Posts Tagged ‘Literature’

You know what they say about the book being better than the movie? Well, the book is better than the movie.

I love P.D. James.  I read her mysteries years ago.  But better than the stories of Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray is her book The Children of Men, an apocalyptic story set in the near future that shows what might happen to society when humans stop reproducing.  The Children of Men has strong Christian and pro-life themes, some reviewers say it is the Gospel of Luke in reverse and others have noted that there is a strong anti-Liberal theology theme.  Regardless, its good stuff.

Get this book for Christmas!

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Today’s  book is a bit off-the-wall, I know, but I think this is an excellent book for those of us with an insatiable need to know random stuff. 

There really isn’t any good reason to keep building ugly post-VII churches.

Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy by Denis McNamara; Foreword by Scott Hahn.  Here is what the publisher says about it:

This unique book delves into the deep meanings of liturgical art and architecture, and by association, the Sacred Liturgy itself. It is meant to help pastors, architects, artists, members of building committees, seminarians, and everyone interested in liturgical art and architecture come to grips with the many competing themes which are at work in church buildings today. The object of Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy is help the reader to drink deeply from the wells of the tradition, to look with fresh eyes at things thought to be outdated or meaningless, and glean the principles which underlie the richness of the Catholic faith.

  • Part one presents an emerging area of study: Architectural Theology
  • Part two introduces the readers for the first time to the scriptural foundations of church architecture
  • Part three focuses on the classical tradition of architecture
  • Part four examines iconography as eschatological flash and
  • Part five concludes with a discussion of the Twentieth Century and where we are now in the Age of the Church.

Catholic Church Architecture and the Spirit of the Liturgy is a  foundational sourcebook for studying, designing, building, and renovating Catholic churches, this book is intended to find the middle of the road between differing and sometimes conflicting theories of liturgical architecture.  It will give architects and building committees the theological language and tools to understand the elements of church design by examining past architecture and will help decision makers link these principles to their current building projects.

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2 out of 3 bible scholars think that Scott Hahn's Catholic Bible Dictionary should be in Christmas stockings.

Well, I couldn’t very well put together a Catholic blogger list of recommended books and NOT have Scott Hahn, could I?  I mean, they might take away my Catholic Blogger credentials.  Oh yeah…I don’t have any. 

Dr. Hahn has soooooo many wonderful books to choose from but I decided on The Catholic Bible Dictionary because Michael Barber requires it for his classes.  No.  I’m not making that up.  :-P   He does.  Plus I love dictionaries.  It’s one of my things.  /shrug

And look at these recos from the Amazon site!

Scott Hahn’s writings and conferences have been so effective in bringing Catholics closer to Sacred Scripture. His valuable Catholic Bible Dictionary will be another big help to faithful Catholics who have taken seriously the Church’s encouragement to become immersed in God’s Word.”
Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Catholic Bible Dictionary is a timely, academically solid and user-friendly response to the call of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church for the development of ways of helping the faithful more fully access the treasures of the Bible.”
Most Reverend Donald W. Wuerl, S.T.D., Archbishop of Washington

Catholic Bible Dictionary is an extremely useful tool for any Bible student, whether beginner or advanced. This dictionary is particularly helpful for Catholics who need both etymological studies of terms and solid theological help. My only hope is that the readers will study the articles on a regular basis and eventually read the whole dictionary as they study the whole Bible.”
Fr. Mitchell C. Pacwa, S.J., president of Ignatius Productions and host of EWTN

Thousands of people have been assisted by Scott Hahn in studying the Bible from an informed and spiritual point of view. This dictionary is a powerful part of that effort and will significantly help any reader learn more about the Bible in an organized and reliable way. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who wants to come to a deeper knowledge and love of sacred scripture.”
Fr. Benedict J. Groeschel, CFR

That’s like a roster pulled from Who’s Who in the American Catholic Church.

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Oh! I thought the title was The Search for God IN Guinness. My bad.

So some of these posts just write themselves.  This is one of those posts. 

For today’s Tis the Season of … Books!  entry I bring you ==>>

It’s a book

It’s a book about God and Guinness

‘Nuff said.

Remember boys and girls:  Good things come to those who wait.**


** see also

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What do you mean, 'I can't sing'? I can sing!

Okay, this is a book that I have wanted for a loooong time.  Er…five years, according to Amazon‘s Wish List.  Hmmm.  Anyway, at the risk of getting all New Liturgical Movement-y on you, this is supposed to be an awesome and insightful book.     Why Catholics Can’t Sing: The Culture of Catholicism and the Triumph of Bad Taste by Thomas Day

I found the original review of the book from Catherine Dower on EWTN that made me add it to my Wish List –gosh, I love the internet!

