July 13, 2013 – Summer Reading

This has been one of those weeks when inspiration was pretty hard to come by.  Not sure if it’s just the dog days of summer, or just nothing catching my eyes and ears this week, or maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve done almost 250 of these and the creative well is bound to run dry at times.  I’m not sure, then, in what direction this blog will go to, but you are welcome to join me on this mysterious journey (if you dare-lol).

Those that know me are familiar with my addiction to electronic gadgets.  If it’s something that lights up and has to be charged up every 8 hours or so, I’m willing to give it a try.  If I were to ever be pinned down and asked to choose one favorite one, well, my gosh, that would be like a parent having to pick out their one favorite child (ok, I’m being overly dramatic – I’m just illustrating a point here).  If I would have to pick out one, I would say it is my Kindle Fire, because you can do so many different things with it.  You can surf the web, listen to music, play games, take photos, etc.  Also, you can download books normally at a cheaper price than the printed version, and you don’t have the added clutter of more books sitting around.  Lord knows I do not need any additional clutter sitting around my house.

Anyway, I’ve downloaded a few books recently that I have found interesting, and wanted to share a few thoughts with you about them.  My most recent read is from someone who has become a true favorite of mine, Timothy Cardinal Dolan.  He has written a short book titled “Praying in Rome: Reflections on the Conclave and Electing Pope Francis.”  It is simply written and gives a true personal insight into his first experience of electing a new Pope, from the day it was announced that Benedict XVI was resigning, to the moment when Francis walked onto the balcony and introduced himself to the world.  I especially enjoyed some of the “personal” tidbits he interjected into the book.  For example, when the communications director for the Archdiocese of New York phoned him early in the morning to tell him there were rumors that Benedict had resigned, Cardinal Dolan chuckled and told him to have a Bloody Mary and go back to bed.  He also told of when the conclave began, and the Cardinals took an oath upon the book of the Gospels.  Cardinal Dolan did not realize that this was on live TV, and his secretary joked later that while most of the Cardinals approached the Book of the Gospels solemnly with their heads down, Dolan looked like a little kid gawking around at the Sistine Chapel – to which he replied, “wouldn’t you?”  He also tells of the walls in the hotel where the Cardinals stayed during the conclave not being thick enough to drown out the snoring in the adjacent rooms.  I would urge you to download this if you can.  It was only $1.99 and is a very entertaining read.

I also this past week downloaded a book called “Waking Up Catholic.”  I have just begun to read this one, but it is written by a gentleman (Chad Togerson) who converted to the Catholic Faith, and he journals about his journey and the many questions he had.  It also attempts to answer many of the common questions about the Catholic Faith.  It appears to be a good read for anyone who may be considering looking more closely at Catholicism, but also is a good read for Catholics, because no matter what we do, how often we go to Mass, etc., we always have questions about our faith.  And when people ask us about our faith, we always feel like we could be more prepared.  In electronic form this book was $4.95, and can be ordered in printed from as well.

There is one more book I downloaded recently.  It is not necessarily of a religious nature, but it caught my eye because, kind of like I said earlier, for whatever reason I haven’t been feeling the “inspiration bug” lately and things have seemed sort of mundane.  I think we all need to remind ourselves sometimes of all of the wonderful things around us, and how marvelous creation really is.  This book is titled “14,000 Things to Be Happy About.”  The author (Barbara Ann Kipfer) has been jotting down little things that make her happy since grade school and she shares many of them here.  As you read them, it helps you remind yourself of happy things that you have experienced.  Some of her examples are getting a really good haircut, the taste of cake batter, prizes you have won, church bazaars, leaves starting to turn, reading a favorite magazine, squeezing one more brushful out of the toothpaste tube, and on and on.  You may not need a book to remind you of the things that bring you happiness, but I think we all need to take a time-out once in a while and remind ourselves of those things.

Well as I said in the beginning, I wasn’t sure how this was going to come out, and it basically turned out to be a book review.  There is one other thing I needed to mention.  This coming Wednesday our Parish Council has another meeting with the Parish Council of St. Mary’s in Ellis Grove to continue to discuss our Parish Partnership, and to make plans for the future when our two parishes will most likely have only one priest.  Please pray that we will all remain open to going in the direction that the Holy Spirit is leading us, and that all of us will embrace an attitude of cooperation.  The ultimate goal is to continue to provide the sacraments and to spread the Gospel to as many people as we can while the number of priests continues to decline.  We certainly hope and pray that the “momentum” that Pope Francis has brought to the Catholic Church will result in an increase in vocations, but even so, that impact will not be felt for years down the road.  We will all have to make some sort of sacrifice in order to make this work, but if we are all willing to do that, the burden on everyone will not be as great.

Thanks again for checking out my “ramblings”.  Have a great week.  Peace.

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