Reading for Life
What is Reading for Life?
"We gather these gifts of language as we go along-lines from poems, verses from Scripture, quips, turns of phrase, or simply words that delight us. We use them in moments of need. We share them with friends, and we reach for them in our own dark nights. They bring us into loving relationship with the large, loose 'communion of saints' who have written and spoken truths that go to the heart and the gut and linger in memory. So our task as stewards of the word begins and ends in love. Loving language means cherishing it for its beauty, precision, power to enhance understanding, power to name, power to heal. And it means using words as instruments of love." - Marilyn McEntyre (taken from Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies, p. 23)
I love to read. I love to read because like Marilyn McEntyre, I have felt the power of words to shape my life. Reading books has stood at the center of my own faith formation. I have sought to "read my way through life"-ever exploring the ideas, intuitions, speculations, fears and dreams of others as a way of illuminating my own. Books can be like friends; companions on a journey. Reading books can be done alone or with others. Both should be cherished and enjoyed. From time to time throughout the year, I will be inviting any and all who would like to join me in regular periods of reading good books together. I desire to share with others what has become such a beautiful gift to my own life-the joy of reading!
I am calling this Reading For Life. What I mean by this is three-fold. First, this name reflects my personal commitment or obsession to "Read for my lifetime". Reading is a habit that I will continue until my last day. The name also speaks to my experience of a life that has been made better through regular reading. And lastly, it underlines the sheer passion and hunger for the gift of language itself-for the word, and the food that the word provides!
Since you are pleased to inquire what are my thoughts about the mutual toleration of Christians in their different professions of religion, I must needs answer you freely that I esteem that toleration to be the chief characteristic mark of the true Church. For whatsoever some people boast of the antiquity of places and names, or of the pomp of their outward worship; others, of the reformation of their discipline; all, of the orthodoxy of their faith-for everyone is orthodox to himself-these things, and all others of this nature, are much rather marks of men striving for power and empire over one another than of the Church of Christ.
And so begins John Locke's Letter Concerning Toleration published in 1689. We will be reading and discussing the book over two weeks-it is a letter after all, so not that long!
Please contact Fr. Chris with any questions you might have as well as to let me know if you would like to be a part of this group! Until then… happy reading!
- The Courage To Be, Paul Tillich
- Purity of Heart, Soren Kierkegaard
- Regret, Paul Griffiths
- The Freedom of a Christian, Martin Luther
- Knowing Jesus, James Alison
- Confessions, Augustine
- Evangelical Anxiety: A Memoir, Charles Marsh