All in all, June is turning out to be a peaceful month for me.  I’ve seen fireflies blinking.  The heat isn’t unbearable.  I’ve found a lot of time to just relax and pray and read and write.  I’ve been able to wake up early and feel refreshed.

I just finished reading:

The Tiber was Silver by Michael Novak

It was originally published in 1961, and has now been reissued by Ave Maria University’s Sapientia Press.  I found it a pleasant read, good for summer.  Maybe not the most masterful novel–though certainly masterful enough for a first novel written by a young man in his 20s!  The descriptions of Rome and the surrounding countryside were vivid, gorgeous, and provided a nice mental getaway.  The story of a young American seminarian in Rome, during the last days of Pius XII’s pontificate, and amid all the confusing and tumultuous changes in the world, was really interesting from a historical and cultural point of view.  At the same time, much in the story was timeless and even a bit prophetic.  I really identified with, and felt for the main character as he struggled with his vocational discernment, spiritual crises, all the turmoil of the day, and various interpersonal relationships.  I really liked and cared for all of the characters–and still do!  I wonder what happened to all of them, especially during and after the Second Vatican Council, and where they would be today.

And now, I am starting to read Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh.  Mainly because I grow weary of feeling like the only Catholic in the English-speaking world who hasn’t read it!

At this point, I would like to thank and to beg pardon from every gracious soul who has ever invited me to join a book club (for instance, Julie).  I really mean well when I accept the invitation.  I do try.  But my heart and mind are just too unpredictable when it comes to their book cravings.  It doesn’t matter how determined I may be to read a particular book at a particular time… sometimes I just have to go wherever fancy leads me.  In part, it may be a lingering reaction to my school days, when I had very little leeway in choosing books for myself.  And/or a certain degree of laziness and capriciousness in my nature.  There’s always that!

As for my own great Catholic novel(s), I’ve gotten a bit of work done on them as well.  One of them I’ve been working on since I was in my late teens.  Over a decade now.  I was asking myself earlier today why it has taken me so very long to write this story… to even really get it underway!… and I have come to the conclusion that, quite simply, it has always been destined to be a Catholic story, told by a Catholic.  And from my late teens up until a few years ago, I was not a Catholic, and I couldn’t possibly tell a Catholic story!  But in these last few years, as I have taken a new lease on life, so has the story.  Not only that, but a second story has developed (hence novels, plural).  Who knows where it all may go from here?! 

Oh… I wish I had more time to read and to write!  But at least I am finding some time.  Thanks be to God!