Sunday, July 07, 2013

Sick but reading like a maniac

Wednesday, after about ten days of cough and chest congestion, I went to the doctors. I should have gone earlier but…

I’ve got bronchitis! Rest, medication, and boredom.

I really miss being out in the countryside, but it’s been out of the question.

Thursday and Friday I did have to sit in on a workshop at Caritas, but I didn’t do anything much.

This is rather boring and so I’ve been reading a lot – and now writing this rather vapid blog entry.

I did finish two books I had started but never got around to finishing.

Jeffrey T. Jackson’s The Globalizers: Development Workers in Action is an interesting look at develop workers in Honduras and a critique of development, a type of power, as benefiting the donor countries. The chapters on the El Cajon Dam are damning.

Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith: Exploring Franciscan Spirituality and Theology in the Modern World Francis of Assisi and the Future of Faith: Exploring Franciscan Spirituality and Theology in the Modern World by the Franciscan friar Dan Horan is a series of essays, some of which I found very helpful, including “From Stewardship to Kinship: A Franciscan Understanding of Creation.”

I like to rad suspense novels every once in a while as “light” reading and so I read two novels by the late Andrew Greeley. They are somewhat predictable but fun, with interesting twists and turns. The protagonist, Bishop Blackie Ryan, is a real Chicago Irish character. Unfortunately I read the two novels in the wrong order and knew the conclusion of the one novel almost before I finished the first chapter. If you read them read them in this order: first, The Bishop and the Beggar Girl of St. Germain; then, The Bishop Goes to the University: A Blackie Ryan Story.

I also read two other books.

I had read the first, Lawrence Cunningham’s Francis of Assisi: Performing the Gospel Life. This year I have been reading a lot of Francis. I find this little book rather good, since it reveals Francis as one who took the incarnation to heart. I heartily recommend it as an introduction to Francis (even though there are a few minor errors.)

The other, which I just finished tonight, is John Thavis’s The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church.  Thavis was a Vatican correspondent for Catholic News Services for years, but his account is not in any way a “cover-up.” Rather it’s an open-up the Vatican, with a special focus on the actors within the walls. It was published before Benedict XVI resigned. I finished it thinking how providential that Francis was chosen pope. The Holy Spirit may well be working overtime.

What will I read now?

I’ve got a list, but some of them require a little more attention than I think I can give while recuperating. I’ve been wanting to read Leonardo Boff’s Francis of Assisi: A Model for Human Liberation. I read a few pages but I think it needs a more attentive mind and body.

I also need to finish Donal Dorr’s Option for the Poor and for the Earth: Catholic Social Teaching.

The list includes José Antonio Pagoli’s Jesús: Aproximación histórica as well as Dorothy Day’s Diaries, The Duty of Delight.

In the meantime I’ll have to see if I can find something just to pass the time.

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