I’m lost at the moment because I finished the series of books I had been reading. The latest was a trilogy based on the Trojan War; unfortunately the author has since died.
I love reading historical novels because you get caught up in the imagined drama of real characters and events.
These novels also help to bring alive a real love for history. Most of the books I have read have been set in Ancient Rome and Greece.
I also had an extended journey into Tudor England not to mention tracking the Khan dynasty in the Far East.
At night before going to bed it’s always a great way to relax and chill out as you forget all your own worries and become caught up in someone else’s drama and troubles.
The characters in the stories if they are real and believable help us to examine events in our own lives and reflect on our own responses and motivations.
Often a good book can help us to engage and understand better with our experiences of life.
Most mornings before Mass I read the daily publication called the Magnificat. I have become very dependent on its daily meditations ever since a parishioner bought me one year’s subscription as a gift. Like the scripture readings and psalms from Mass how we understand and receive these reflections can depend on what is happening in our own lives.
On occasions the readings probably mean very little or they only have slight relevance for own situation.
On other occasions we can feel the meditation has been written specifically and uniquely for us. On these days the reflections can seem like food from heaven as someone shares the wisdom they have gained from their own experiences of life and struggles with faith in God.
The style of writing can vary greatly, sometimes the piece of writing can be very philosophical and technical, and at other times it speaks simply and directly to the heart. Then only at the end do I look at the name of the author.
It’s during the occasions when we experience turmoil and heartbreak, when we feel most helpless that God can speak to the heart most freely. On Friday morning as I read the daily reflection I was struck by this paragraph ‘Come to me all you who labour and are burdened and I will give you rest…’
‘What more do we want? What are we chasing after, if not relief from our misery? O creator, have pity on your creatures. Consider that we don’t understand ourselves, that we do not know what we want, that we have no idea what we are asking for. Lord, give us light. How hard it is to love someone who does not love you, to open to someone who does not knock, to give health to someone who enjoys being sick. Have pity on those who have no pity for themselves.’
It was so profound I was expecting the author to be a well known saint.
The caption at the end simply gave the name Jacques Fesch (d. 1957). He was a convicted murderer who experienced a profound conversion before his execution in a French prison.
There is hope in the writer’s words because he explains how God is always knocking on the door of our hearts if only we would listen, if we only knew what we really needed amidst the troubles and anxieties of this world.
If we don’t know we’re sick how can we ask for healing? If we don’t understand the depths of whom we are then we fail to appreciate how much God loves each and every one of us.
Instead of looking for signs and wonders, or looking for bread which fails to satisfy in any lasing way, we need to turn to Christ and allow him to feed us with the bread from heaven which provides the greatest fulfilment of our lives.
For Jesus proclaims, ‘I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will never hunger, he who believes in me will never thirst.’