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My Journey of Spiritual Reading

Tag Archives: history

For Veteran’s Day

I know I haven’t written much lately. Sadly, that is because I have not been reading much lately (outside of the scriptures and sermon preparation reading). However, as I don’t believe in fate or cosmic chance, it will be noted that I finished Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose last night and today is Veteran’s day. This confluence of events spurs me on to sharing a great quote from the book on this Veteran’s day. I truly am thankful for the service men and women of this nation who put themselves in harm’s way for the security of our country, even while I lament the fact that the broken system of sin, death, and selfishness in which we are all a part requires them to do so.

On speaking about the rather gruesome death of a new soldier recently assigned to Easy Company, PFC David Kenyon Webster writes these words:

He wasn’t twenty years old. He hadn’t begun to live. Shrieking and moaning, he gave up is life on a stretcher. Back in America the standard of living continued to rise. Back in America the race tracks were booming, the night clubs were making their greatest profits in history, Miami Beach was so crowded you couldn’t get a room anywhere. Few people seemed to care. Hell, this was a boom, this was prosperity, this was the way to fight a war. We read of black-market restaurants, of a manufacturer’s plea for gradual re-conversion to peacetime goods, beginning immediately, and we wondered if the people would ever know what it cost the soldiers in terror, bloodshed, and hideous, agonizing deaths to win the war. – Band of Brothers: e Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest (Ambrose, Stephen E.)

Today, I wonder if we know the true cost of war.

The Life You Save…

I have recently become aware that, while I do love to read, I love making lists of books to read so much more.  Perhaps that is not completely accurate, but I have a lot of fun looking at books and admiring them, reading reviews and samples, and of course, making lists of books to read.  Ironically, I have yet to complete a booklist that I have made.  I will come as close as I ever have this year, but the fact remains – I seem to be better at planning and preparing to read books that I am at actually reading the books.

So, it should come as no suprise to the two readers of this blog that I have recently been thinking on the books I want to read for next year.  Here are some options:

Augustine’s Confessions – this was on my list this year, but I bailed due to time constraints and general inability to keep my mind on anything longer than a ….

The Life You Save May Be Your Own – being such a Merton fan, it is natural that I would like to read him in correspondence with some other pretty great writers – Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Dorothy Day

Cloud Atlas and/or Life of Pi – two books made into movies this year.  From what I have read, the movies suck, but that is pretty standard.  I might give one or both of these a read in 2013 or I might not.

The History of English Speaking Peoples Since 1900 – this is a book that I have owned for a couple of years.  You can be assured of it’s popularity by noticing the $.o1 price tag for the used hardback on Amazon.  Everybody wants one!

The Complete Stories: Flannery O’Connor – I have never read any Flannery O’Connor.  I want to read The Life You Save (above) and then maybe take a swing at this one.  Of course, I might not like the first book which would put the reading of this book into serious question.  But I do have a guy who will shame me greatly if I demur, so…

The Waters of Siloe by Thomas Merton – A new Merton book (new to me) that I picked up for a song on amazon.  I read all Merton….

Also, I have made another change to the 2012 book list.  I am replacing David McCullough’s The Path Between the Seas with David Chappell’s A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow.  I have already started Stone of Hope after finishing Merton.  It is really good.  I look forward to sharing some of it on this blog.