Great Reads in No Particular Order

I feel like I’ve been remiss in directing your attention Catholic-Portal-page-wide — bad of me, as there’s some good stuff up!

Julie Davis is writing about how she was dragged kicking and screaming into John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and how glad she is to have read it. Now I’m itching to read it, and even more antsy to read this translation and commentary on Genesis

Meanwhile, Dr. Pat McNamara, who never fails to bring us something fascinating, takes a look at Ireland’s Sisters of Mercy and their service to the poorest of the poor in 19th Century America. I was particularly amused to read about the Protestants who believed that the sisters were being held in their convents against their will. In truth they were kind of like forerunners of Mother Teresa!

Deacon Greg looks at “crying rooms” in church and the comments section is pretty hot!

Kaddish for Amy is a look at the death of Amy Winehouse and the unusual “bad Jewish girl” persona she put forth, by Max Lindenman.

Are you getting late-summer doldrums and feeling in a spiritual rut? Check out Kathy Coffey’s good advice on how to get out of it.

One way out of a rut is to let yourself get a little shaken up — which is why the new missal translations coming our way in Advent may be a great doldrum-shaker. Pat Gohn tells a little tale, explaining just why the translations are worth looking forward to!

Writing from China, Tim Muldoon continues his series on Sex and Christianity, this week taking a look at the Feminist factor in all of that

Matt Emerson wrote about St. Ignatius last week, but tomorrow — ever the teacher — he’ll once more be examining and trying to unravel “The Mystery of Catechesis,” so you’ll want to check that out.

Finally, Joseph Susanka and Marcia Morrissey, who regularly show up on Friday, are both taking a well-deserved break, but in their place tomorrow look for a really fascinating interview with screenwriter Barbara Nicolosi, where she talks about storycraft, the culture and what is lacking in Christian films, and Russell Shaw’s look at “The Dolan Doctrine” — that would be Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

On other portals:

At the Evangelical Portal, Tim Dalrymple — a true gent — ponders Government Budgets, Social Justice and wonders Whom Would Jesus Indebt?, which is connected to the establishment of Christians for a Sustainable Economy, a largely evangelical group of Christians who have written thusly to the president:

Compassion and charity for “the least of these” is an essential expression of our faith, flowing from a heart inclined towards God. And just as the love of God frees us for a more abundant life, so our charity must go beyond mere material provision to meet the deeper needs of the poor. To suggest that Matthew 25 – or any commandment concerning Christian charity – can be met through wealth redistribution is to obscure these truths.

Progressive Christian: I really like Alyce McKenzie’s Lectionary Musings and try to read them every week. She’s a very insightful woman.

The weekly Torah portion

On the Muslim portal: What’s Ramadan about, anyway?

And if you’re in the mood to ponder something very much outside your normal perspectives, consider Star Foster’s thoughts on Spiritual Warfare in politics, and its reach. There’s been a huge increase in the number of people identifying as pagans. Star — who is one of the nicest and most mannerly women I’ve ever met — was pagan before it was “cool” to be one, and reading her is a good way to keep abreast of what pagans are thinking and where they’re going.

We all have to live in this world together, after all; having a real sense of who people are, beyond caricatures, can only help.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • 100000555589596

    I’ve read Alter’s translation and commentary on Exodus, and looked at the Genesis commentary (it was part of the same book). The notes were wonderful. I was using it for additional insight while doing a Bible Study of Exodus. Lots of good information on cultural stuff, and things handed down in Jewish lore or the Talmud or history which other commentaries did not have. But which were very illuminating.

    Elaine T

  • manny

    I meant to comment on the other blog you had earlier in the week on Catholic books but couldn’t. Where are all the great Catholic fiction writers these days? So far this year I’ve read Graham Greene, Shusaku Endo, and Flannery O’Connor. But who is a promising contemporary Catholic novelist? I would love to explore some.

    By the way, I think we’re having problems commenting again. I think that’s why you haven’t been getting a lot of comments lately.

    [Your question is one a lot of people are asking. As to comments, yes, they're wonky and I don't know why. Deacon Greg is also having problems. Will get our IT guys on it when they're back from vacay! -admin]