Tuesday, March 23, 2021

God Reaches Me through Reading

Long before the internet and used bookstores, there were Brandeis Book sales. A friend took me to my first book sale during our college years at Trinity University. Thousands of used books were stacked on tables sprawled in a shopping mall. At these mobile sales, you could purchase books for a penny on the dollar, and less! But the shopping bag full of books were perfect for a growing library.

A typical Brandeis Book spread

Reading and study is my preferred spiritual discipline. When I am not reading, I'm thinking about it. Finding what to read can be an engaging and enjoyable, process. Set goals by updating your reading list. Though I rarely read an entire book in one sitting, when I do, the words fly off the page directly into my heart. Through the same words, I can be strengthened and encouraged with the very presence and love of God. Some books call for me to read and reflect and to listen more intently. 

If a book is boring or disappointing, I either skip ahead, set it down for awhile, or assess its arguments, assigning different grades at the conclusion. Giving away books (not just weeding) can be an interesting undertaking too. Which books are to go away- and to whom? Note that more and more time is used on social media, a positive hindrance to reading as a spiritual practice, at least for me. That's regrettable; however, a post for another time.

Isadore of Seville, the monastic and archbishop of the 5th-6th Century, AD, wrote: “When we pray, we talk to God; when we read, God talks to us. All spiritual growth comes from reading and reflection. By reading we learn what we did not know; by reflection, we retain what we have learned.’

Oldies but Goodies