Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I am going to get SO smart...

... you aren't going to be able to live with me. A few months ago (ish) I got the great idea (maybe on my own, maybe not... can't remember) to read the gospels again, one after the other, chapter by chapter in the light of my new-found Church. Went in hoping for two things, 1) to grow closer Jesus; 2) to see if I noticed any "difference" now that I've been re-learning a few things from a Catholic perspective. Both happened. Good times.

Got to the end of the four books and asked Kevin for input on what I should read next. He said something like: "There's cool stuff to be seen from a Catholic perspective in First and Second Corinthians." Read those and enjoyed hanging out with Paul (sometimes - sometimes, truthfully, the guy can be a wee bit intimidating - or is it just me?). Now (well, two days ago) I decided to read the books that are present in my Catholic Old Testament but were "missing" in my Protestant Bible. Enter Tobit. Started reading yesterday but was missing the cool Catholic commentary I'd had as I hung out reading the letters to the Corinthians. So... here is where it pays to be friends with the Director of Faith Formation at your church - I called up Craig and asked if he had some good commentary on Tobit. OF COURSE he did (does) and he handed it off to me at a meeting at church tonight thoughtfully bookmarked (with an EVOS coupon that expired in 2007, darn it - I like their soy shakes).

I was already excited to go home with this handy-dandy volume (The Navarre Bible, Chronicles-Maccabees, Texts and Commentaries) and start using it in my little daily reading time - but THEN THE CONVERSATION WENT FURTHER!!! I mentioned I was looking for a book I'd heard of that overviewed the whole Bible (ambitious!) and based on who I'd heard it from I think Craig assumed it was more scholarly/less "Bible for Dummies". He presented me with an "extra copy" our parish has - that has obviously never been cracked open - and told me all about its qualifications. I'm gathering that it isn't "over my head" but not exactly a "poolside read" either. A few minutes ago, I took a look at the Table of Contents and I truthfully felt the same feeling of excitement I always felt on the first day of a good class in college (or even high school.) You can tell the good classes - you can tell by the teacher, the syllabus, and the text, right? This is a GOOD TEXT. And I already have a thing for the author, Scott Hahn, who is a fellow convert to Catholicism and a favorite writer. Get this - it's called Understanding The Scriptures - A Complete Course on Bible Study. If I've lost you, or you're yawning, I'm sorry. But I'm telling you, scripture study CAN be invigorating and IS life-changing, so having these books thrills me.

My only problem is that I've been on a bit of a reading jag and just plowed through a book on media and culture; two homeschool books; three issues of "Runner's World" cover to cover; and started reading some articles and speeches by Thomas Howard (yes, another convert, but notably for me - the brother of Elisabeth Elliot, a Protestant hero of mine); so I was KINDA in the market for some shallow, easy-reading, fiction. Perhaps I can use the Tobit commentary during my afternoon quiet time, the huge Bible Study text before bed, and save some fun fiction for the mornings when I sip lattes and lounge on the veranda overlooking the children playing in the gardens.
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