Thursday, May 31, 2007

Books Meme

Anita at V-ForVictory tagged me a few days ago with this, and I only just saw it... I was going to post from Iota Unum but will include the rest of this book meme as well!

How many books do you own?

Rather than count splines, I got the tape measure and measured filled shelf space. Since there was no qualifier, I discovered that I have

10’ of cookbooks
18’ of general titles not relating to faith
31’ of Catholic books

This does not include Catholic books loaned out, borrowed, or taken to the Chapter House, of which there is probably 1.5’ of shelf space dedicated to pre-1950 Catholic hymnals alone. It also doesn’t include about 12’ of shelf space at my office of books related to my profession, or many boxes of geology texts that I have kept for nostalgic purposes.

What books are you reading now?

1. Iota Unum, by Romano Amerio. This book has risen to the top of the food chain. His vision is so clear, with such insights as this comment on Mgr. Leclercq’s (professor emeritus of moral theology, Univ. of Louvain) opinion on the uselessness of Catholic schools:

“Precisely because we are in a pluralistic world, Catholic universities become normal: one cannot be in favor of pluralism in the abstract, while rejecting an actual plurality in teaching by asserting that a particular teaching cannot be part of the plurality.”

2. Divine Intimacy, by Fr. Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. This is the third year I have read this book of daily meditations, and it now qualifies as my second “most re-read” book. There is wonderful material here, and TAN books always sells out their reprints quickly, so get yours!

3. Christ the Life of the Soul, by Dom Marmion. Hat tip to Simon-Peter for this gem. Must be read VERY SLOWLY and with a Douay-Rheims to look up the scripture citations (and there are many), if like me you don’t read Latin.

4. God: Conferences of Pere Lacordaire. OK, I’ve not picked it up since starting Iota Unum, but I will finish this delightful book, and the other two in the series.

5. 100 People who are Screwing up America, by Bernard Goldberg. Great one page toilet reading. Many thanks to Anita for loaning me this and

6. Trumpet for Reason, Leo Rosten. Reading is interrupted at the time being because I’ve asked my son to transcribe it for the internet. Like what I’ve read so far.

7. Dominican Tertiary’s Manual (1952 , Province of St. Joseph). Random readings in this little gem, which I have yet to finish in a linear fashion.

8. The Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, Etienne Gilson. Still working through this slowly. Staffan in Sweden is my secret helper in understanding what this is all about. Tall task.

Current reading also includes the periodicals:
Homiletic and Pastoral Review
Social Justice Review
This Rock
Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate

Books of note I’ve read recently:

Humbert of Romans, Treatise on Preaching: see side bar under books

Henri Lacordaire, Life of St. Dominic: see side bar under books

The Life of St. Rose of Lima: see side bar under books

Ven. Louis of Granada, The Summa of the Christian Life and The Sinners Guide. Both outstanding and available in online versions

Peter Burnett, The True Church; undoubtedly one of the best responses to Protestantism ever penned.

E. Michael Jones, Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation & Political Control; it'll put the fear in you.

O’Brien, Winning Converts: This Catholic Answers reprint is well worth reading.

Etienne Gilson, The Church Speaks to the Modern World, the Social Teachings of Leo XIII; a must read if you really want a Catholic understanding of Social Justice.

GK Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

And for lighter fare, PD James: Children of Men (better than the movie) and Michael Chrichton State of Fear and Prey.

There are more, but that’s all I can remember right now…

Books that mean a lot to me:

These are the books of my conversion, and there are more than five, and their authors earn my eternal gratitude that our Lord has used His saints to speak to me through:

The venerable Bede: Ecclesial History of England (the world was never flat, monkey-boy!).

St. Augustine, Confessions (late have I loved you… my heart is restless until it rests in Thee)

Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ; “The Lord in his wisdom made the sacraments so simple a moron can confect them.” (Do we have a shortage of morons?)

St. Theresa of Avila, Interior Castle… I know this house!

St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life; wow.

M. Eugene Boylan, This Tremendous Lover; my most re-read book

Bibles: Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Rembrandt Edition

That’s about all my fried brain remembers right now. Even the world knows that “to know you is to love you,” and thus late in life I have known Him and it is on the Lord my God that my eyes are fixed, much to the confusion of some of those around me whom I pray they would open their hearts as well. The Lord Jesus said that He looses none of those whom His Father has given Him, and in that and trusting in the aid of our Mother, help and refuge of sinners, I look with confidence to a future while I struggle to live this present. St. Augustine said to pray as though everything depended on God and work as though everything depended on you. The pearl of great price that I have found is worthy of all; no limit.

If you would like to go through this meme exercise, which can have a certain value, like a confessing again of sins already confessed and forgiven, except as a reminder of grace on our journey, consider yourself tagged. May all the saints assist you by their intercession in your journey to eternity and our final destiny, only a breath and a heartbeat away, closer to you than you are to yourself.

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