Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Shift the focus just slightly

The entire staff (I can't type that with a straight face) here at Reverenced Reading announces a slightly augmented focus.  
We love books and we love God.  In fact, we love books about God.  Nonetheless, we also love movies, music, and other forms of media.  God being the creator of all men reveals himself through the thoughts and actions and words of men.  We read these signs and symbols and find in them a deeper understanding of revelation or a better way that we can evangelize.  
You will notice.  We have a new focus up top.  Check it out.  We hope you continue to read this blog and continue to read other thing.  Peace.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

An Honest Look

Another book I have read is, “As Bread that is Broken,” by Peter G. van Breemen, S.J. This book is another amazing book that I would highly suggest. It is 187 pages long and can be somewhat difficult to find. Fr. Breemen takes a hard and honest look at our condition and our condition in relation to God and others. He uses Sacred Scripture throughout the entire book in order to drive home the point he has to make in each chapter. Fr. Breemen forces the reader to examine the relationship between God and self and then to examine that relationship in association with others. The best way to end this review of this book is with a quote from Edward Farrell who wrote the forward, “This is a dangerous book. Read with faith and openness, it will compel you to follow Him more totally or ‘to go away sad’” (Mk 10:22).

Present Moment

Fr. Jean-Pierre De Caussade is a spiritual master, without a doubt. Under the guidance of my spiritual director I read Fr. De Caussade’s book, “The Joy of Full Surrender,” which is 201 pages. This book is one in which I am planning to keep throughout the years to read it over and over again. “The Joy of Full Surrender” is a book that really brings forth the beauty and treasure of surrendering to God and living fully in the present moment. This book, unlike others on the same subject, went further than simply saying it is a good idea to live in the present moment. Within this one book, Fr. De Cussade goes into depth about the reasons why one ought to fully surrender to God. He then speaks on the ‘state of being surrendered to God’s Will’ and God’s protection for those who do surrender totally to Him. The last two sections of the book speak of the trials of those who do surrender and the assurance of God’s constant, never ending help.
As many of my friends know, I have wanted to really strive after living in the present moment and surrendering totally to God’s will. However, I have been very strong headed and stubborn as well. Yet, while I was reading this book, I become more and more on fire to live the way Fr. De Cussade was speaking of. Although I am still stubborn in many ways, I can honestly say that after reading this book I have not yet stopped striving each and every day to live in the present moment and reach for holy indifference. This book is, without a doubt, a must read.

St. Bernard

I have just finished reading “The Two-Fold Knowledge: Readings on the Knowledge of Self and the Knowledge of God Selected and Translated from the Works of Bernard of Clairvaux” by Franz Posset. In the 149 page book, Posset’s goal is to take selects parts from St. Bernard’s works in order to frame the pathway of the two fold knowledge: knowledge of God and knowledge of self. Posset, to me, almost accomplished his goal. The book does contain quotes from St. Bernard’s works organized by chapter. However, it was just that, quotes from St. Bernard’s works. As I was reading this book, I was wishing for the Posset to have made his point in a more fluid way with the quotes of St. Bernard. The idea Posset had in uncovering the treasure of such a knowledge is most definitely awesome. The quotes themselves did, in fact, get the point across. However, for me, it did seem a bit choppy and repetitive because of the way Posset organized the book. Over all it was indeed a good read and one that I would suggest. However, one needs to take time when reading this book so that one can pull the ideas out of the quotes to get the entirety of the message.


I have recently read two different books on forgiveness written by the same author, Fr. Robert DeGrandis, S.S.J. Both books, “To Forgive is Divine,” and “Take the First Step Forgive” are excellent guides in the process of forgiving everyone in one’s past and present. “Take the First Step Forgive” (56 pages long) has many amazing aspects. The book is broken down into three chapters, ‘Forgiving’, ‘To Forgive’, and ‘New Way of Life’. Each chapter ends with a list of Scriptures concerning the topic of that chapter, and also has its own reflections to meditate upon. The chapters also include testimony from letters Fr. DeGrandis has received concerning forgiveness. At the end of the book, Fr. DeGrandis offers a Litany of Forgiveness and a chart to help you begin what he calls a forgiveness list. The litany is very in depth, but as a celibate, there were aspects I had to skip, such as the section for forgiving a spouse and one’s own children. The forgiveness list is one of the suggestions that Father offers to the reader in which a list is made of the person(s) involved and the reason for having them on the list. It is suggested that the reader spend time with each person, following the practical suggestions he gives in the book.
The book, “To Forgive is Divine” (65 pages long) is organized in a much different way. Fr. DeGrandis goes through the Ten Commandments of Forgiveness. I found this book to be a little more in depth than the other book as to the process of forgiveness. Also, the book places all the testimonies into one chapter at the end of the book. This book also organizes the Litany of Forgiveness from the other book into a more fluid prayer.
Both books were very good books and I was very glad to have read both of them while on retreat.