Friday, February 24, 2006

Seriously Good News

Fr. Robert Barron, in an article for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago newspaper, gives his framework for effectively spreading the Good News (link). Barron says that many people today have a weak sense of their own faith heritage. "We have an extremely smart, rich, and profound tradition, including the incomparable Scriptures, treasures of theology, spirituality, art, architecture, literature, and the inspiring witness of the saints. To know this tradition is to enter into a densely textured and illuminating world of meaning; not to know it deprives one of spiritual joy, and perhaps even more regrettably, renders one incapable of explaining the Catholic faith to those who seek to understand it better."

Barron suggests that we resolve to read a "serious" book this year: "perhaps a classic such as St. Augustine’s Confessions or Thomas Merton’s Seven Story Mountain. Make an effort this year to delve into a great Catholic literary master such as Dante, G.K. Chesterton or Flannery O’Connor. Or study the paintings of Caravaggio and Michelangelo, and the sculptures and architecture of Bernini. Enter into the prayerful reading of the Bible."

The idea of reading a "serious" book might sound dreadful. But Chesterton reminds us that "serious" is not the opposite of "funny" ... "Funny is the opposite of not funny, and of nothing else." (Heretics, XVI. On Mr. McCabe and a Divine Frivolity)

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