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Book 7

  1. Pohl, Frederik — Gateway (278 pages)
  2. Clement, Hal — Mission of Gravity (193 pages)
  3. Benford, Gregory — Timescape (499 pages)
  4. O'Hare, Mick (editor) — Why Don't Penguins Feet Freeze? and 114 Other Questions (232 pages)
  5. Dos Passos, John — Number One (218 pages)
  6. Heller, Joseph — Catch-22 (457 pages)
  7. St. John of the Cross — Dark Night of the Soul (119 pages)

Page count: 1,996 of targeted 12,500.

A book of this length should not take a month to read. This was a difficult book, though, and not just because of the density of the prose and the complexity of the ideas therein. What it asks is hard, but St. John makes no bones about that. The severity is implicit in the title, as one can't expect a Dark Night of the Soul to be easy and painless.

I chose to read this for the first of my Lenten reading because I had heard it had helped others who were struggling with their faith. In some respects it has helped me, yet in others it has deepened my confusion and increased my doubts. Deep down I sense that St. John is mostly correct, but my will rebels against some of the notions he expounds. I don't know if I can relinquish myself to the degree St. John says is necessary. Perhaps I don't need to—mystical theology isn't for everyone—and yet I feel a pull in this direction as strong as my rebellion to it.

This book has not brought any peace to my internal struggle, but it has given me a lot to meditate upon.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 26th, 2007 03:38 am (UTC)
I may have recommended this to you before but I think you'd like Desert Father: A Journey in the Wilderness with Saint Anthony by James Cowan. It deals with the origination of the monastic life, especially solitary monastic observance and the issues of faith and personal trial therein. It's serious and touches upin a number of complex topics but Cowan's authorial voice is very accesible and when I read it, I had the feeling of sharing a lesson with him, rather than being taught down to.
Mar. 26th, 2007 09:12 pm (UTC)
I don't think you had recommended this one to me. Thanks.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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