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Church hopping, church shopping, steeple chasing–what are they calling it these days?  Have you done it?  I think it is relatively rare in our Catholic community, unless we move–like I did–and start over with a new community.  But among Protestants, church hopping is not only accepted, it sometimes seems to be expected.  ;-)    In my entire life, I’ve only ever had one Catholic suggest to me that I should attend their church instead of mine, but I hear Protestant friends suggest it all the time.  “Oh, you go to that Baptist Church?  uh-huh…you should come to mine!  Our [insert noun such as ‘preacher’ ‘choir’ ‘worship team’ ‘worship team leader’ ‘children’s service’ ‘small group’] is awesome!  Come to my church!”

I think we’ve all been guilty of some church shopping.  I know when I moved to Michigan, I looked at a few different Catholic parishes before settling on the one which turned out to be my true local parish.  It was the last one because I hadn’t realized it was there.  Before I found it though, I had a “church shopping moment”, I know, when I absolutely refused to return to one of the parishes I visited.  It was Holy Week and I was visiting from down south and the Good Friday service had a lot of goofy, non-liturgical additions.  The centerpiece of Good Friday was not, as you might expect, the Veneration of the Cross.  Nope, it consisted of the priest hammering nails into a piece of wood (no, it wasn’t a cross) whenever the deacon (or reader or whoever that was) read off a “sin” that we as a people have committed.  Now, this is way off the liturgy for Good Friday but I was willing to go along because heck, I thought it might make an impact on us.  But I balked at the “sins” they announced.  This part of the service was so off the rails into modernism and seeking relevance that it was farcical.  Not a single “every time I lied…cheated…failed to help…passed a stranger without encouragement…forgot to pray…didn’t thank God for my blessings…gossiped…used vulgar language….watched pornography…ignored my kids…”  I mean, there’s a lot of personal sins that could have been mentioned and which would have struck a chord of recognition in the parishioners hearts.  But nope.  Here are the ways we crucified Jesus, according to this particular church:

  • failed to recycle
  • polluted the rivers
  • elected politicians who lead us to war
  • misunderstood our Muslim brothers
  • our government didn’t help the poor (I forget where in the Bible Jesus says for governments to help the poor)
  • our intolerance

There were more but by this time, I was praying so hard for God to make me focused on Him, not on what was going on in the service, that I couldn’t listen anymore.  :-P

So…back to my point.  Church shopping is in itself, a form of worship for some Christians.  Here is a hilarious quiz from Stuff Christians Like for church shoppers:

The Church Hopping Score Card

1. If you leave without even getting out of your car because you can’t find a good parking spot = +1 point

2. While visiting a new church you park in the pastor’s assigned parking space = +1 point  (more…)

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Adults--I have your readymade excuse: oh, I keep them around because I have nieces and nephews that visit.

Are you a parent of young kids?  Do you have children on your gift list?  Have you lurched through your own childhood without experiencing the joy of reading Laura Ingalls Wilder?  If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then today’s Tis the season…books! post is for you.

Laura Ingalls Wilder, if you did not know, wrote an autobiographical series of children’s books recounting her childhood in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas and Missouri.  You’ve no doubt heard of them because there was a moderately successful** television series based on them.   Perhaps you may have a built-in bias against them, based on the old adage “familiarity breeds contempt” and if that is the case, I beg you to forget what you think you know and consider these books afresh.

I remember reading them as a youngster myself, starting with Little House in the Big Woods, and loving them well before the tv series started.   All my friends did.  We got them from the library and I remember we had to swap them because there weren’t enough copies for us to read simultaneously.  I admit that I re-read these a couple years ago when my son was reading them.  What a pleasant re-read they were, too.

I decided to recommend them after I chanced across this Catholic Exchange article which puts into context some of the politics behind Laura Ingalls Wilder’s publication of the books.  Did you know or suspect that they were anti-New Deal?  I didn’t but I can certainly see how they could be viewed that way.  These books are about hardworking men and women, self-sufficient, industrious, family-centered, faithful, independent.  Values that most parents want to pass on to their kids.  Plus, the stories are really charming.  If you don’t have kids that you can give these to, or if the kids live outside of your house (thereby denying you the ability to sneak in your own reading), then get yourself a copy! 

I also recommend that you buy the books as a set because keeping the titles straight and in order is just too darn difficult.

** hehe

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