you don't have more than ten or fifteen minutes, you should have a copy of this book. I usually start out my morning meditation with this.

True Confessions

After telling you all about my favorite book for Lent....I changed my mind. It's still one of the top on my list, but for some reason I needed something different this year. In the end I pulled a title I had read a few years ago, but was just what I needed. (It's good for the Easter sason, too!) Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John by Jean Vanier. Big long title, but the book is not an academic challenge. I love the simplicity of Jean Vanier's writing, kind of like the simplicity of the Gospel itself. Gets right to the point and you think you've got it after a quick read....but it's deceptively simple and has a richness and depth to it that makes it great for meditation in the morning. I have to go to morning prayer, but I'll be back with the rest of my list.