It is the middle of harvest, so the idea of having a current book to read, save for the latest issue of Runners' World, and my winemaking texts, is laughable. That said, current events are nudging me to carve out some time for real reading. You see, yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. Vatican II was a council envisioned by Blessed Pope John XXIII (yes, that is 23rd) to update and rearticulate the timeless teachings of the Catholic Faith for the modern world. Over the course of three years, the world was left with a batch of documents, a new pope (John XXIII died and Paul VI was elected), and a feeling of optimism.
I link to a post by Whispers, and link to a video of Pope Benedict giving an off the cuff reflection. On the first night of the council, Pope John appeared at his window and addressed the crowd that had gathered in St. Peter's Square. That talk is referred as the "discorso alla luna", the "discourse to the moon", as there was a radiant moon that night in Rome. Benedict took a page from John's book to reflect on his feelings on the optimism that came from the council and on the quiet, confident humility that the Holy Spirit calls us to.
So, where does the reading come in? Benedict opened a "Year for Faith" in the Church, emphasizing our dedication to the letter of the Council, not just the amorphous "Spirit of Vatican II", which was used as an excuse for poor teaching, catechetics, liturgy, and nearly ran our Church into the ground. My plan for this Year of Faith is to really dig in and read all of those un-read books on the shelf: Jesus of Nazareth, The Confessions, The City of God, Introduction to Christianity, Feast of Faith. I plan on reading all of the Mass readings for the year. That will get me at least 1/3 of the Bible read in one year. I need to dedicate more time to prayer. I can pray when I'm running, driving, or when I have a quiet moment in the office.
Pray for me, I'll pray for you.