My Spring Reading List!

After the heavier reading of Lent, I thought I'd like to continue some inspirational spiritual reading through the Easter season as well. 

Here's my book list!

Private and Pithy lessons from Scripture - Mother Angelica
Little Book of Life Lessons - Mother Angelica
Three to Get Married - Fulton Sheen
The Little Oratory
Diary Sister Faustina
Getting Past Perfect - Kate Wicker
The Words We Pray - Amy Welborn
Perfectly Yourself - Matthew Kelly 
Crossing the Threshold of Hope - Pope John Paul II

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Dying to self

Sometimes my best stuff is in other people's comment boxes. I wrote this yesterday in response to the italized comment

I cannot without thought blindly follow any person or body.

I have always been a Catholic Christian, but I did spend some years away from the church before I reverted back to my Catholic faith.

So from that background I will say this: A lot of what being Catholic involves a death. A dying to ourselves, and to our wants, and to our needs. It involves a trial by fire (like heating gold to remove the impurities). But it's in dying to self, that I think my husband and I have grown in our faith, and hopefully grown in personal holiness.

I didn't understand or even like everything the church taught when I re-verted back to it. I just knew in my heart that the Catholic church was the true church, and so I basically gritted my teeth, sucked it up and tried to accept the things I could not understand and didn't like.

That act of just giving up. Just giving myself up - enabled the Lord to show me and my husband things that wouldn't have been possible at all if we had held back. By giving up, we got more. Funny how God works things out.

And once my will and spirit were at peace, the intellect soon followed. And now I not only think and believe what the church teaches, but I KNOW it to be true as well.

Giving up is the first and hardest step. It's a leap of faith.

I'm always surprised by the responses my most heartfelt coments get from other people, especially those who don't agree with me. The above brought this:

That sounds very much like a recipe for brainwashing.

God doesn't want clones, much less mindless clones. There's a reason why God gave us each a distinct set of experiences, distinct personalities, and free will. It wasn't so we could deny who we are - who He created us to be - and murder that in order to blindly follow a very small, homogenous, limited subset of human beings.

I think "giving up" is a very apt phrase when applied to this attitude that one must follow blindly. It is giving up. It's quitting. It's cheating God of the best we can be. It's laziness dressed up as holiness.

My response:
Have you ever studied an instrument? played athletics? studied ballet? taken up a foreign language as an adult?

None of that stuff is EASY! And frankly playing an instrument (I play the flute) and studying ballet (I danced and taught ballet), playing football (hey, it is the CPF blog!) do require a certain amount of giving up or yourself if you want any results!! As a flute student I use to put in a minimum of 1-2 hours a day, sometimes more in high school. Ballet required 90 minute daily lessons AND rehearsal.

Now I suppose I could have rebelled, resisted, fought my teachers every step of the way - neglected my scales, rejected their criticisms, ignored their advice - and ya know what - wouldn't have hurt them a bit, and I wouldn't have gotten anywhere either.

What I'm saying is that sometimes, and particularly with Catholic Family Life - it's more beneficial to just LIVE IT instead of trying to intellectualize it. And through the life experience the intellectual side comes - provided you study.

I do agree with your statement that he wants us to use what we're given. It seems to me that many dissident Catholics use this over intellectualizing to NOT Do just that.

And let me clue ya, attempting to come anywhere close to an authentically Catholic life is anything but laziness. Maybe that's why the church recognizes those who achieve it in a special way - we call them "saints."

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