Thursday, September 10, 2009

Lured away from task again by another intriguing book

What's the biggest danger of being a book lover who sells used books? It's the inability to relinquish the books one acquires for inventory to the inventory itself.

So I just tagged another acquisition with this ubiquitous note to self: "Read, then sell." The book in question is Pentecostal Piety by Donald L. Gelpi, S.J. Published in 1972, the book caught me with its first paragraph:

Explain it any way you like, lots of Catholics just aren't going to confession any more. Worse still, fewer and fewer Catholics seem capable of discussing the eclipse of the sacrament with even a semblance of rationality. Bring the problem up and you are apt to be subjected to a long jeremiad against legalism and formalism in the Church, punctuated by laments about the scars which priests, nuns and little black confessional boxes have left upon one's youthful psyche. And since Americans as a group are more than ordinarily concerned about their psyches, one must learn to repress any expressions of irreverence at the tale of suffering to which one is being treated.


But the rest of the book looks pretty good too, so I'm adding it to my monumental pile of books to read before I sell. Its focus is charismatic Christian groups, both Catholic and Protestant, and it looks like some readable and very solid stuff. From 37 years ago. Yikes! I remember 1972 very well. I was a young married atheist, a year or so away from my return to the Church. How old does that make me now??!

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