In my typical adult ADHD fashion, I'm sporadically reading several books simultaneously this summer, with the sober awareness that the (relatively) carefree summer months are drawing to a close. The books I'm reading are as follows, with a notable quote from each.
1. The Beginning of Wisdom by Leon Kass.
I really like what I'm reading so far, because I have long felt, like Kass, that reading Genesis is as foundational to understanding salvation history (and basic anthropology) as reading The Hobbit is to understanding the Lord of the Rings books.
As someone who works--and lives--in the realm of family life, I've also long believed that the book of Genesis is at its core a book about families, with just about every dimension of family life exhibiting the best and the worst of human nature.
Here's one quote from Kass that you can rest assured will make its way into my show: "[T]he beginning of Genesis shows us not so much what happened as what always happens. And by holding up a mirror in which we readers can discover in ourselves the reasons why human life is so bittersweet and why uninstructed human beings generally get it wrong."
2. Prayer by Hans Urs von Balthasar.
Contemplative prayer, to be honest, has never come easily for me. I'm much more oriented toward saying prayers than resting in a spirit of prayer (my wife is much different--prayer for her is like breathing). I'm early in the book, but I'm encouraged by what I'm learning, particularly the reminder that our prayers are always a response to something God has initiated. Consider this quote: "God's word is his invitation to enter into truth and abide there with him. It is like a rope ladder thrown down to us in danger of drowning, so that we can climb into the ship, or a carpet unrolled before us leading to the Father's throne; a torch shining the darkness of a silent and sullen world, in whose light we are no longer harassed by problems, but learn to live with them."
3. Gay and Catholic by Eve Tushnet.