Are you reading anything interesting?
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 425
    Is anyone reading any actual books that they find interesting? And that aren't about disease, maybe? :P

    I am reading aloud from the following, to entertain my husband while he gets over his cough:

    "I am" The selected poetry of John Clare - really refreshingly NOT about anything dire. Just lovely little rhyming poems about walks in the woods, peasant life, the habits of birds, and so on.

    A couple about farming life: The Worm Forgives the Plough and The Running Hare.

    John Cassian's The Conferences (as interesting for being a travel-adventure in ancient times as for all the wise things ancient hermits say to the narrators)

    Witcraft, by Jonathan Ree - a rather unpleasant account of the history of nasty academic spats and name calling in departments of Philosophy, starting around 1500 and continuing to the present day. Twitter has nothing on these guys.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life (1912).
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,450
    "The Day Is Now Far Spent," by Robert Cardinal Sarah.

    "The Lost Secret to a Great Body," which is a compilation of instruction and methods of early strong men and bodybuilders like Eugen Sandow and contemporaries. Contemporary being late 19th century.
  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 798
    "Second Friends", by Milton Walsh. Comparing the views, on a wide range of topics, of Ronald Knox and C S Lewis.

    "The Travels of Marco Polo", by himself (well maybe). Second reading

    "Changing Lives: Gustavo Dudamel, El Sistema, and the Transformative Power of Music", Tricia Tunstall
    A powerful, uplifting read.

    "Changes at Fairacre", by Miss Read. Almost finished with the series.

  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 819
    I'm also reading Sarah's The Day is now far spent as well as Christus Vincit by Bishop Athanasius Schneider.

    And the Bible. Apparently in the Old Testament plagues happened all the time. This isn't anything new!
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 538
    The comments on this YouTube video. Seriously, treat yourself.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW CCooze
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    Earl_Grey - Plagues happened everywhere until the modern understanding of germs and antiseptics was developed. Then we got better at controlling them. 'Modern Man' thought that antibiotics and vaccination had solved the problem, so we closed all our fever hospitals. And 'the church in the modern world' left the Mass in time of Pestilence out of the new Missal.
    Pride goeth before a fall.
    Thanked by 2tomjaw francis
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,058
    I just reread Daniel, hoping to get a better handle on Wallace Stevens' Country Words

    I sang a canto in a canton,
    cunning coo, O cuckoo cock,
    in a canton of Belshazar
    to Belshazar, putrid rock,
    pillar of a putrid people,
    underneath a willow there
    I stood and sang and filled the air.

    …the sun appeared
    and reddened great Belshazar's brow:
    O ruler rude with rubies then,
    attend me now.


    The most remarkable recent reading I've done is Marc Bloch's Strange Defeat about the fall of France in 1940 and the failure of imagination that precluded taking timely steps against the catastrophe. A short but very gripping book, if you can get hold of it.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    The heavy reading - just finished Gerhards & Kranemann Intro to the Study of Liturgy. German Liturgical Theology is somewhat opaque to me, I will have to read it again starting with the chapter on music. Since I do not understand German, even the titles of the works cited in the footnotes are a mystery!
    Turned to Jaques Maritain The Peasant of the Garonne, Oh dear! French philosophy is also opaque.
    During lockdown, our national‡ collection of digitised newspapers is free to access (not that is is prohibitively expensive ayway, IF you are a serous researcher). So I am looking for stuff about George Errington, Archbishop of Trebizond, who was in charge of the mission here between being deposed as Coadjutor in Westminster and attending the first Vatican Council.
    ‡The Isle of Man
  • CCoozeCCooze
    Posts: 856
    I was reading The Day Is Now Far Spent by Robert Cardinal Sarah and re-reading Murder at Golgatha by Ian Wilson. As far as I am aware, neither of these made it out of our house after the tornado.

    My Liber Brevior did make it out, but it was very damp. But I've been using it, since, anyway.
    While I was singing through parts of it yesterday, I attempted a look deep into parts of the binding, only to find mold. =( I ordered a new copy of it. I've not yet repurchased the other two.
  • Currently reading The Twilight of the Habsburgs: Emperor Francis Joseph -- author escapes me, since I'm not with the book this moment -- and The Great Heresies by Hillaire Belloc.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,166
    Gothic Voices, by Margot Fassler - a study of the development (late Xth - early XIVth centuries) of the sequence at St Victor, St Denis, Notre Dame and the environs of Paris.

