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Reading, the Giver of Life


“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!

I have a few favorite topics, the Ego is one of them, I love to talk about the Ego as the root of all evil, and Reading, reading is also a favorite topic, and every now and then I like to post what is  on my reading list. I am one of the strange people who read 4 or 5 books at a time, so it takes me a long time to get through just one book. recently I finished a book that I was reading for over one year, the day I finished it, I was extremely pleased, one year for one book is a long time, even for me. But now with the advent of e-readers, my reading list has grown from 4 or 5 to 10 or 20… It’s a wonderfully horrible problem I have. With all the free classics online that I can now download to my iPad, I’m just at a lost as to what to read… Besides the free books, I still love the printed word, so I order books, even thought I have several on my need to read shelf. It’s a never-ending problem, but a problem I love having. I have books to go with any mood I may be in, mystery, suspense, romance, sci-fi, history and religion, depending on the mood determines the book. Besides all the books and e-books, I have magazines I subscribe to, my political side of me to keep current, and all the news websites I read.

Reading is the giver of life, knowledge and death. Through reading we learn of emotions and concepts and we experience realities that we never knew existed.

I read for several reasons, to learn, to enjoy, to escape and to take part in the authors world. Reading is the window into the souls of the authors, and, if you allow it, into your own soul. Show me what you read, and ill see who you are. Reading reveals our inner most being, unlocks the doors to our imaginations and prepares us for the tomorrows that have yet to be.

So when I read articles that claim that our high school youth are reading on a 5th grade level, the blood drains from my being. How can we ever expect to produce a society of leaders, if the next in line leaders cannot even comprehend J.D. Salinger‘s classic The Catcher in the Rye or read a common newspaper article about current affairs (excluding the USA today, who’s reading level seems to be at the 5th grade level already). the dumbing down of our nations top newspapers has been happening for years, but with the current high school students graduating with only  a 5th grade level, more newspapers will have to go from the current 8th grade level to a 5th grade level to keep readership.

“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”
Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader

Reading offers our minds the ability to grow, to exercise and to experience life outside of our own.  Gives us insight into realities we may never have experienced, if not for the authors whom we choose to read. You want to improve your life, read, nothing else will give you as much result as that.

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach

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Top 5 reading list


“You are what you read” this is a quote from Mathew Kelly, a Catholic speaker and author, one that I would recommend everyone should listen to and read. (website)

I agree with Mathew, reading is one of the most important activities anyone can do. What we read will help shape our lives, our outlook, morals and our faith. I am asked by friends what books they should read or what books I read. And my list is long and eclectic, I read for entertainment for my soul and mind. My books, magazines and newspapers cover the gamete of topics. Political, Catholic, faith, history, mysteries and on and on. Each and every book, newspaper and magazine I read helps to define me. Some books, newspapers and magazines conflict with my world view others help to strengthens it and others challenge it. But I read… mostly to help me grow my mind and soul.

The internet offers us the opportunity to truly get volumes of information on any topic within moments, and that, in-of-its-self is a good thing, but it can also lead to wrong conclusions or misinformation.  We have to be diligent in this information society and make sure we are reading accrete information. But that is not always easy…

But on to the point of this blog, it is a question that I would like everyone to respond to:

What 5 books would you make mandatory for everyone to read?

Here is my list:

  1. The Bible
  2. The Power of Intent (Dr. Wayne Dyer)
  3. Oh, the Places you’ll go (Dr. Seuss)
  4. The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
  5. The Dark Tower [The Gunslinger] (Stephen King)

The list is not complete, but I chose 5 books from different styles of reading I do, each offers an opportunity to escape and grow. This would be my 5 books everyone should read…

So what is your top 5 list…. Please share

God Bless

Paul

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We are called too knowledge


calledtoministry This past weekend I spent my time reading and listing to Catholic radio. Of course I cleaned the house, did my wash and other such tasks, but I spent a lot of time sitting and reading. It was nice, I have not had a lot of time to do that, or should I say I have not made time to do that.

I love to read, as anyone who knows me would know. I read all kinds of stuff, I read books for just pure entertainment, books on the Catholic faith, political (conservative) books and byes even some books on spirituality. I read Catholic and Political magazines and newspapers and a few journals. I just love to read! I even read on line sometimes. I always have a book in my car, for emergency reading and I have downloaded some eBooks on to my laptop, so I always have something to read. But truth be told, I don’t like to read online, I prefer to print it off, ya I know not very green of me… But I like to hold it, to feel the paper when I read. It’s just the way it is.

It has not always been like this for me, at one time I hated to read. I school I hated it, it wasn’t until I graduated High School that I actually read a complete book. the book was the classic by J.D. Salinger’s “The catcher in the rye”. I read it because of my other passion, The Beatles. I am a huge Beatles fan, and the murderer of John Lennon, Mark David Chatman, stated that this was the book he read that made him kill Lennon. So I have to read it. And read it I did, I have read that book well over 100 times, I love it, and J.D. Salinger is one of my favorite authors, along with Steven King.  Bit I have never reread a Steven King book, but I have reread all of J.D. Salinger’s books.. I love his style..

