The Power of the Cross
Posted in Amy Welborn, Bambinelli Sunday, Books, Pope Benedict XVI, Works of Mercy, Writing, tagged Amy Welborn, Catechism, Faith Formation, First Communion, PSR, saints on August 28, 2013 | 6 Comments »
…then you are blessed!
Seriously – thank you to all those who volunteer as catechists.
And If you are teaching 2nd grade – the traditional age for First Communion formation – you might be interested in the page describing the books I have that might be good First Communion choices – for gifts (too early, I know!) or supplements to instruction.
These books include Friendship With Jesus - a picture book with excerpts from a question-and-answer session Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI had with children; Be Saints! another picture book with excerpts from a catechesis Benedict had with British schoolchildren; as well as the Loyola Saints books.
(Which are good for all ages – not just 2nd grade, of course!)
Travels done for the moment, talk done…so here are some leftover Bambinelli Sunday for sale!
We’ll have more in a couple of months, plus maybe even a giveaway of prints of some of Ann’s work? Good idea? I think so.
These are the only books I have in stock right now, and you might as well buy some of them to save us from moving this, er, one box.
Go here to order. The following are available.
Church’s Most Powerful Novenas - 1 copy remaining
Plus a couple of Pocket Guides by other authors (Hahn,Kreeft).
And don’t forget the free! Free ebook downloads of
Those links will take to individual pages at my site where you can download pdfs. You can also read all three via Scribd here.
Also, I was honored to hear that a local parish woman’s group is using The Words We Pray as a discussion book this fall.
Posted in 7 Quick Takes, Amy Welborn, Bambinelli Sunday, Birmingham, Books, Italy, Jesus, Mad Men, Pope Benedict XVI, Saints, Travel, Writing, tagged Amy Welborn, Bambinelli Sunday, St. Francis of Assisi on July 13, 2013 | 2 Comments »
We are slowly moving. I closed on the new house a couple of weeks ago and will put this one up for sale in…a couple of weeks. I’m sad about leaving my front porch, my bungalow style and this street with its close neighbors and sidewalks, but….it was time to get some more room, a bit more storage space, a more exciting yard and a basketball goal.
I’m going from the cozy 30′s to the swanky 50′s with this move. The “new” house was built in 1958 and has a sweet built-in feature that makes me want to start amassing atomic-style glassware. Soon I’ll remember to take a photo of it when it’s actually daylight.
For some reason, I am reading Zola’s Three Cities. Downloaded it from Gutenburg. I know Zola’s point of view, but I’m also just interested in his reporting. It gives me a better view of the history of the period, particularly how Catholicism was practiced – from his perspective, anyway.
It’s Christmas in July, people! Bambinelli Sunday will be published in August, so here, in July, I’m starting to get ready. I’ve got a Pinterest board going and everything.
Ann and I will be attending the Catholic Marketing Show in early August on behalf of the book. We’ll be signing Thursday at noon, so if you’re around – come see us!
We went to San Francisco a couple of weeks ago – I wrote a bit about it here.
Speaking of San Francisco, my current project is St. Francis-related. In sorting through things tonight, I found a little booklet I’d purchased in Santa Maria degli Angeli (the town at the base of the hill on which Assisi rests – it’s where the train station is and where the Porziuncola is). The Pardon of Assisi is really just the text of a talk that then-Cardinal Ratzinger gave there in 1996. The “Pardon of Assisi” or the Portiuncula Indulgence is described here. Cardinal Ratzinger describes his childhood memories of it and ends his talk with a gentle exposition of its spiritual fruit. I love the image of letting ourselves ” fall into the communion of saints.”
I remember that in my youth the day of the Pardon of Assisi was a day of great interiority, a day on which we received the sacraments in a climate of personal recollection. It was a day of prayer. In the square in front of my parish church, a particularly solemn silence reigned. There was a continuous flow of people into and out of the church. One felt that Christianity is a grace and that this grace is revealed through prayer…..
Basically the Indulgence is a little like the church of the Portiuncula. Just as you have to pass through the rather cold, extraneous space of the huge basilica to find the humble church at the center that touches our heart, so too, one must pass through the complex plot of history and of the theological ideas to arrive at that which is truly simple: the prayer with which we let ourselves fall into the communion of saints, to cooperate with them, for the victor of good over the apparently all-powerful evil, knowing that in the end, everything is grace.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!
I have some books left from a talk I gave today…if you’re interested, you can find and purchase them here, along with some other random stock.
What I have:
On other book-related matters:
I don’t have any copies of the Pope Benedict XVI children’s books, but you can follow the links on the right sidebar. They are really nice, and perfect for First Communion…even now.
Posted in Amy Welborn, Books, Catholicism, Good Friday, Lent, Pinterest, Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, Religion, Saints, Writing, tagged books, Lent, Pope Benedict XVI, Reading on February 12, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Richard Russo has long been one of my favorite writers. Nobody’s Fool is one of the great 20th century American novels: truthful, funny and redemptive. Straight Man leaves me helpless with laughter. He’s very recently released a digital novella called Nate in Venice - available for Kindle here and Nook here. Read it the other night.
