One of the great perils of being a novice Lay Dominican is that it will add to your List of Books You Must Read Because They Sound So Awesome!

So far, I’ve added to my List:

The Soul of the Apostolate by Dom Jean-Baptiste Chautard, OCSO.  It comes highly recommended by Pope St. Pius X.  What more needs to be said?

Meditations Before Mass, recently re-issued as Preparing Yourself for Mass, by Msgr. Romano Guardini.  I’ve read some excerpts and quotations by Msgr. Guardini and am always mightily impressed.  He’s an author I keep wanting to come back to and delve into.

I’m sure I’ll learn of many more!

If there’s anything in this world that I have a real addiction to, it’s books!  I never really need a reason to want books.  Now, however, I do have a perfectly legitimate reason: namely, “They will make me a better Lay Dominican!” I promise not to abuse that reason… or, to make a valiant effort not to.   0 :-)

Meanwhile, not related to my novitiate studies:

I just finished Greater Than You Think: a Theologian Answers the Atheists about God by Fr. Thomas D. Williams, LC.  My “reason” for this one:  Seminarian Matthew made me do it! It’s a wonderful summary of “new atheist” ideas and how they hold up (or, generally, don’t) under some fairly simple scrutiny; really, it doesn’t take terribly much to blow “new atheist” thinking to smithereens.  We can all do it, and Fr. Williams shows the way in clear, succinct, logical, and often humorous fashion.  It’s written in Q&A format, which makes it a really handy reference, great for apologetics work.  Each section is just several pages long, so it’s good to carry along with you when you’re on the go and might have just a little time here and there for reading.  I’m planning to share a quotation or two from it in a near-future post.

I’ve begun reading Called to Holiness: What it Means to Encounter the Living God by Ralph Martin.  I just came across this one in my church library.  The call to holiness is so important for all Catholics, lay no less than clergy or consecrated.  It’s really the ultimate goal for each and every one of us.  But what does it actually mean to be holy?  And what does it mean about God, about man, and the relationship between them?  I think we can sometimes just gloss over or take for granted that pretty and very common word, “holy.”  In order to be it, we have to understand it, right?  So, that’s why I chose this book to read now.  I’m very pleased so far.  It has seemingly simple and obvious insights about who God is and what we know about Him.  It’s very scripture-based, too, which is great, because just as we take “holiness” for granted without really understanding what it means, we often do the same with scripture.