My Thoughts

Hello, my name is Chuck, and I am a book junkie. I am addicted to books—and magazines, newsletters, newspapers, eBooks, eMagazines, blogs, posts, posters, labels on bottles, boxes and cans, even clothing tags for heaven’s sake; I get a high every time I find something new to read and I simply cannot quit acquiring anything with print upon a surface.

As for evidence, I must confess: I recently located a source for a dozen books for which I have been suffering severe withdrawal, missing from my thirty-seven volume G.K. Chesterton Collected Works collection; I have been floating for days in anticipation of their arrival. Last week I received Catholic Christianity by Peter Kreeft; I knelt down and gave thanks to the Almighty for the gift. Yesterday I received The Stakes by Michael Anton; what an exquisite high that is. I also received a proof copy of Collected Essays: Colloqui – Volume IV 2019-2020 though that merely means more work to do; still it gave me a thrill to see something of my own wretched genius, if only a proof edition. Minutes ago, while reading the latest edition of The Epoch Times, a book[1] stared me quite in the face and, I assure you, insisted with some persistence: “buy me, buy me, buy me” so I did.

Of course, as friends know well, the books and printed matter are to be found wherever: on shelves and desktops (I have more than two), on the floor and scattered everywhere—no doubt I could find one or more under the bed, beside the bed, on the nightstand, wherever some small space allows. I quit counting many years ago. The problem is books breed like rabbits. They really do. Every day I wake up to a new batch waiting impatiently to be read; I cannot read them fast enough to keep up anymore.

Beside me at the moment waiting impatiently for attention are Before Church and State, Integralism, The First Society, The City of God, Dogma and Preaching, Churchill’s Trial, The Spector of Communism, The Stakes, Nova et Vetera vol 18 no. 3, The Thomist vol. 83 no. 4, The Analysis of Propaganda, Communism and the Conscience of the West, Memory and Identity, The Bible, The Catechism of the Catholic Church, The Seven Storey Mountain, and a multi-story mountain of magazines and newspapers. “Help! I’m drowning! I’m melting!” But … I’m happy. Be patient my impatient bookish friends, I will attend you as quickly as I can find the time.  

Thus, I confess, I am a junkie, an addict, a literary mess. But and this is most important: though I know I need help, I do not need your help or anyone else’s. No rehab is necessary. No intervention, no psychotherapy for me, myself, and I. I am as happy as a pig in a poke surrounded by all these earnest friends, both new and old, some of pleasant memory, others not so much, yet erudite friends with whom I continue to enjoy a visit now and then. The travesty of my addiction can be summed up rather summarily: “So much to read, so little time.”       

It is beyond comprehension why no one shows any interest in reading anymore. But then, books have always been companions, even before I knew enough to enjoy their company. It was my mother who first introduced me to the wonders to be discovered through the written word. Perhaps, no, it must be so, the habit of reading has been lost for generations simply because the written word is no longer present in the home, no more an urgency for urchins at the earliest.

Curiosity may have killed the cat, though I do not know that to be true; sad, there is not enough to question, to discover the treason. Wake up America.

Just my thoughts for a Thursday, for what it is worth.

[1] Gad Saad, “The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense,” (Regnery Publishing, 2020); mentioned by Catherine Yang, “How Postmodern Bad Ideas Have Become Parasitic,” Epoch Times, October 14-20, 2020, B1, B3.

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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