12 March 2009

Book Confessions Meme

Anastasia and Pr. Hall have both posted this meme on their blogs, so I'll be bold and jump into the fray as well. I also like Anastasia's way of tagging not just specific people (I'm one who has missed some of the times I was tagged. Mea culpa!), but everyone who reads. So to quote her: "If you are reading this, you are TAGGED!"

Book Confessions Meme

1. To mark your page you: use a bookmark, bend the page corner, leave the book open face down?
Oh, never bend the page corner! Those little dog ears could fall off, and then the whole book would be useless. Use a bookmark - and that can be just about anything, from a bona fide book mark, with or without a fancy ribbon, to a piece of junk mail sitting idly by. I've been know to fold a Post-it note in half for a quick book mark, but I find those little Post-it flags to be superb book marks. After all, they don't fall out.

2. Do you lend your books?
Only if it's a book I won't mind forgetting that I loaned out, because I will probably do just that (and then I'll just have to go and buy another copy in order for the loaned-out one to come back home).

3. You find an interesting passage: you write in your book or NO WRITING IN BOOKS!
Does highlighting and underlining count as "writing in books"? Of course, you write in a book...if it belongs to you. How else would I be able to go back and find that juicy quote for later use?

4. Dust jackets - leave it on or take it off.
Why mess up the dust jacket when it often looks so nice with good artwork and can cover up the worn and scuffed up cover? :-)

5. Hard cover, paperback, skip it and get the audio book?
Ah, why judge a book by its cover, whether hard or paper? A book's a book and the important thing is what's inside. As for audio books, only with stories/novels that I probably wouldn't take the time to sit down and read (like the Mitford series or John Grisham novels). Audio books are quite nice for those nice long drives (listened to a lot of them in the good ol' Wyoming days).

6. Do you shelve your books by subject, author, or size and color of the book spines?
Mostly by subject and then by author within various subjects. But, honestly, some shelves have become catch alls for quite the mixtures of subjects and authors.

7. Buy it or borrow it from the library later?
Borrow it? Library? I like that quote supposedly from Erasmus: "Whenever I get a little money, I buy books. And if there's any left over, then I buy food and clothes."

8. Do you put your name on your books - scribble your name in the cover, fancy bookplate, or stamp?
Write my name on the first blank page inside the front cover, under the heading "ex libris" and above the date acquired.

9. Most of the books you own are rare and out of print books or recent publications?

10. Page edges - deckled or straight?
I don't mind either kind of page, but for some reason my fingers are never quite sure of what to do with deckled pages. They must be too used to straight pages.

11. How many books do you read at one time?
What does "at one time mean"? :-) I can only open the cover and feast my eyes on the words on the page one book at a time (haven't quite mastered the separate book for each eye routine just yet! :-), but right now I have three theological books, two novels, and one piece of literature, "The Odyssey," all clamoring for my attention. Of course, that's in addition to books like the Bible and devotional volumes that get a little attention each day, but does that really count as "at one time"?

12. Be honest, ever tear a page from a book?
Only from a phone book - and even then something didn't seem quite right with the universe. :-)

Healing for the Healers

This little piece from Terry Mattingly - at tmatt.net - was just recommended to me.

As one who has "been there and done that" with the whole depression and burnout thing, I can say that this little piece captures quite well the need for ministers - "healers" - to be healed and refreshed. Pastors need not be afraid of or shy away from their own need to be healed and renewed. After all, theirs is a demanding vocation of giving Christ-centered, forgiveness-focused healing to other people as well as dealing with the messy, viscious ugliness and fallout of human sin, even from the baptized in the flock. Also, parishioners need not stigmatize their pastor's need for healing and care. After all, when their pastor is healthy--spiritually, mentally, and physically--then they will benefit not only from his services of preaching, teaching, and visiting, but also from his example that all of life is lived only by the grace and mercy of our loving God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

04 March 2009

Fatherly Wisdom-"Lenten Instruction"

Reading IV from For All the Saints (volume I, page 803) gives us this nice little snippet from Caesarius of Arles simply called "Lenten instruction":

Let it not be enough for you that you hear the divine lessons in church, but read them yourselves at home or look for others to read them and willingly listen to them when they do. Although through the mercy of God you frequently and devoutly hear the divine lessons throughout the entire year, still during these days we ought to rest from the winds and the sea of this world by taking refuge, as it were, in the haven of Lent and in the quiet of silence to receive the divine lessons in the receptacle of our heart.

Devoting ourselves to God out of love for eternal life, during these days let us with all solicitude strive to repair and compose in the little ship of our soul whatever throughout the year has been broken, or destroyed, or damaged, or ruined by many storms, that is, by the waves of sins.

During these holy days of Lent if you cannot cut off the occupations of this world, at least strive to curtail them in part. By fleeing from this world, through an expedient loss and a most glorious gain you may take away from earthly occupations a few hours in which you can devote yourselves to God. For this world either laughs at us or is laughed at by us.

02 March 2009

Fatherly Wisdom-Preacher: Preach with deeds before words

St. Gregory the Great concludes Book III of his Book of Pastoral Rule with this exhortation to preachers:

"But in the midst of these considerations, we are brought back in the zeal of charity to what we have already said, which is that every preacher should be 'heard' more by his deeds than by his words. Moreover, the footprint fo his good living should be that path that others follow rather than the sound of his voice showing them where to go. For that cock, which the Lord used in his manner of speaking to symbolize a good preacher, when it prepares to crow, first shakes his wings and by striking himself with them makes himself more alert. For it is certainly necessary that those who offer the words of holy preaching must first be vigilant in the zeal of good works. Otherwise, if they are sluggish in performing them, they will have only words to entice others. Let them first perform lofty deeds and then convince others to live well. Let them carefully examine whether there is anything about themselves that is sluggish and, if so, correct it with strict observance. Only then should they tell others how to live their lives. Let them first correct their own sins through tears and then denounce what is punishable in others. But before they offer any words of exhortation, they should proclaim by their actions everything that they wish to say." (The Book of Pastoral Rule, III:40)