“You either believe all that stuff you say you believe, and you act accordingly, or it’s all a lot of hooey and you’re the hoo-er.”
I want to chat a bit today about my boss, the editor of the rowdy bunch of Catholics here at Patheos, the indomitable Elizabeth Scalia.
Elizabeth is already well known and loved as a writer: Her The Anchoress blog here at Patheos, as well as her columns at First Things and other sites, have distinguished her on the web. Her most excellent book from last year, Strange Gods: Unmasking the Idols in Everyday Life, was an insightful study of the idols in our lives, the myriad things that can take our eyes off God.
But this new book, I Don’t Want to be a Hoo-er, is something else again! This is a collection of her best editorials and personal reflections from The Anchoress and from First Things, Pajamas Media and Crisis Magazine, as well as some brand new essays that are only available here.
In this book, she plunges unabashed into the twin quagmires of politics and faith.
In “Resentment, Poison and Prayer,” she’s unafraid to drive the knife deep into her own psyche, letting her son help to excise her anger and resentment in a difficult situation. We travel the road toward forgiveness with her; and with her example, we throw off the monkeys on our own backs.
Later, in “For Christmas, Unwrap the Silence,” Scalia is pensive, immersed in silent appreciation of creation and of the Creator. She urges the reader to adopt a pose of silent wonder; and as a case in point, she shares a wonderful insight into the graced happiness of Chesterton:
One of the most attractive things about G.K. Chesterton was the unending sense of surprised delight he had for all creation, the world, and everything in it. He found newspaper ink to be as wonderful as beach glass, which– it went without saying– was as marvelous to him as any good cigar.
More recently, Elizabeth reflects on Pope Benedict’s retirement, and on the monastery as a kind of powerhouse of prayer. She embraces Pope Francis’ call to greater humility.
I Don’t Want to be a Hoo-er, elegantly written and featuring a cover design by talented Catholic artist Jason Bach, is a slim volume of short meditations that’s destined to become a classic. It’s great for bedtime reading or for sharing around the fireplace, as one might share a great piece of poetry. It’ll nudge you to listen to the still, small voice within, to ponder the God who is everywhere and who is here, in our hearts.
I know you’ll enjoy it.