    Sarum Close, by Doris H Robertson - a study of choristers and their domestic life for roughly 700-900 years.

    A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (why this?) I belong to the Epicure Book Club, which exists for the sole purpose of my reading fiction that I would rarely otherwise read.

    Inside the Offertory: Aspects of Chronology and Transmission, by Rebecca Malloy.

    I've been wanting to re-read Lewis's The Great Divorce.

    Chris's Hapsburg twilight sounds awfully interesting to me and I may have to acquire it - and he may enjoy The Last Descendant of Aeneas: the Hapsburgs and the Mythhic Image of the Emperor, by Marie Tanner. This is a fascinating book for all royalists. Unfortunately, I am currently stalled about half way through it. An excellent book.

    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Twilight of the Habsburgs is by Alan Palmer.
    I've also read (but not very recently) A Heart for Europe by James and Joanna Bogle, about the last Habsburg emperor and his family.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • tandrews
    Posts: 60
    C. S. Lewis Signature Classics. I've been putting that book off for too long.

    J. S. Bach: The Learned Musician by Christoph Wolff

    Guilty pleasure reading are all these WW1/WW2 books I've acquired. I'm a sucker for Stephen Ambrose.

  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    J.N.D. Kelly's Early Christian Creeds, and The Art of the Defeat, about the art world in occupied France in WWII.
    Thanked by 1toddevoss
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 801
    Fulton J Sheen's "The Life of Christ"
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Kathy
    Posts: 5,162
    Jackson, I haven't actually read A Tale of Two Cities but have listened to an audible recording of it, which I highly recommend.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,166
    A very interesting, inspiring, and unusual book that I read a few months ago is
    A Time to Die. (Ignatius Press)
    I can't locate the book just now and don't remember the author, but it had a forward by Cardinal Sarah.

    It is about the attitudes toward and preparation for death in seven French monasteries. It also details the care for the dying and how death is integrated into the life of the monasteries.
    For such a subject, this book was quite inspiring and I would recommend it highly for those who are caring for the dying and for those who are dying, and those who are grieving.

    One thing that stood out for me was the certitude that both the dying and those who cared for them had that they would be going to be with their loving heavenly Father and to meet Jesus. Not a word or a thought was given to the subject of purgatory. Their faith in going directly to God, often after great suffering, was indeflectible.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,450
    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • teachermom24
    Posts: 314
    Story of A Soul By Therese of Lisieux
    From the Depths of Our Hearts by Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah
    The Spirit of the Liturgy by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 425
    Mr Osborn, A Time to Die was by Nicholas Diat, the man who often interviews Cardinal Sarah for his books. I loved that book.
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 127
    The Memoirs of St. Peter by Michael Pakaluk
    The Traditional Mass by Michael Fiedrowicz
    Visions of the Fathers by Rabbi Abraham J Twerski M.D. (Pirkei Avos with commentary by Rabbi Twersky).
  • Edith Stein: Essential Writings (compiled by John Sullivan, OCD)

    Vermeer by Wayne Franits

  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 798
    Oh yes- also “Watership Down”. Never got around to reading it before.
    And Antonin Scalia, “On Faith”.
    One of his sons is Fr. Paul Scalia, whose book “That Nothing May be Lost” is worth reading,
  • oldhymnsoldhymns
    Posts: 137
    Roman Catholic Church Music in England, 1791-1914: A Handmaid of the Liturgy? by T. E. Muir (Thomas) The title says it all!
  • OraLabora
    Posts: 177
    At the risk of causing a flame war, The Reform of the Liturgy 1948-1975 by Annibale Bugnini. It is a fascinating account of the post-conciliar reforms, and the thinking behind them. I'm about 3/4 through it, presently at the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I've been through the chapters on the Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours.

    The two most important things I have learned: one, what Mgr. Bugnini and modern liturgy haters often claim Mgr. Buginini said in his book is often taken completely out of context, or quite simply false.

    The second is that in spite of what many think, Pope St. Paul VI's imprint on the decisions made are very evident, for example it is he who insisted on removing the imprecatory psalms and verses from the Liturgy of the Hours, and moreover his involvement was not at all passive but was very active and he approved and vetoed many decisions of the Commission working on the liturgy after thoroughly studying the requested changes. What happened, happened with his approval, sometimes even reluctant approval for mostly pastoral considerations (e.g. communion in the hand).

