“The First Epistle to the Thessalonians”
From loving pastoral guidance to an early Christian to apocalyptic descriptions of the end of the world, this book really has it all. Seriously, though, I keep being struck by this, 1 Thess. 4:9-12 (emphasis mine, which may have to do with trying to find JP2’s reverence for manual labor inside my current latte-centric paycheck):
But concerning love of the brethren you have no need to have any one write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brethren throughout Macedonia. But we exhort you, brethren, to do so more and more, to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you; so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody.
Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
Sometimes I forget that Merton was not just a great spiritual sage and teacher but that he had a great mind too. He taught theology to monks and priests, after all, and he was essential to the beginning of Cistercian studies as an academic endeavor. In the last week, this book blossomed from a deep book about contemplative prayer practice to a book about the history of the contemplative tradition inside and outside of Christian monasticism. The closest similar work I’ve read, looking at theological development and history at the same time, is Simon Tugwell’s Ways of Imperfection.
Read this blog and be thought-provoked. You can start here: “Manly Me (Theology Edition)” and its follow-up “Un-Womanly Me (A post about, and full of, paradoxes),” both by Brandy Daniels.
Look! There! On the horizon! Fresh from the Amazon warehouse!:
Together with a couple friends, I’ll be tackling The [René] Girard Reader. Look for some wrestlings with it in the next couple weeks.