Today I made a nice score at Rainbow Books & Records, including another copy of Frank Sheed's To Know Christ Jesus, one of my favorites of his works of street corner theology. Very few Catholic laypersons have achieved excellence in theology, and those who do bring a point of view quite different from that of the theologian who is a religious. Sheed's work is a bracing balm for my intellect.
Also I got something by Ronald Knox (The Hidden Stream), who is somewhere in the middle of my list of Catholic academics to read; some essays on Chesterton; two books by Stanley Jaki the scientist-priest; and a TAN book that I can't quite bring myself to read even though I know the content is good: Characters of the Inquisition. Reading up on the Inquisition is like making an appointment to go to the dentist -- an unpleasant duty. It is inevitable that if I get to defending the Catholic Church against casual attacks and put-downs, within five minutes my interlocutor will bring up either the Inquisition, or Galileo, or both. I am pretty knowledgable about the Galileo incident and what went so tragically wrong. I ought to familiarize myself likewise with the Inquisition -- the main players, the historical context, etc.
But I just can't stand to read about it. So little time, so many controversies... the ones involving torture are too distasteful to contemplate.
Meanwhile, my friend and book business partner Debbie's husband has had another mini-stroke. I asked Debbie how I could pray for her, what she needed, and she said this which I will pass on to anyone out there who wants to pray:
"Pray that I won't let despair and darkness overwhelm and that I can find contentment in the little things of my daily life."
That is a prayer that I can offer. Join with me. "For if two of you agree together to ask the Father anything in my name, He will give it to you."