Recently I read an article in a magazine by Elizabeth Cahill and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.  The subtitle of the article was “Confessions of a book lover.”  She was commenting on how she loved books, collected books, and needed to organize her books.  In a beautiful paragraph she writes about how the books we read make us who we are.  “For me, a personal library is an almost sacramental repository of identity.  To hold one of my books in my hand, to page through it . . . is to recall part of my own formation as a person.”

I can’t stop thinking about that comment because I so agree.  I love to read.  And there is no mistaking that the reading that we do informs us, entertains us, shapes us and helps to make us who we are.  I have loved my reading time each day since moving to DC and I have loved the information and entertainment that it has offered.  Picking up a book is the soul opening up to receive more.

When we let the personalities of history or scripture enter into our soul, they leave some of their experience and wisdom with us and so, shape us through their  words.  When we invite in the personalities of fiction and literature, they make a home in us and leave an indelible mark on our soul.

How else do we explore ancient happenings, distant places, or historical personalities from the comfort of our living rooms if not through books?  Each page we sit with provides a graced moment, a sacramental experience of another time, another place, another view, or another experience that is different from our own.  Yet each reading, each encounter with the author or the author’s creations, shapes us and fills us with food for our intellect and our imagination.

Books are truly sacred objects that provide an unlimited supply of graced moments.  They help to shape us and make us who we are.  Reading is a co-creative act that works with God to shape us into the person God intended us to be.

Perhaps we should make more time for it.






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