Monday, September 7, 2015

On Resting and Reading

I hope everybody is enjoying a relaxing and restful Labor Day and those who are looking for work will find just the right job. I am so grateful for Sundays -- ever since we were preparing to enter the Church, Sundays became a day of worship and study. Michael and I had our adult class after morning Mass, whereas the kids had their class before evening Mass, so we'd have about four hours in between for lunch and rest, reading and recreation. Out of necessity, we took the Sabbath rest and the wisdom of the Church continually amazes me.

For me resting and reading go nearly hand-in-hand. So I want to share some good books I've read.

I read LOST LAYSEN by Margaret Mitchell while I was visiting my in-laws. My MIL is a MM fan and to read this little novella penned to her beau, Henry Love Angel, at the age of 16, is a window into the author's development. It has some of the same themes as Gone with the Wind. The letters and photos in the beginning are a great treasure.

No doubt some of the stereotypes of minorities will be offensive to modern ears. They always will be, but I hope nobody decides that these books need sanitizing. It's the same when I read other books and even scientific literature written before 1930s. The racial prejudice can make a person cringe. But it is our history and it is good to be aware of it. 

A JEALOUS GOD: Science's Crusade Against Religion by Pamela R. Winnick is an eye opening read. As a former scientist myself, I have always valued the scientific method, it's ways of correcting false theories, and the glimpse it gives into the mind of God (and I thought this even as an atheist -- yes, I was a very bad one). However, I was also exposed to scientists with larger-than-life egos, who would do anything to suppress any data that goes against their personal beliefs. My husband often remarked that science itself has become a god. How true.

This book takes an honest look at the history and politics of some of the most ethically-challenged research: cloning, stem-cell research, and more. It looks into the changes of school curricula that promote the abandonment of the traditional Judeo-Christian morality, encouraging moral relativism. As you can see, the results are tragic. This book was published ten years ago, and the closing paragraph is chilling: The Galileo prototype of the scientist martyred by religion is now purely a myth. Science long ago won its war against religion, not just traditional religion, but any faith in a power outside the human mind. Now it wants more.

I can't help but think of the recent atrocities uncovered at Planned Parenthood and our government's decision to still continue funding them. It's the height of moral bankruptcy.

But we cannot go on like this. Truth always wins and the human heart is made for God.

So I especially enjoyed this book of essays by Fr. Robert Barron: SEEDS OF THE WORD: Finding God in the Culture. We love good books and movies and in this collection, Fr. Barron (now Bishop Elect!) shows how our Judeo-Christian culture is still found in our popular literature and movies. Granted that it is distorted at times, but that is precisely what happens when we throw out God. He is a marvelous writer, very engaging and I encourage you to check out his Word on Fire website. Most of his ruminations on movies and books and the current culture is on his YouTube channel, which is where I discovered him, but it is really nice to have a book to peruse. Several years ago, Michael bought the Catholicism series as a Christmas gift. We still love to watch it because it is so beautifully produced.

I hope this Labor Day you will consider the kind of work you do. Whether it brings honor and glory to God, whether it is building the Kingdom of God or destroying it. If it's the latter, all you need is to turn away. Today I am reading and writing. I think writers are the only folks I know who don't want to take a day off from *work*. We are so blessed to do what we love.


Mirka Breen said...

"We are so blessed to do what we love."
So true.

Apropos not sanitizing thinkers and storytellers of the past, I'm completely with you here. There will be no way to know what our pasts were if we sanitize our telling as many are prone to do. I think we do enough "sanitizing" (as in bearing false witness) as it is.

Vijaya said...

Yes, sanitizing only covers up the truth. But there are some who would prefer to think we never had slavery or the Jewish Holocaust or the wombs that turned into tombs.