Sunday, 14 October 2012

Havel, Jobs and my conciliar reading list


The Year of Faith has properly kicked off in our parish today, with a letter from our local bishop being read out during the masses. While nothing new struck me about its content, it’s focus on two “pillars” for deepening an understanding of the Catholic faith - the Catechism and the documents of Vatican II - gave me an idea. Since I know the Catechism fairly well and have read it in full not that long ago, I'll set myself the challenge of reading the 16 Vatican II documents during the coming year. I’ll proceed in the order shown here, starting with the four conciliar constitutions (being the highest level of Papal decree with legislative power): Dei Verbum (on divine revelation), Lumen Gentium (on the Church), Sacrosanctum Concilium (on the liturgy) and Gaudium et Spes (on the Church in the “modern world”). If you are that way inclined, why don’t you join me in starting with Dei Verbum.

Another pleasant surprise at today’s mass were the Year of Faith diaries ordered by our parish priest from Redemptorist Publications. I am not usually one for diaries, but I was asked by my spouse to buy one and I have to say, I have been impressed both by the layout and aesthetics and the content, from which I would like to share with you two of the quotes provided there for reflection:
“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything - all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.” (Steve Jobs)

“Isn’t it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity.” (Václav Havel)
Kudos to the Redemptorists for such great choices and on to Dei Verbum!