    Whether one likes or dislikes the post-Conciliar liturgy (I am admittedly a fan), I think it is important reading to truly understand how it all came about.

    Ora
  • Ora,

    When Msgr Bugnini noted that there was no justification to continue the use of Latin because "the addressee needs to understand what is being said to him", the edifice he had been trying to build suddenly made sense.... but ceased to be Catholic. Mass isn't primarily addressed to man.
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    CGZ - I agree that statement is totally contrary to the purpose of Catholic liturgy*, but it seems contrary also to the delight of Mgr. Bugnini in the Graduale Simplex, and his pride in fighting it through so that even tiny congregations should have the use of authentic Gregorian chant. Is it an accurate translation?
    *Also to the direct instructions of SC.
    Thanked by 1Paul F. Ford
  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 382
    Poetic Diction by Owen Barfield, an Inkling who was a lifelong friend of Lewis, and whose work was massively influential on the philosophy of both Lewis and Tolkien. The wife and I are also listening to an audiobook of Brandon Sanderson's (the best living fantasy author), The Well of Ascension. One of his earlier works and not his best (I'd point to his masterwork, The Way of Kings), but fun to enjoy together nonetheless.
  • OraLabora
    Posts: 177
    When Msgr Bugnini noted that there was no justification to continue the use of Latin because "the addressee needs to understand what is being said to him", the edifice he had been trying to build suddenly made sense.... but ceased to be Catholic.


    Where did he say this? Certainly not in his book. In the book, he is rather more subtle:

    "The problem most keenly felt in the area of liturgy was that of the language to be used. It was a difficult and touchy problem with two sides, both of which raised many questions. On the one hand, there was the tradition of the Latin Church and the advantages of using a single, sacred language that was also sufficiently technical from the liturgical and juridical points of view. On the other hand, there was the fact that use of a language unintelligible to many weakened the message and made the divine realities less trenchantly present. The alternatives were to abandon to a great extent the Latin that was an age-old patrimony of the Church or to reduce the effectiveness of what is the most natural, spontaneous and expressive of all signs-the language we use. Given these alternatives, the Council did not hesitate but decreed the introduction of the vernaculars into the liturgy. As Pope Paul VI was to say with St. Augustine "it is better to have the learned reproach us than to have the liturgy remain unintelligible to the people"


    (Chapter 4: "Fundamental Principles": II Operating Principles 1. Language" pp 45-46) Chapter 9 is devoted to the shift from Latin to the vernacular.

    I cannot find CGZ's statement anywhere in that chapter.

    Back to our regularly scheduled programming...

    Ora
  • Ora,

    My copy isn't available just now, since I procured it through interlibrary loan, but I remember having to read the sentence several times to make sure I hadn't misunderstood or misread. My first instinct was to assume a bad translation from Italian, but when I saw that it was the linch pin which held everything else together, I decided that I hadn't misread or misunderstood. It comes very late on in the book.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • tomjaw
    Posts: 1,773
    @CGZ

    I see there seems to be two translations... Anyway what is the point of arguing over a quote which is a translation. Did Bugnini approve the translation? Did he understand English well enough to approve a translation?, and do the English words used have a uniform meaning or do different speakers of English, say either side of the 'pond' attribute different meanings to the same word.

    Anyway a good companion to the memoirs of Bugnini, would be this,
    The Memoirs of Louis Bouyer: From Youth and Conversion to Vatican II, the Liturgical Reform, and After (Angelico Press, August 2015)
    N.B. Also a translation! But he describes Archbishop Bugnini as "meprisable" and "aussi depourvu de culture que de simple honnetete," in the original text.

    another book that also studies the (De)formation of the Liturgy...
    Liturgical Time Bombs in Vatican II: Destruction of the Faith through Changes in Catholic Worship. Davies, Michael (2003)
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    Alcuin Read, in the foreword to Pepino's translation of Chiron's biography of Bugnini -
    [p.2 footnote] For critical use students must compare this English translation [O' Connell 1990] against the second Italian edition, corrected in many factual details by A G Martimort (1997)
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 798
    i do wonder though how (whether) Bugnini ever defended the idea of putting a vernacular Mass into the monasteries and convents. Or did he consider these places full of people as dumb as he evidently considered the faithful to be?
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • Tom,