I didn’t read in school not because I couldn’t, I didn’t read because there was nothing that interested me that they offered. I had a 12th grade comprehension level in the 3rd grade, so it was not an issue of ability, but rather an issue of desire.  I had a very difficult time trying to get my teachers and others to understand this, so I spent years in “special reading” classes. But that is for different blog…

The point of this blog, knowledge.

I read not only for enjoyment but also to grow my mind, soul and heart. I hind that reading, like no other activity, allows me to do this. It is a time of peace and quiet a time for me to dissolve into myself and a time for the voices of the authors to speak to me. I look at each and everything I read as an opportunity to learn, to grow. Truth be told, I look at everything in life as an opportunity to learn and grow. My mom use to always say that I was to “preachy”  that I try to turn everything in to a lesson. Well I do and I know it, but I find life to be a very good classroom. But my personal reading is my privet classroom. I learn just as much from Steven King as I do from Bishop Fulton Sheen.

Sure Bishop Sheen is dealing with my soul and faith and King normally is dealing with things of the supernatural, but in truth there is more in common that one may think.  It is Kings character development and the underlining psychology of his characters that teach, and often times his stories do also. Fulton Sheens style is more poetic than Kings therefore it flows like honey as you read it and Kings style is, well more, modern in language (nice way to say the words and images used would not be appropriate for young children). Bishop Sheen would also not be appropriate for young children, not for the imagery or words used, but for the depth of the words used. But both would be good for teens that are mature and have an ability to think outside of themselves and the box.

But enough on the comparison of Sheen and King, back to the main point. Knowledge…

As Catholics we as called to proclaim the Gospels (the Good News) to all the corners of the earth, to all the nations. As baptized Catholics we are baptized as priest, profit and king. We are give an office with in the faith. But how can we all be priest, profit and king, and what does that mean?

Priest:

We are called to be priest, not ordained priest like Father at the parish, but non-the-less a priest. so what is a priest, well in the old testament a priest was the one who offered up the sacrifice for the people of God. In the modern world the priest also offer up the sacrifice for Gods people, they offer up the bread and wine. They offer up our sins in the confessionals for forgiveness of our sins. So how are we priest? We cannot offer up the Bread and Wine nor can we hear confessions and offer forgiveness. So what, if anything, can we do as priest. Well we can still offer up a sacrifice, our suffering  We can offer up our work, our abilities and our service.

Profit:

We are called to be profits, but if we think about what a profit is or who was a profit it can sound very intimidating. Elijah was a profit as was Moses and Aaron. The Old Testament is filled with them, and each of them did basically the same thing, they proclaimed Gods message to others. That is the call of baptism, that is what the Lord has called you to in His name. But not all of us are called to Moses or Aaron or any of the other profits. Some are, but most of us are not. In the modern world I would say there have been a few who have been called as a Moses or Elijah, Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa and Fr. John Recardo, to name just a few. But most of us are to be the profits of the back ground, no less important, just not as visible as the others. So how do we become the profit that God has called us to? We proclaim the Good New, we share our faith and we practice our faith. I am doing it with this blog, I do it with my company, STATIC Solutions, and I do it by offering my time to others. My name may never be known to others, and that’s ok, Mother Teresa said “Our job is not be become famous, but to become Holy” (may not be a direct quote, but almost).

King:

I think this is the hardest one to understand, how can we all be kings? All priest, sure you can have more than one, all profits, yep, several are better than a few. But all kings? This, in the material world, would never work out. So what is it that God is baptizing us into, what is kingship? If we look at the kings of the Old Testament we think of King David, the ruler of the Israelites. He was charged with protecting the people, providin
g justice and watching over them. If we look at kingship in the New Testament we see only one example, Jesus the Christ. Jesus spoke of his Kingdom often, and He spoke of how a King should act. But Jesus also showed us how a King should act. This is the Kingship we are called to. We are to protect what has been placed into our trust, children,pets,wife,husband,elderly,unborn,etc.. The list is endless. We are called to shepherd them and to provide for them. Think about it, If I fulfill my Kingship, I would make sure that all my Brothers and Sisters in Christ are provided for. If you fulfilled your Kingship, you too would also make sure that all your Brothers and Sisters in Christ are provided for, including me. If we all did this, all our needs would be met, and the Kingdom here on earth would be heavenly, not Heaven itself, but darn close.

So are you ready to fulfill your calling as priest, profit and king? Most likely your all reading this thinking I am nuts. Well most people who know me would agree, but that’s a different point.

Now that you know what you are called to, now you have to build up your toolbox with the tools you need to perform each office you are called to. This is were reading comes in to play…. See how I tied all that in…..

