Scribbles, &c.

New year, new books

Christmas is done, Epiphany is finished and here I am with a stack of new books: Doors in the Walls of the World by Peter Kreeft, The Golden Rhinoceros by François-Xavier Fauvelle, The Rule of Benedict by Georg Holzherr OSB, and a guide to gardening with local Tennessee plants. I’m still slowly working my way through Tanquerey’s Spiritual Life, which I’m liking very much. I used parts of it for a recent RCIA lesson on sin and temptation, in particular the explanations of the threefold concupiscence. I’ve just started the section on the capital sins - also very engaging stuff.

I like Kreeft’s books. This one feels like it could have been a transcript of a lecture - very conversational and approachable. There are moments where his enthusiasm is nearly too much, that maybe the printed word is just barely enough to hold him still. Reading him is like having a couple of beers with a friend who just happens to be on fire and can’t wait to ignite you as well. But in a good way of course.

I had another meeting with the director of vocations yesterday. The process continues, and I left with another book recommendation: The Noonday Devil by Dom Jean-Charles Nault, OSB. This is an exploration and study of acedia, more commonly known as sloth, one of the seven capital sins. From the dust-jacket blurb:

The word “sloth”, however, can be misleading for acedia is not laziness; in fact it can manifest itself as business or activism. Rather, acedia is a gloomy combination of weariness, sadness, and lack of purposefulness. It robs a person of his capacity for joy and leaves him feeling empty, or void of meaning.

The Noonday Devil will be going with me next week as I head to a weekend men’s retreat.