Monday 17 April 2017

Seeking Christ in Reading - Rev. Eugene Boylan

Seeking Christ in Reading
Rev. Eugene Boylan
Scepter Press
ISBN 9781594172953 

I have read this booklet three times now, first in 2007, then in 2010 and now in 2017 the new eBook version. This booklet has been completely redone and is an excellent little read. Originally there was just over 200 booklets in the series from Scepter, I believe, that were available in English and it is great that they are being made available again. I also believe that this is the only booklet by Eugene Boylan in the series. And this booklet is an excerpt from This Tremendous Lover. And at just under 40 pages it packs a lot of punch. The chapters in this booklet are:

Gripping The Imagination 
The Barrier Of Boredom 
Essential For Progress 
Love, Not Sentiment 
The Educated Catholic 
A Disease Of The Mind 
Religious And Laity 
Reading As Food 
A Daily Exercise 
Unfortunate Biographies 
Ask For Help 
As Essential As Eating 
Reading And Meditation 
Indefinite Boundaries 
About The Author  

The introduction states: "Now if there is one thing for which modern conditions have produced a special necessity, it is the regular practice of spiritual reading. It is, of course, only a question of degree; for reading, or some other form of instruction, was always necessary" It has been a Christian practice since nearly the beginning. But today it is one that often slides by the side over taken by the urgent or that which easily distracts us. The purpose of this booklet is to remind us of the need for spiritual reading, but also to be cautious in all that we read. This booklet written well before the internet age raises some great questions about that with which we occupy our minds. And in today's technology age the distractions, which Rev Boylan speaks about are even more evident. Boylan goes on to state: "What has been said of periodicals is no less true of books taken generally; and there is another effect common to all such reading: it produces a distaste, not merely for the things that really matter, but also for the style and manner in which those things are presented in spiritual books. The result is that when one does by an effort force oneself to open a spiritual book, it requires a still greater effort to keep it open, and not to close it with a yawn. And, truth to tell, it is not always the reader who is to blame." And as an avid reader I can say that it is so true. It is easier to pick up a Clancy, Baldacci, Ludlum, or Robert B. Parker then to tackle an Aquinas, de' Liguori, Pope Benedict, or a Taylor Marshall. But this book reminds us of the importance of the effort and the greater reward from engaging in spiritual reading.   

Boylan declares: "Even if a man's reading of Catholic theology were only enough to teach him to know how much he does not know about it, a lot would be gained. But there is no reason why any educated Catholic should not go further, and bring his knowledge of Catholic theology up to the standards of the other branches of his knowledge - in principle if not in detail." And it is a worthy challenge. 

This is an excellent little read. And I am sure it will cause you to look at what you read, and how you read in a different light. This is one of the original Scepter booklets; in fact it was booklet 130. I was able to track down only print copies of about 60 of the original booklets, and am so excited that they are now becoming available in eBook formats.

It is now available for free in a wonderful eBook edition, along with many other booklets from the series. Scepter is in the process of updating all of the old booklets and making them available in a new format and presentation. I have read a number of the booklets and look forward to them all being available again. This book and the whole series are amazing resources to help you grow in your faith. And you really cannot beat the price! So why not give it a try.

PDF for free from Scepter.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2017 Catholic Reading Plan!

For reviews of other books and booklets from Scepter click here

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