After a warm-ish week here in New England, it’s finally snowing. That’s a relief. The mud gets depressing!
I like to be in denial about Lent until the last second. I’m really a wimp about giving up my ice cream.
Clinging to good old Ordinary Time here.
However, it is coming, so I thought I’d pop in and give some suggestions so that you have time to order the books if you don’t have them. How amazingly on top of it am I??
Especially, I wanted to give you a heads up for ordering or otherwise obtaining two books that I want to do a blog book club about — and they’d make an excellent choice for your St. Gregory Pocket discussions as well.
I’m a little nervous, because I’m not in any way qualified to discuss them, except that I am under the impression that I understand them and furthermore, that they have real implications for what we are trying to do in here. Worship, life, teaching our children…
So here are those books:
- The Spirit of the Liturgy, Romano Guardini (this is available for free online — personally, my copy is completely marked up, so it was worth it for me to buy a hard copy, even though the edition is not very well edited)
- The Spirit of the Liturgy, Joseph Ratzinger (completely worth owning a copy of — Ratzinger of course went on to become Pope Benedict XVI)
The second one is a “response” and builds on the first. So really, they need to be read together. I want to read them with you. Can I do it?? Do you want to??
We shall see.
For your own reading, may I offer a few thoughts?
If you are looking for fiction that has you digging deep, may I recommend:
- Gilead: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson. A beautiful, quiet book of letters of a father to his young son as he faces death. Not many authors can talk point-blank about theological matters and still be writing good fiction. (I’d say George MacDonald was one: try The Curate’s Awakening if you’ve already read the The Curdie books, which are written for children — did you know that he wrote novels as well? Some are not great quality, but some are very good if you are looking for a romance that has more to it than just fluff.) Robinson’s writing is magnificent. She has complete control of her craft.
- I wrote about Vipers’ Tangle and The Diary of a Country Priest: A Novel in this post (I also wrote about Gilead there). And if you haven’t read C. S. Lewis’Till We Have Faces, now’s the time. (Gosh, it’s all in that post.) (Go look in the Library Project for other novels if you are needing them.)
Keep in mind what I said here the other day: Lent gives us the opportunity to begin again (or, just begin!) praying — and praying with the family.
To that end, the book that David Clayton and I wrote (and Deirdre contributed illustrations to, besides David’s), The Little Oratory: A Beginner’s Guide to Praying in the Home, is the manual you need. In the section on the Liturgical Year, we tell you exactly how to use Lent to get started on prayer in the home. The book also has icons for easy detaching and framing, so that you can finally make a prayer corner in your own home.
If you want to buy from Sophia, the publisher, use the discount code LO30 for 30% off the book. They offer $5 flat shipping for all orders in the US, by the way!
If you don’t usually see yourself reading Papal documents, maybe this Lent is the time to try! I highly recommend On Christian Marriage (Casti Connubii), Pius XI. This encyclical is also available online, but if you read my commentary along with it, you might want a hard copy of the book to underline and easily navigate.
I am this close to offering you an Ebook that will be an edited and collated version of my Casti Connubii posts — that will be very handy for you to be able to share with your St. Greg’s Pocket or other reading group.