Have you read any good books lately?
Here is advice from Thomas Merton:
Reading ought to be an act of homage to the God of all truth. We open our hearts to words that reflect the reality He has created or the greater Reality which He is. It is also an act of humility and reverence towards others who are the instruments by which God communicated His truth to us.
Reading gives God more glory when we get more out of it, when it is a more deeply vital act not only of our intelligence but of our whole personality, absorbed and refreshed in thought, meditation, prayer, or even in the contemplation of God.
Books can speak to us like God, like men or like the noise of the city we live in. They speak to us like God when they bring us light and peace and fill us with silence. They speak to us like God when we desire never to leave them. They speak to us like men [sic] when we desire to hear them again. They speak to us like the noise of the city when they hold us captive by a weariness that tells us nothing, gives us no peace, and no support, nothing to remember, and yet will not let us escape.
Books that speak like God speak with too much authority to entertain us. Those that speak like good men hold us by their human charm; we grow by finding ourselves in them. They teach us to know ourselves better by recognizing ourselves in another.
Books that speak like the noise of the multitudes reduce us to despair by the sheer weight of their emptiness. They entertain us like the lights of the city streets at night, by hopes they cannot fulfil.
Great though books may be, friends though they may be to us, they are no substitute for persons, they are only means of contact with great persons, with those who had more than their own share of humanity, those who were persons for the whole world and not for themselves alone.
Ideas and words are not the food of the intelligence, but truth. And not an abstact truth that feeds the mind alone. The Truth that a spiritual person seeks is the whole Truth, reality, existence and essence together, something that can be embraced and loved, something that can sustain the homage and the service of our actions: more than a thing: persons, or a Person. Him above all Whose essence is to exist. God.
Christ, the Incarnate Word, is the Book of Life in Whom we read God.
[Thoughts in Solitude, 62-64]
The Rev. Linda McCloud
The Episcopal Church of Our Savior at Honey Creek