Sliding past the day after yesterday

Suddenly it feels as though my time here is quickly coming to an ending and yet I find myself clinging tightly to its beginning, not quite prepared to hear the next tick or tock of that ever consistent clock. I suppose that any reluctance that I am experiencing can be attributed to just how much I have accomplished during my brief sojourn here, coupled with the self-imposed exile that I have so thoroughly enjoyed. There is no question that there are many friends, one particular dog, and the feel and smell of home that I do sincerely miss (so much so that I can taste it,) yet there is a silent stillness that invades my soul in the quiet solitude of this place and I know that I will surely miss it when I go. But then I know that someday I’ll be back.

For the love of books

For the love of books

I remain energized and enthused with my writing, although today I have failed to extract quite as many words from my brain as gushed forth with uninhibited abundance yesterday. I still cannot imagine or conceive of what possessed me to write with such abandon as I did and what is even more astonishing is that when this morning I reread what I had written in such an unreserved outpouring of thought and ideas it still all made sense and in a good way. I found little to reprove myself and thus I had to only rearrange or modify only a little. Today I have but a mere two thousand words scribbled so far but even though my production is lower than the day before, I thank God for sending the Holy Spirit to breathe such thoughts and words into my heart and head. Just this moment I recalled Father Honesto chanting with the younger students at one of the school Masses this past year, “God is good all the time. All the time God is good.” And isn’t that the truth?

Two days ago—I believe it was Sunday although the days here somehow blur and blend together so it may have been another day—I walked through the small library made available to all retreatants. I had nothing specific in mind since I had, as is my habit, carried more books with me than I could possibly read during my brief stay here. But books have a magnetic attractive property and like iron I am irresistibly drawn into their presence.

While I have never actually performed an inventory, I suppose I have amassed over the years a library of some 10,000 books, the bulk of them I still possess (honestly, I cannot let any of them leave me.) Ask me where I keep them and all I can say is everywhere! Fortunately, these days I almost always go with eBooks which do not require physical storage space and that is a good thing. The truth is that my rate of book acquisition has slowed not one bit since I read on average one to three books every week. Even though I predominately purchase books in digital format these days rather than printed paper, the attraction for the printed book remains as strong as ever.

But I digress…as I was perusing the selection of books available, one book stood out from the rest. The book was titled, The Experience of God by David Bentley Hart, and as I began to read it I was immediately immersed in it. Rather than borrow the book from the library, I of course got online and purchased the eBook.

Now, I find it a fascinating read but I must admit that it is not an easy read at all and certainly would not be everyone’s cup of tea. For many it just might be like drinking a cup of arsenic but I suppose that would be fine if you would rather enjoy drinking arsenic. First, Hart is a metaphysicist and this book is nothing but steeped in all things metaphysical, and second, Hart uses words that I admit I don’t understand! Fortunately, the Kindle app on my iPad has a neat feature that allows you to tap a word and instantly the dictionary definition pops up. I’m finding that I am using that a lot with this book but then I’m learning all kinds of new words which I will be able to lovingly foist upon my own suspecting readers! Oh, what joy, what joy! Don’t you just love it!

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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