Sunday, January 3, 2010

I Have Some Reading To Do

Christmas was quite lovely. We were all in relatively good health (which was a huge departure from last year) and could celebrate without the depression that accompanies the flu combined with pink eye.

We even made it to 8am Mass Christmas morning. Next year, I think we'll brave the crowds and do a Christmas Eve Mass, as there is music and instruments and loud singing, and I kind of crave that this time of year. 8am Mass was understated and peaceful, though, and the girls were sweet in their dresses.

I was excited to receive many of the book I asked for this year: a paperback copy of Fr. James Martin's My Life With the Saints, Robert Ellsberg's All Saints, and Father Louie's The Seven Storey Mountain and New Seeds of Contemplation. (Thanks Mom and Dad!)

My Life With the Saints was one of the first books I read as my faith started growing, and I've leafed through my FIL's copy of All Saints, which is a daily mediation featuring 365 figures, from Dorothy Day to Gandhi to MLK Jr. to St. Ignatius of Loyola. Some of the figures are central to the Catholic Church and and some are not, though each has brought great things to the world through their philosophies, faith and vocations.

At my in-laws' this past vacation, I was able to read Fr. Martin's Becoming Who You Are, which, for a slim volume (it is just under 90 pages), I cannot speak more highly of. Imagine my surprise, when, at the end of the book, Fr. Martin proposes a hypothetical featuring a working mother who has two children, ages 4 and 6. That mother, he says, laments her busy schedule and how little time or energy she feels she can devote to prayer and contemplation. She wishes she could be a bit more like the saints she admires, like St. Teresa of Calcutta. But she is no more meant to be St. Teresa than St. Teresa was meant to be a busy mother. I needed that reality check.

The book is about discovering your true self, the person God created you to be, and it's really another I have to add to my bookshelf. With lengthy meditations on Jesus, Thomas Merton, Dorothy Day and Henry Nouwen, the underlying theme was that the path to holiness rests in being ourselves. I hope that I am on the right path concerning school, and becoming a nurse. I hope that my desire to become one is equal to the competency I will hopefully have in that vocation. My self-confidence, as ever, ebbs and flows. Hopefully my spiritual guides and some prayer will make my path a bit more steady and a lot less wobbly.

Happy New Year!


mayberry said...

Love your book recs! I have already finished Looking for Mary (and loved it).