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 Easter

"When the protocols of biblical self-help fall short in the treatment of mental illness, as they inevitably do, anxiety and depression will hunt down vulnerable regions of the psyche like an angry infection attacks nerve and muscle."

"I wish nobody had ever told me it was a good thing to attempt to know myself?"

The two quotes above come from the recently released memoir of Charles Marsh, Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and director of the Project on Lived Theology. In this book, entitled Evangelical Anxiety, Marsh shares the life altering changes that resulted from a mental breakdown in his 20s and in the process explores the role his childhood religious teaching focused on the confused "entanglement" of "shame, fear and disgust… with talk of love, grace and forgiveness." He confronts a common fear found among Christians, namely, that of the psyche itself, and shares his own journey in overcoming that fear and finding a "deeper faith" as well as "mental and physical wholeness".

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!

Upcoming Book Schedule

Easter (Starting April 9) Evangelical Anxiety: A Memoir, Charles Marsh

Previous Books

  • 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