Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Friday, June 17, 2005

I've been tagged!

The book meme which has been going round St Blog's has finally come round to me. Yippee!!

I tried setting off a CD meme but didn't seem to have any success... Perhaps I did not tag the right CD afficionados out there?!

As a bibliophile, I've actually been thinking about this quite a lot, so here goes!

1. How many books have you owned?

This is difficult to gauge because my books are located in three countries although the bulk are here in Skipton. As a child I was an unstoppable book-buyer (or rather I nagged everyone around me to buy me more books, causing my grandmother considerable cause for exasperation) and I still exasperate friends and family by stopping into almost every bookstore in sight and seldom leave empty-handed! On my last trip to Oxford, I bought so many books that the wheels on my bag broke! So, I would put the total at somewhere over 500 but under 1000. My aspiration (now fading with the prospect of becoming a poor Dominican friar) was to own all of Balthasar's books in English...

2. What was the last book you bought?

I bought five books in Leeds yesterday but the last one I purchased in yesterday's spree was 'The Thought of Benedict XVI' by Aidan Nichols, O.P. The others were another book about the Pope and the Conclave, a book about the sayings of the Desert Fathers, the centenary book on Leeds Cathedral and the latest British Museum book on the Forbidden City!

3. The last book you've read?

I generally read about 20+ books at any one time and (as a collector of leather bookmarks) come across stray bookmarks left in partially-read books all the time! My reading habits are often browsing, using books for reference or to satisfy my curiosity but I do read them from cover to cover too! The last one I completed was 'Seven Last Words' by Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. and I am finishing 'The Opium Wars' by W. Travis Hanes III & Frank Sanello.

4. Five books that mean a lot to you?
Only five?!! Leaving aside the Scriptures, the Catechism, Church documents and Liturgical books, I would have to say...

i) 'We're on a Mission from God' by Mary Beth Bonacci which I read when I was 21 and it made me re-think the way lived my Christian life and to commit to the Truth and to think carefully about a religious vocation.

ii) 'The Inner Voice of Love' by Henri Nouwen which has given me strength and inspiration in difficult times, especially when one is called to love chastely as a celibate.

iii) 'The Ratzinger Report' by Josef Cardinal Ratzinger which opened my eyes to the complexity of Church life in the 20th century and introduced me to a great man and his ecclesial and Christocentric thinking.

iv) 'A Short Primer for Unsettled Laymen' by Hans Urs von Balthasar which I found in a bargain bin. I'd vaguely heard of him and (thinking he was perhaps somewhat heterodox!!) bought it to widen my horizons. That started an amazing theological adventure and love affair with modern Catholicism's greatest theologian and Servant of God.

v) 'Catholic and Christian' by Alan Schreck which I borrowed from my school library and it was to lead to my conviction that the Church founded by Jesus Christ is the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church in union with the See of Peter, and this led to my conversion and baptism as a Catholic. There are many other books of apologetics that contributed to this and I include writers like Scott Hahn, Karl Keating and Peter Kreeft.

My friends have long suspected me of having shares in Ignatius Press (as I own most of their catalogue!) and how I wish I did! However, suffice to say that I love most of the books they publish... hence 3 out of 5 on that list are from them.

5. Tag 5 people that haven't played yet.
As many as five?!! Oh dear... I tag:

Tea for Two
Jude Mustard
Ponderings of a Young Catholic
Angry Twins
Contemplating the Laundry

Now... would anyone like to try the CD meme?!

Photo above shows my home library... in my dreams! Actually it's the library of the sumptuous Melk Abbey in Austria.


Blogger Jessica said...

Thanks for the tag Paul - I was tagged already and wrote it up here.
The only book of Balthasar's I've read was "Mary for Today". As a convert I had some difficulty understanding Mary and this little gem of a book was an eye-opener.

BTW, be assured of my prayers for your upcoming meetings!

6:32 pm  
Blogger Christopher Blosser said...

A Short Primer for Unsettled Laymen is an excellent book. =)

1:36 am  

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