Thursday, June 11, 2009

It Is You I Beckon

Greetings all! The time has come for me to open my mouth, or at least use my fingers, and talk a bit about one of the books that I have just recently finished. Though not terribly hard to find online, it is not a book that I have seen often (ever) in a book store.

As I noted in my profile, in my spare time I like to browse in our library at school and periodically find little gems that I treasure. One such book is Bishop Joseph Angrisani's book entitled "It Is You I Beckon: A Book of Spiritual Inspirations for Seminarians" Although totaling only 337 pages, it took me about 4 months to read it all. Bishop Angrisani models this book after Pope Pius XII's exhortation 'Menti Nostrae' and does an incredible job of making his points quickly and powerfully. It relies heavily on scripture and the lives of the saints, in addition to the exhortation. The book is split up into 100 chapters, each containing 3 smaller sections. These chapters range from a basic understanding of vocation to the call to Christian perfection with Christ as the model, it breaks down the the beatitudes and the older setup of the various major and minor orders in the Church.

I have often read books that make me stop and reflect on something for a bit before moving on in the reading, but never have I have not encountered one that forced me to do that nearly every time I picked it up (aside from scripture of course!). Each 2-3 page chapter was more than enough food for a day of spiritual reflection and has actually had a major impact upon me, and my relationships with family and friends. In fact, this book has proved to be an incredible blessing from God because it has helped me to deal with several things that I had been wrestling with for a while in my own spiritual life and clarified some questions with my discernment. I actually liked it so much that I went out and bought a copy for myself so I could read it again in the future or allow others to borrow it. So, instead of supplying a 100 reflective blogs on this incredible little book, I will simply note that it was well worth the 4 or so months that it took to make it through.

One might think that because of the title that only seminarians ought to read this book. While it is obviously aimed at this particular group of readers, there are many reflections that the regular lay person could benefit greatly from, in addition to the possibility of people coming to understand a bit more what it means to be a priest or seminarian in the world today. I did notice a few things in the book where the author reflects things that were of greater importance and emphasis in his day, and not as much in ours, but those points are typically noticeable to the discerning eye. In summary, I would very strongly suggest this book to all those seeking a source of spiritual nourishment - especially those discerning the priesthood, or those already in orders.

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