Wonder & Whimsy: Reading, Creativity & Nature

A weekly curation of quotations I come across in my reading life (or on random condiment jars) — from the inspirational to the miscellaneous. Perhaps one inspires you or catches your fancy too…

Are you utilizing the gift of literacy that you have been given?

“A man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” — Mark Twain

If you are feeling stretched too much…

“You can’t be creative in all directions at once.” — Flannery O’Connor (Habit of Being, p. 243)

G. K. Chesterton:

“If there is one thing worse than the modern weakening of major morals, it is the modern strengthening of minor morals. Thus it is considered more withering to accuse a man of bad taste than of bad ethics. Cleanliness is not next to godliness nowadays, for cleanliness is made essential and godliness is regarded as an offense.” (From an essay entitled “On Lying in Bed”)

Call to nature:

“Never be within doors when you can rightly be without.” — Charlotte Mason (Home Education, Vol. 1, pt. 2, ch. 1)

My Reading Challenge Pick for… “A Biography of a Prominent Catholic”

The 2018 Catholic Reading Challenge is underway, and I will be sharing my picks for each category about once a month. It’s time for my first pick…

Category: “A Biography of a Prominent Catholic”

My Pick: Love is the Measure: A Biography of Dorothy Day by Jim Forest (love the cover art on this hardcover edition)

I must admit that I knew very little about Dorothy Day’s life and work before reading this captivating biography. Jim Forest, who knew and worked with her the last couple of decades of her life, does a masterful job of introducing you to a tangible person who cannot be boxed into a tidy category or stereotype. This book, especially the first half describing her early life and conversion, was a real page-turner for me. The chapters are not very long, and one propels you into the next.

Aspects of Dorothy’s life that stood out to me: Continue reading “My Reading Challenge Pick for… “A Biography of a Prominent Catholic””

My Last 2 Picks for the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge

It’s the end of the year and the end of the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge! I’ve been sharing what I’m reading throughout the year for each one, and here are my last two picks…

Category: A Book on Catholic Spirituality Written More Than 100 Years Ago

My Pick: The Spiritual Canticle by St. John of the Cross

 

Category: A Book by Bishop Robert Barron

My Pick: Thomas Aquinas: Spiritual Master 

Little did I know when I picked these two books how well they paired together, and I just happened to read them back to back. St. John of the Cross was a devoted student of St. Thomas Aquinas’ writings, and The Spiritual Canticle (a work of verse similar to the Song of Solomon) is steeped in Thomist philosophy. You initially become aware of this from reading the introduction to St. John’s work, but this Thomist theme became even more apparent when I subsequently read Barron’s book.

I want to mentioned a couple of themes from each book, but I would first stress that both share the characteristic of being works that deeply nourish the spiritual life and offer much in the way of spiritual direction and insights for extensive meditation, though written centuries apart and in much different styles. Continue reading “My Last 2 Picks for the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge”