It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Recent Reading

      Dear Mr. Knightly by Katherine Reay       

      This book is a re-make of Daddy Long Legs that was also made into a Fred Astaire movie. I didn't realize that until I was a few "letters" into the book. It was a modern-day retelling so instead of an orphanage, it was foster care. I think the book was more enjoyable because it took place in the Chicago-area so the places and climate described were familiar. I also didn't realize that this was piece of "Christian" fiction (a genre a tend to not enjoy because of the simplistic plots and writing) but I did enjoy this book. It is packed full of classic literature quotes especially from Austin and the Bronte sisters. A fun read thought the subject matter sometimes hit close to home. 

Elizabeth Bennet has a useful reply for every situation.

It felt so real. Have you ever confused your senses? Something tastes like another thing smells? This was one of those moments.

Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith

      Saw this book on library shelf and grabbed it even though I had a stack already. I read the whole thing even though it was just "ok". It is a modern retelling of Emma but some of the things are so close the original: names, places, situations...that I would forget it was supposed to be modern. I never got a good mental picture of the characters or places so consequently, I never really got into the book. 

...if you were brought up to believe that there was a very clear right way and wrong way of doing things, then you might well try to make other people do things your way rather than theirs.

...she wept because it was the end of a world - the brief, temporary world of school that we never feel is brief or temporary until it is suddenly over.

That is all one can hope for in life: that one's parents are harmless.

...the reassurance of those around us that we have done the right thing almost always helps, although it may not , as in this case, remove the underlying anxiety  that we have acted selfishly or foolishly, or even perversely.

"It's the culture. That what happens. Isabella herself is losing her h's. When she comes here for the weekend, I find them all over the place once she leaves. Loads of them Dropped with utter abandon."

Spiritual Thoughts Series: Family by Pope Benedict XVI

     This is a strange book because it is actually a compilation of quotes from different papers and speeches. So it isn't really the kind of book that you read cover to cover....that being said, I sat for several hours in a dental waiting room so I ended up reading it cover to cover. Even so, it was a good book because the quotes are thought-provoking and many beautiful. Honestly, I cried several times because the book was such a firm reminder that my role...calling... as a wife and parent is so important. Several things he said, also reminded me how important orphan hosting is. Without families or even just the opportunity to see how a family is supposed to be, the 143 million orphans in the world are likely to repeat the cycles that made them orphans. Even though I am not Catholic, I found the book to be a important read that would be great for discussion. 

How is it possible to communicate the beauty of marriage to the people of today? We see how many young people are reluctant to marry in church because they are afraid of finality; indeed, they are even reluctant to have a civil wedding. Today, to many young people and even to some who are not so young, definitiveness appears as as a constriction, a limitation of freedom. And what they want first of all is freedom. They are afraid that in the end they might not succeed. They see so many failed marriages. They fear that this juridical form, as they understand it, will be an external weight that will extinguish love.

It is essential to understand that is not a question of juridical bond, a burden imposed with marriage. On the contrary, depth and beauty life precisely in the finality. Only in this way can love mature to its full beauty. But how is it possible to communicate this? I think this problem is common to us all.
-Meeting with priests of the Diocese of Albano August 31, 2006

Families...are the fundamental cell of every healthy society. Only in families, therefore, is it possible to create a communion of generations in which the memory of the past lives on in the present and is open to the future. Thus, life truly continues and progresses. Real progress is impossible without this continuity of life, and once again, it is impossible without the religious element. Without trust in God, without trust in Christ who in addition gives us the ability to believe and live, the family cannot survive.
-Meeting with members of the Roman clergy March 2, 2006

If children see that their parents-and, more generally, all the adults around them-live life with joy and enthusiasm, despite all difficulties, they will themselves develop that profound "joy of life" which can help them to overcome wisely the inevitable obstacles and problems which are part of life.
-Address at the prayer vigil for the Fifth World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain July 8, 2006

The family is also a school which enables men and women to grow into the full measure of their humanity. The experience of being loved by their parents helps children to become aware of their dignity as children.
-Address at the prayer vigil for the Fifth World Meeting of Families in Valencia, Spain July 8, 2006

In healthy family life we experience some of the fundamental elements of peace: justice and love between brothers and sisters, the role of authority expressed by parents, loving concern for the members who are weaker because of youth, sickness or old age, mutual help in the necessities of life, readiness to accept others and, if necessary, to forgive them. For this reason, the family is the first and indispensable teacher of peace. 
-Message for the World Day of Peace December 8, 2007

Have you read any of these books?
If so, what were your thoughts?
What have you been reading recently?

1 comment:

  1. No, I haven't read any of these, and I don't find either of the first two interesting, but am a little intrigued by the third. I may have to add it to my never-ending list. . . :D

    As to what I'm reading, I just received "Dear Adoptive Parents, Things you need to know right now from an adoptee" and am excited to dig into it. I am partway through "I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla", and have read about the first third of Jen Hatmaker's new book, "For the Love". I'm also reading "How to Read a Book" with Destry. I know, I have a disease--I can't read just one book at a time! :)