May 13, 2008

In the bedroom that serves as my office there are two bookcases that sit on either side of my prayer table: the one on the left for Tracey and her Star Trek memorabilia collection, the one on the right for all my books.

One look at my bookcase reveals the eclectic nature, I suppose, of both my interests and the life-path I have trod. The two bottom shelves are reserved for very large and bulky books, like a couple of Bibles given me over the years, a coffee table book on Mississippi River plantations, The Beatles Anthology, and a number of books on popular music. The second to the botton serves as a transition to the shelves above it – a few more books on popular music separated from several books on theology by a basket containing various supplies for burning incense.

On the three shelves above that one contain a cornucopia of books on faith and religion, and it’s amazing to me how a at the various titles brings back memories of my spiritual journey. There’s Henri Nouwen’s The Genesee Diary, Kathleen Norris’ The Cloister Walk, and Thomas Merton’s The Seven Story Mountain – the first books I bought after my religious awakening back in 1994 when I first heard God’s call to the priesthood. And, practically every book Nouwen and Merton ever wrote in paperback. There are also lots of books on Anglicanism and Anglican church history – a biography of Thomas Cranmer, several books on the Oxford Movement, a 3-volume set of Richard Hooker’s Laws of Ecclesiastical Authority (neither of which has ever been opened), and everal books by Anglican theologian N.T. Wright; these books reflecting those formative years spent learning about the Church and faith as I discerned my priestly calling through Don and Eunice Schatz at Life/Work Direction and the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts’ ordination process.

And there are the books associated with the four years we spent in Kentucky. Scattered among these particular shelves are the few remaining books associated with my two semesters spent at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary – while only eight years ago, it seems like two or three lifetimes ago to me! (All the others – 50 or so, easily worth hundreds of dollars – I donated to a certain student in financial need just before we left Louisville for Massachusetts.) Strange to think that for six months I actually played full-time seminary student. While these books don’t do much for me anymore (I can’t imagine a late-night relaxing session in a cozy nook drinking deeply of Barth’s Church Dogmatics!) they do represent an unforgettable and incredibly exciting period in my life.

Finally, there is the top row, reserved for the “good stuff” – my Harper Collins and Harper NRSV Study Bibles, the Bible I received on my on my confirmation back in 1967, several Episcopal Church prayer books, the box of “flash cards” recalling my semester of Ancient Greek, my purple and green prayer table linens, and the New Testament on tape (narrated by Gregory Peck, no less!). Looking at that particular box, I still remember all those daily 1-hour commutes from Louisville to Frankfort and back when we first moved to Kentucky, and those 45-minute drives between Louisville and Elizabethtown, where I went to church. Mr. Peck was a welcome companion during those long drives, and every now and then, when I hear a certain passage read from a lectern (like Jesus’ parables, for instance) I still hear them in Peck’s voice.

For more than six years these books, once enthustically devoured, poured over, their pages annotated, highlighted, and/or and dog-eared as deemed essential to my spiritial formation, sat unused and neglected (at various times boxed and in storage) as the light of my faith and my calling (not to mention me) flamed out following my unpleasant dealings with the Episcopal Church back in 2001. Arriving here in Arizona back in the fall of 2003, the books were unboxed and arranged in the bookcase, but for all the attention both it (and the prayer table) received in our first years here they might just as well have been back in storage in Massachusetts.

In the past year, however, the rekindling of my faith and interest in theology and Catholicism has brought me back in contact with these once-neglected but never forgotten friends, and revisiting them – whether for a full re-read or just a few page browse – I find it both comforting and reassuring that God has brought us back together again.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:36 | Comments (0)
No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment


goodboys.jpg


Search The Site



Recent Items

Categories

Archives
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006


Blogroll

Syndication

4 Goodboys Only

Site Info