    I have never had access to the Italian edition, so I worked with what I had in front of me. I'm willing to reassess, but this one passage makes the whole of his project make sense.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    Bugnini ends chapter 9 with a robust rejection of the charge that either the Consilium or CDW discouraged Latin, with references. see DOL index entries for Latin language & Latin Mass
  • NihilNominisNihilNominis
    Posts: 538
    So, "oremus" is addressed to God? Is "Dominus vobiscum"?
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,166
    So,...
    Oremus - let us pray...(to the Father).
    Dominus vobiscum The Lord be with you (that we might address the Father).
    'The Lord be with you' is a prayer, it is not addressed to the people - it is a calling down of the Father's presence upon them.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,170
    I think we need some greater precision here. An interpretation ("it is not addressed to the people") that goes against the plain grammatical sense of the utterances can't be sufficient.
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,989
    It's an invocation upon with a response: it is at least *dialogical*.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,170
    Per GIRM 254, "the greetings, the instructions, and the blessing at the end of Mass are omitted" when Mass is said without the presence of a server or any of the faithful.
    Thanked by 1NihilNominis
  • toddevoss
    Posts: 127
    Ora- I wanted to read that as well but it is out of print and mucho expensive to own. I have read the critical but fair Yves Chiron book (highly recommended) and Bouyer's memoirs (which are very good even apart from the juicy chapter on the Council). Oh, well, I will keep an eye out or see if I can get it from the NY Public Library. Also wanted to read Botte's book , but it is also out of print apparently.
    Thanked by 1tomjaw
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 1,852
    I see that a French translation was published in 2015, in paperback and vastly cheaper. And seems to be on Kindle (in French), even cheaper The publication date raises the question of whether that is Martimort's corrected edition.
    ISBN 13: 9782220065991
  • The Cross and the Eucharist in Early Christianity: A Theological and Liturgical Investigation by Daniel Cardó. Have been working through it for a month or so now, so you might be surprised that I think it could have stood being even longer. A good read for those interested in the taking seriously the spirituality of the Latin west not only of the Patristic period but even into the early Middle Ages. Was reviewed in Antiphon Volume 23 Number 3.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • I'm in the middle of Earth in the Balance, by Albert Gore. I'm taking my time over it.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,692
    wow, CGZ... "know thine enemy" is a serious proposition, I suppose.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 425
    I just got my new Catena Aurea (from Baronius Press), which is a nice bit of reading to add to "Mass" - I can look up the commentaries on each day's Gospel readings, or just browse spontaneously. For those who have never seen it, it's the four Gospels (one per volume) with every few verses followed by short commentaries by Church Fathers. I find it a bit like sitting around a table with St. Augustine, St. Jerome and a dozen others, hearing them converse about what Jesus said or did... There are apparently lots of Catenas from times past, but this particular one, still in print (and on kindle, too) was organized by St Thomas Aquinas, who had a great mind.)
  • Francis,

    I try to read authors on their own terms, not just through the lens of their adversaries. I have also read (at other times) Margaret Sanger, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Pete Buttigieg, Rosemary Radford Reuther, Annibale Bugnini, and others. I trust that this doesn't make me unusual.
    Thanked by 1francis
  • MarkB
    Posts: 312
    1. Lawrence Feingold's The Eucharist: Mystery of Presence, Sacrifice, and Communion. Accessible to the average Catholic layman. It's the best and most comprehensive single-volume book about the Eucharist and Catholic Eucharistic doctrine and theology that I've ever read. 674 pp.

    2. Fr. Thomas Joseph White, OP's The Incarnate Lord: A Thomistic Study in Christology. Not an introduction to Christology: not for people who are novices to Christology or theological reading. Quite dense. 534 pp.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,692
    @CGZ

    Nah... I have done in depth reading on Wicca, pantheism (Fox), freemasonry, new age, Aztec civ (human sacrifice), witchcraft, earth worship, Egyptian and Babylonian spirituality, etc.

    The Bible is correct

    All the gods of the nations are idols.
  • M. Jackson Osborn
    Posts: 7,166
    The Sanctus in the Eucharistic Liturgy,, Cambridge Univ Press, by Bryan D. Spinks, Anglican priest and professor at Yale Divinity School. Though this book is by an Anglican, it is a very scholarly work in which Spinks debunks some theories as to the Sanctus's origin in the liturgy, such as Aegyptian, and others, and discusses the testimony of Origen and Tertullian, and many early liturgical records. He continues to discuss its Old (and New) Testament inspirations, and its presence in the various eastern liturgies. Recommended for all serious students of liturgy.