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!

Book for Advent

"…what is the object of my love? I asked the earth and it said, 'It is not I.' I asked all that is in it; they made the same confession. I asked the sea, the deeps, the living creatures that creep, and they responded: 'We are not your God, look beyond us.' I asked the breezes which blow and the entire air with its inhabitants said: 'Anaximenes was mistaken; I am not God.' I asked heaven, sun, moon and stars; they said: 'Nor are we the God whom you seek.' And I said to all these things in my external environment: 'Tell me of my God who you are not, tell me something about him.' And with great voice they cried out: 'He made us.' My question was the attention I gave to them, and their response was their beauty." - taken from Book 10 of the Confessions of St Augustine

It's time again to read another wonderful book together! We will be starting our next Reading For Life group the first week of Advent which begins on Sunday, November 27. There are thirteen chapters in this book, so this group will be meeting for much longer than some of those in the past. It will most likely be close to four months of reading this book together, but, if you are up for the journey, I can tell you that there are few works quite like Augustine's Confessions: the retelling of one's life from the perspective of the innate human impulse to seek for God in all things. It is part biography, part theological reflection, but it is all addressed as prayer to God. You can obtain a copy of the book I will be using for the study on Amazon. [Please allow enough time for delivery as this edition is not offered via Amazon Prime].

Please contact me 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!

Upcoming Book Schedule

Advent and Epiphany (Nov 27-Feb 4) Confessions, St. Augustine
Lent (Feb 12-Apr 15) Abraham's Silence, J. Richard Middleton
Easter (Apr 16-May 27) Confessions, St. Augustine