Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Jesuit Guide...

My Facebook conversations with Jim (and his appeal to keep the blog updated) have convinced me to move from Facebook to Blogger for a few minutes to write about my current read.
Orange is my least favourite colour, so on that very superficial observation I almost didn’t pick up the best book I’ve read so far this year! I’m now more than halfway through Fr. James Martin’s excellent new book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, and I should have known it would be hard to put down after gobbling up his last book, My Life With the Saints! It is SO readable; you could compare it to an easy going conversation with a good friend. Considering the topics covered, that’s saying a lot! (Lectio Divina, the Spiritual Exercises, the Vows, discernment, how to find God, how to pray, where to start etc.) I took it to chapel for spiritual reading, and almost (but not enough to stop) felt guilty for enjoying it so much.
The Ignatian goal is to “find God in all things”. If you want practical and realistic ways to apply this to your own life, please get a copy of the book. I loved the stories, the examples, the humour, and the wisdom that can be applied right now where you are. Fr. Martin is able to take the gems of Jesuit Spirituality and translate them for absolutely anyone.
If you want to know how you can find God – and how God can find you– in your messy, busy, difficult, complicated life, this book would be a good place to start. Books like these are worth their weight in gold, even if they’re orange.

Monday, May 03, 2010

A conversation on Facebook

I just heard from a new lover of Catholic Books. Jim starting looking for "Catholic books"; that's how he came across my many recommendations. Now we're continuing the conversation on Facebook. Since I haven't been able to update my blog very much, I thought you'd like to join in!

Jim: How I love your absolutely wonderful website! I am a Catholic inquirer, and earlier tonight did a google search for "Catholic books." Hours later, my Amazon Wish List is ridiculous thanks to you! Truly, your love of books and your love for God leaps off the page and I just wanted to express a thousand thanks. I remember browsing in the Alexandria Paulist Press shop, and chatting with a similarly enthusiastic Sister. You've made my night.

Jim: I just discovered Fr. Barron on your website, and found his Word On Fire site, which is outstanding. His videos are the finest explanations of the faith I've ever come across. I was knocked out by the interview with Mitch Pacwa, where he talks about truth and beauty, using Notre Dame Cathedral as an example. Nine years ago I visited Paris, and was simply overcome with emotion when entering ND. Fr. Barron describes precisely what happened to me. Truth was beauty and beauty was truth!
It's just so rare to find art experts who aren't pretentious, and frequently on the snobby side, and that's why I love the work that both of you are doing. I'd like to see you have your own show on EWTN!

Me: Fr. Barron is great, isn't he? I really love the way he writes.
Have you read "The Jesuit Guide to (almost) Everything" by Fr. James Martin? I'm in the middle of it right now and I'm really enjoying it!

Jim: I just re-read the Reed (of God, by Carryl Houselander) at Christmas, and it hit me even harder this time, and, I read The Way of The Cross every Advent. She deserves a much "wider audience" as they say. btw....your fans are eager for a blog update!