Because of the Pleasure of Finding Things Out

Posted by Frank
I am sitting in a friend’s house in Southern California surrounded by books one minute into New Year’s Day. My friends are devout Catholics and have many volumes that are of interest to me. Everything from The Curé d’Ars, St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney to a pamphlet entitled Confession: A Little Book for the Reluctant.

There are books here, and in my public library at home, covering the whole spectrum of Catholic Christianity. I could spend weeks, months, a lifetime reading through these selections. And I intend to do so. This quote by Horace Walpole sums up my experience since I started this journey in 2006:

The whole secret of life is to be interested in one thing profoundly and in a thousand things well.

Which brings me to the title of this post, taken from a book in the library here written by the physicist Richard P. Feynman. I’m not really interested in Feynman’s book, but his title is apt for my purposes: The Pleasure of Finding Things Out. With the Bible and the Liturgy of the Hours in one hand, and volume after volume of great works that illuminate them both in the other, I find myself a happy Catholic ready to celebrate a Happy New Year.

St. Augustine’s Confessions? Barely got past the dust cover, so that is on my “bucket list” of Catholic books to read. Aquinas? Looking forward to it. I’ve read de Osuna’s Third Spiritual Alphabet, and that is outstanding. Webster likes the Catholic fiction like Kristin Lavrinsdatter, while I really enjoy the nonfiction works of the Early Church Fathers.

I’ll probably read this one this year as well: The Grunt Padre, the biography of Lt. Vincent Capadonno, USNR, a Roman Catholic Chaplain who was awarded the Medal of Honor serving with the 5th Marines in Vietnam.

Learning about our Faith is a real joy. What is on your Catholic-book bucket list for this year? Now, to bed and up early for the Tournament of Roses Parade. Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

  • Anonymous

    Hmmmnnn…what would that be for a "distracted" Catholic, distracted by life questions? For one, I think I would enjoy coming here to read the thoughts of two fairly new Catholics leading a "cradle" Catholic helping me to discover God and the Catholic faith.A thought float through me while attending mass for the New Year…to join RCIA as mean to enkindle my own Catholic faith.Anyway cheers to you and your bucket list. (How about Augustine's City of God?…finish already?)Peace of Christ be with you.MosesKL,MY

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Moses: Not sure if the KL Archdiocese has had a "Renew" program yet. Here is a link to explain the program. Take a look…http://www.renewintl.org/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14444361367208483037 Ruth Ann

    This post speaks to my Catholic, curious heart. Like the anonymous Catholic who commented above, I have been Catholic for a lifetime. Yet I enjoy reading YIM Catholic because you two are as excited as I am about being Catholic. It's motivating to have that kind of companionship. I have been delving in to serious Catholic reading since my childhood. That's a true statement! I was self-motivated, but my Dad also encouraged me. My first really challenging work was the the Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila when I was 13 years of age. That was 50 years ago! And I'm still reading and reading and never bored from it.A book that expanded my horizon of what's out there to read was "A Practical Guide to Spiritual Reading" by Susan Annette Muto. It has an annotated bibliography of sources that she classifies as essential, secondary, edifying, and recreative. Holy Scripture is, of course, above and beyond all. I don't think her book is in print any more, but can probably be acquired from used or rare book sources.When RCIA was a new thing, back in the 70s or so, I did join. It was a good review of fundamentals, and I enjoyed the social aspect. In '99 I sponsored a catechumen. That was another opportunity to revisit the basics. My challenge then was this person had been an atheist. She had little or no understanding of Christianity. The two of you are in a whole different category.What books will I put on my list? Hmm-mm-mm. I'll have to get back to you on that.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    @Moses: I saw this interesting news too today.http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20091231/wl_nm/us_malaysia_religion_1

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    Ruth Ann: Thanks for that suggestion for "A Practical Guide to Spiritual Reading". I just ordered it from Alibris!

  • Anonymous

    Hi FrankNot sure if the Archdiocese website list such programme, most likely no.As for the news item, there is a strong possibility that the government will make an appeal in the Court of Appeal to overturn the decision. Several other critical decision by the High Court has been reversed in the past one year by the Court of Appeal.In any case, we are thankful for this judgement.As background, there is a large number of the Catholics (and Christians) population residing in the states of Sabah and Sarawak (East Malaysia, northern part of the Borneo island). They are from the native population (such as Kadazan, Iban, etc). They speak their native language and that of Malay as the common language. So in that context, the litugical celebration is in the national language. One of the contention of the ruling "regime" over at the West Malaysia (the seat of the ruling power is in Kuala Lumpur) is that Allah is the exclusive use of the Muslim and hence the prohibition against The Herald. But for the local Christians, the word Allah means God in the local language and has been in use from the very beginning. It has never been in dispute before until fairly recently (for which it is more of political issue rather than a religious matter).That is the summary of the issue.Moseskl,my

  • Anonymous

    Hi FrankHope you can say a prayer for us over at Malaysia for this judgement. Things will be a little touchy for some section for now.Thank you.Moseshttp://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/48357-herald-website-hacked-as-allah-battle-intensifies

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01819831282677092730 Frank

    May the Peace of Christ be with you and with all our Christian brethren in Malaysia as this judgement makes its way through channels.


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