Your reading tool box should have, with out a doubt the following:

  • Catholic Study Bible (one to use, not to display)
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC)
  • Any book by Bishop Fulton Sheen (I would recommend “The Life of Christ”)

I would also recommend the following:

  • Link to Catholic On Line (www.catholic.org) A news website
  • Link to Catholic Answers (www.catholic.com) Full of great information and a place to find answers concerning the faith.
  • Link to New Advent (www.newadvent.com) Contains the CCC and Bible and Catholic Encyclopedia and Church Fathers.
  • Link to my blog (www.staticyouth.wordpress.com) just because it mine…. and sometimes fun to read.
  • Listen to Catholic Radio, many offer online web-radio
  • Watch Catholic TV, Both EWTN and CatholicTV offer online web access to programming live.

I would also recommend that you attend local bible studies or if your parish offers a RCIA for Catholics class, take it,or see if you can attend your local RCIA class. But make sure that the teachings are true to the Catholic Church and not some nutty DRE or Deacon’s personal wishes of what they think the Catholic Church should be. You need to do your homework first.

The same is true for the bible you choose, make sure it is a good catholic bible. There are several around.

As part of your toolbox you should also add a journal, journaling is an important part of your growth. Journaling offers you the ability to place on paper what is in you. If you can not articulate it well, the writing process will help you with this. I use this blog as my journal. So start blogging, or just use a note book or journal. There are several good places to start blogging, I have several feeds I use.

There are a few more I feed to, but the two above are good places to start. The 4Marks is a Catholic social networking site that offers blog posting. WordPress is an open blogging site, so anyone can post blogs. This is my main blog posting site.

So now that you got the tools, or at least a list of tools and you now understand your calling, the one you received at your Baptism, your ready to go right? Most likely not.

Knowing what to read and were to find the information does not make you ready. One more thing we all must do first…

PRAY

We must pray prior to engaging others, be it face to face or through your blog. Prayer is you knocking on Gods front door, asking God to inspire you and to fortify you. To send the Holy Spirit you you to help you fulfill your calling as priest, profit and king. Pray with a sincere heart and a silent mouth, allow God to speak. Pray often for guidance.

God Bless

Paul

Catholic Gift And Study Bible (NAB)
Help Support STATICs Mission, Purchase your books from our Amazon store, just select here

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5 at a time


I like to read, I like reading Stephen King, Dean Kuntz (only the Odd Thomas stuff) books on the catholic Faith, general spiritual books and as of late political books. The last in the list is new to me, I never read them until last year prior to the election, now I’m hooked.

It was the same way when I started out reading, all through school I hated to read, than one day I read “Catcher in the Rye” and I have never stopped reading, went from J.D. Salinger to Stephen King and on… One of the many strange facts about me is I like to read 4 or 5 books at one time, I’ll have a Stephen King book going, a book by Kuntz maybe a book by Fulton J. Sheen and Wayne Dyer all at the same time along with a few magazines and papers. I love the ability to change directions, to find something that fits my needs at the time. Sometimes the character development of King is what I need and other times it’s some straight talk by Sheen, but what ever it is, I have it at hand.

This method of reading takes time, some books I have been reading for over one year, others last only a few weeks, all depends on my over all needs and the ease of reading. For example I have been reading “An introduction to the Devout life” by St. Francis de Sales for well over a year, i think it’s going on 2 years. And in that same time I have read several King and Kuntz books.

Why such a difference in time, why one book takes me 2 weeks and another 2 years, well it’s not size, Kings are 500 or more pages and The Devout life is just over 200. The disparity in time is due to the depth of reading. When it comes to King, as much as I love his writing and think he is an amazing story teller, in truth the depth is only so deep, St. Francis de Sales on the other hand offers fewer words and, well his story telling is not his strong point, but the depth of each word can make an ocean seem as a kiddy pool. It’s all about processing time and how much my mind can take, and my need at the time of reading. I have devoured faith books as fast if not faster than a King book. It’s all timing and need…

Our faith life is much the same, there should be more than one aspect of our faith life, just as I like to read King and Sheen, two very different styles of writing. King, more a character development, more in to the need to set it all up. King can take one hundred pages to set up an event that only takes ten pages. Some would say over kill, others, like me, would say nope not at all, with in those one hundred pages are the souls of his characters the very essence of there beings. On the other hand, Sheen has the ability to take complex concepts and turn them in to, almost, sill ideas. He has the ability to use the absurd to relay the truths of the faith. It is the multi-faceted aspect of reading 5 books at the same time that invigorates my mind, and it is this same multi-dimensionalness of  faith that invigorates my soul. To challenge my soul to think and love and live in 4 or 5 different ways, all at the same time. To offer up the heart aches and the joys of life all while harvesting the wheat of passion that was sown the year before. To live in the light of Christ and still choose the path, that often times delivers me in to that darkness of lies. To turn the page of defeat in to a page of victory to live out my life in the fullness of the truth as I discover the deeper meaning of my relationship to my God.

Yep, my faith is live a Stephen King book mixed with a little Kuntz and a dash of Sheen. Each offering me a new way to see the light of Christ. A light that will help me to keep on reading my soul…

Paul

 
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Posted by on July 10, 2009 in church, Education, Life, selfhelp

 

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