Wednesday, August 08, 2007

In Which I Finish Another Book I recently filled a database with 200 of my books. Of those 200, 98 had not been read. It is an appalling fact that I have entirely too many books. I am eager to change this statistic so that it is less skewed. In fact, I think it would be lovely to be reduced to two bookshelves. One on which I keep books I have read and love, to which I will return again in times of want or need. And another on which I have books I have not read. I do not want to hold onto books which have not been read for years and years nor do I want to keep books I don't wish to read again. in the future. With that said, I read We Worship: A Guide to Catholic Mass by Oscar Lukefahr, C.M. as part of my Catholic readings. Finally, I can say that I have read a book that I enjoyed because I found it both informational and inspiring. So far all of the books I have read for this exploration have left me feeling bored and not the least bit spiritually moved. This book, however, brought to light many of the rituals which surround the mass giving these rituals a significance, a resonance, that they lacked for me. There are many Biblical references, which is to be expected. More exciting for me were the references to the catechism and websites listed with primary sources. It is all well and good to say that Pope John Paul II said something but Lukefahr takes the time to show where the reader can see for themselves what this and other Catholic leaders have said. I really appreciated these references because it reassured me that what was being said in the text was reasonable and balanced. There are some personal stories and even amusing anecdotes but these are mostly confined to the introduction of each chapter or to sidebar boxes called "Mass Confusion." I had found Scott Hahn's use of glib and amusing sub-titles for his chapters a bit distracting. Lukefahr's were less intrusive for me and didn't even realize the pattern until I was more than 2/3 through the book. In other words, they were not as obvious as in Hahn's book. (As an aside, Lukefahr mentions Hahn's conversion from anti-Catholic to Catholic at one point. Not very relevant but it was nice to see yet another familiar name in the book.) I intend on keeping this book around for a while. I will want to reread chapter three (Attending a Mass: Step by Step) if Rob and I ever do manage to go to Mass as we have discussed. It is unfortunate that there is no televised mass here in GA. Frankly, I can't remember living someplace that did not have a Sunday Mass, along with some of the other seemingly ubiquitous televangelists (Schuller and Kennedy come to mind). I am just hugely relieved to have finally come across a text that excited me, made me want to learn more and even experience more.


  1. With the upcoming move and need to downsize, I'm purging books. I'm only keeping the ones I will read again, and I can't believe how few that actually is.

    I've also made a vow not to buy any more fiction books that I could check out at the library. If I can get them there, and love them enough to want to reread, then I will buy. I wish I could recover all the money the library would have saved me.

  2. I think I am going to get rid of all of my classics for this reason. I can always borrow them from a library. There's no use in holding onto them. I used to keep them for the day when I would be teaching but now I know I will never have a classroom and I can accept that. So why hold on to the clutter of what will never happen?