It was pleasant to be back in Venice (the setting of his Bridge of Sighs) with Richard Russo for an hour or so, even though the descriptions were less detailed than those you’d find in any travel guide - narrow streets, campos, bridges, squid-ink pasta, getting lost…disappointing in that respect, then.
Nate is a retired college professor on a Biennale-related tour of the city with a group that includes his estranged brother. The often mysterious Venice is the setting, then, for some other mysteries: what was the incident back at the college that resulted in great trouble for Nate? What’s the problem with his brother?
The mysteries are mostly solved and the novella is, as I said, enjoyable but ultimately unsatisfying – but unsatisfying in a way that would probably please any author – it was unsatisfying because, as a novella, it just wasn’t enough. Once introduced to Nate and the others in the group and in Nate’s family, I wanted to spend more time with them, watch and listen as they plunged more deeply into Venice and then travel to Rome. That’s the case with any good book. But Nate in Venice, gave me just enough time to get to know these characters more than I would in a short story. A short story is also often focused so sharply that the reader is satisfied enough when the specific questions raised by the author are answered = when he shuts the light off and shuts the door, we’re content to leave with him. But here, there was just enough richness and breadth to plant the desire for more.
Which is, depending on how you look at it, either a good thing, or a bad thing, or both.
There’s a vulgar term used pretty prominently in this novella - since it’s a term invented by Nate’s brother, it’s intended to show us something about him. certainly, but it did seem forced to me and might offend some readers. So be warned.
Nate in Venice (I keep wanting to type Nate the Great…) is a digital book, which is kind of ironic, considering Russo’s battles against Amazon last year.
It’s part of a series of shorter fiction and non-fiction available through a site called Byliner. Looks interesting.
I’ve recently accomplished some amazing feats, long out of my grasp: I’ve finished reading several books that I’ve started. Fiction, even.
Wonderful Fool is by Shusaku Endo - the author of the great Silence. It’s in the Odd Christ Figure Confounds and Confuses genre. The translation was pretty flat, but the story – a Frenchman enters into the lives of a pair of Japanese siblings – was interesting enough. It was predictable in some ways (because, of course, you don’t have to think too hard to predict how a plot featuring a Christ figure is going to end), but the Japanese setting and strangeness of Gaston is intriguing, and I have to admit that there is a little twist at the end that really does pack a punch.
The Infinite Tides is a rather lengthy, floridly-written novel about an astronaut whose daughter dies while he is up in space. It’s essentially about how a man who sees reality through the prism of numbers – their patterns, structure, shape and color – is slapped in the face by another, unquantifiable reality.
I do think it was overwritten and just a bit showy – sometimes fiction authors who are incorporating a particular discipline – from, say, beekeeping to, say, mathematics – overdo the technical material, and I’d say that’s the case here. I have to qualify that by saying that of course there’s a purpose to the mental musings, since we’re in the fellow’s head and the author is working hard to help us *see* life through this character’s perspective, framed in questions of mathematical structure and the experience of space, but it about a third too much – if I can resort to numbers to describe it.
Some books begin well and peter out – I experienced the reverse with this one. I was borderline annoyed through much of the first half, but felt it ended very strongly, as Astronaut Keith, in the company of other interesting characters, experiences what I would say is a subtle spiritual epiphany, whether or not that’s what the author intended.
We finished Julius Caesar, but not before watching available clips of the RSC 2012 production , in which the play is set in a modern African nation. I think it looks magnificent. The inflections and accents lend themselves quite well to Elizabethan English, and the setting doesn’t seem forced at all. Seems to fit. I see that the production is coming to the US this spring…to BAM and THE Ohio State University…hmmmm….field trip to Columbus? It could happen….
We’re on The Tempest now. We won’t be reading the whole thing, I don’t think. We watched the BBC animated version, read through the goofy kids’ version, and I’m going to check out the Coville retelling from the library. We’ll read some excerpts and watch the episode of Shakespeare Uncovered - airing here tomorrow night – in which Trevor Nunn discusses the play. They’ll Do Some Art – it lends itself to that. I am curious enough about the Julie Taymor version to probably take a look at it myself, but I don’t think I’ll subject the boys to it. Maybe a scene or two, but probably not the whole thing.
I hope I’ll soon be able to tell you about Ann Engelhart’s and my new book coming out in the late summer – title has been hammered out, at least. Cover should follow within a couple of months.
Now we have to start working on the next one!!
Finally, some more Vintage Catholic for you - a 7th grade textbook published in 1935 by MacMillan, part of The Christ Life Series in Religion. Authors are the famed liturgist Dom Virgil Michel OSB, another Benedictine, and Dominican sisters.
Note the tone. It treats the young reader, not as consumer or client to be served or pandered to, but as a part of the Church with a vital role to play and a spiritual life capable of “courageous penance.” I really love the paragraphs on p. 146 that set the global scene for the season. I’ll post more over the next few days.If you click on the images, full-screen, readable versions should come up.
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!