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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Feast of Justin Martyr - and my birthday

St Justin Martyr
Father Lawrence Lew, OP, via Flickr, licensed cc

While at Ephesus, he was impressed by the steadfastness of the Christian martyrs, and by the personality of an aged Christian man whom he met by chance while walking on the seashore. This man spoke to him about Jesus as the fulfilment of the promises made through the Jewish prophets. Justin was overwhelmed. "Straightway a flame was kindled in my soul," he writes, "and a love of the prophets and those who are friends of Christ possessed me."

Justin became a Christian, but he continued to wear the cloak that was the characteristic uniform of the professional teacher of philosophy. His position was that pagan philosophy, especially Platonism, is not simply wrong, but is a partial grasp of the truth, and serves as "a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ."

From Father Lew on Flickr

From Early Christian
Well, they say, if then the flesh rise, it must rise the same as it falls; so that if it die with one eye, it must rise one-eyed; if lame, lame; if defective in any part of the body, in this part the man must rise deficient. How truly blinded are they in the eyes of their hearts! For they have not seen on the earth blind men seeing again, and the lame walking by His word. All things which the Saviour did, He did in the first place in order that what was spoken concerning Him in the prophets might be fulfilled, "that the blind should receive sight, and the deaf hear," and so on; but also to induce the belief that in the resurrection the flesh shall rise entire. For if on earth He healed the sicknesses of the flesh, and made the body whole, much more will He do this in the resurrection, so that the flesh shall rise perfect and entire. In this manner, then, shall those dreaded difficulties of theirs be healed.

At 50+, these are welcome words to read! I'd like to know that the aches and pains of my body in this life, will be gone when it rises again!

Something I wrote for this blog quite a few years back but still seems to fit:
Today is the feast of Justin Martyr.   By some odd coincidence it is also my birthday.  It wasn't until I reverted back to my Catholic Faith and started to get interested in such things that I discovered that I was born on the feast of a saint that I felt such an immediate kinship too.  Of course it wasn't until I reverted back to my Catholic Faith that I felt the need to defend it, study it, and seek the truth from it.  Isn't it funny sometimes how God gives us the role models that we need, and puts them in special places in our lives for us to benefit from, even when we aren't aware of it?   How he designed this special date as a connection between this holy saint and me, born centuries later, is just awesome.  It makes me even more aware that God really has a plan and is working it, every day, of every year, through the centuries and that I am indeed a part of it!

I know that I once wrote on this blog that I was thinking of 55 as being the middle of my life. I also know that I wrote that sometime in my mid 40s, somewhat aware that a mid-life of 55 makes the endpoint at around 110 - which is probably very unlikely.  But even if I optimistically hold on to that, today I am stepping over that line. Even in my own mind, I am now living the second half of my life.

I'm okay with it.  In a lot of ways it's very freeing. Things that used to matter a lot, just don't matter as much any more. I'm happy to be here and I hope that I can be here for a few more decades - and I hope that I am able to contribute something while I'm here. That's what I want to celebrate every year.

The thing about being your 50s is that while there some sadness and loss of loved ones, and many memories, there is still much to look forward to ahead. So I am looking back with gratitude to my mom, my grandparents, and all my aunts and uncles, but really delighted to see what's coming up next with my kids and granddaughter, my sister and extended family and all of my dear friends. Spending time with Mr. Pete is a bonus!