Let me first apologize for my absence the past two weeks or so. Life has a way of throwing things at you and you have to deal with them whether you want to or not. The objects thrown this time had to do with the business my wife and I own. It wasn’t fun but we got through it.
Anyway, just because we had to deal with business emergencies didn’t mean I stopped my book-hunting habits! A junkie’s a junkie after all. And thanks to the Prescott DAV Thrift Store, I came up with some finds this past week.
My favorite is “The Harper Collins Book of Prayers: A Treasury of Prayers Through the Ages,” compiled by Robert Van de Weyer (Castle Books, 1997.) At just over 400 pages, it has an abundance of prayers, poetry and meditations. Unlike many other prayer collections, this one is arranged by author rather than topic, which I really appreciate. Such spiritual luminaries as St. Augustine, Karl Barth, Henri Nouwen, Ignatius of Loyola, Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Origen are included. There are even sections with Aztec, Sioux and Kalahari Bushmen prayers. Amazingly beautiful words here.
I also found two wonderful books on church history which are aimed at younger audiences. “The Church of Our Fathers” by Roland H. Blainton (The Westminster Press, 1950) and “I Will Build My Church” by Amy Morris Lillie (The Westminster Press, 1950) look to be for the 8 to 12 year old age range and have great illustrations, especially “Church of Our Fathers.” Thumbing through these books, I was reminded that much of the Church’s history is a grand tale of adventure. Today’s Church should be telling these stories to its young members. Talk about exciting and inspiring!
To complete the historical theme, I picked up a copy of Paul Johnson’s “A History of the American People,” (HarperPerrenial, 1999.) Johnson is a British historian who writes about America out of admiration rather than contempt, a refreshing change. His dedication explains his view:
This book is dedicated to the people of America – strong, outspoken, intense in their convictions, sometimes wrong-headed but always generous and brave, with a passion for justice no nation has ever matched.
If only more schools would use this as a textbook instead of the one by, say, Howard Zinn.
That’s all for now, folks. Again, sorry for not being more consistent but life is what it is. I’ll try to be better. In the meantime, keep reading!