Whether it is the Times newspaper or the Tablet, before the summer you will read numerous suggestions of books to take on holiday to read. I have a stack of books before me at the moment I will never get through them all.
There are two books about the Anglo Saxon period of history, a book about liturgy, one self help book on de-cluttering and the simple life, one novel by Dostoevsky, a biography of Dante and at least five books that you could put under the category of Spirituality. I have far too many to put in my suitcase. I wonder why I buy so many.
As a priest reading is a daily activity and part of my life. I read the psalms from the Prayer of the Church, I read the Gospel everyday at Mass and I am following The Bible in a Year podcast by Fr Mike Schmitz. I also read to prepare my homily each week.
Reading can broaden the mind and our understanding and appreciation of God’s world. It helps us with our vocabulary and can reduce stress.
I have to decide on one book to read for August but all of us need to continue to have the Scriptures as part of our daily reading. This is obviously a different sort of reading from reading a novel. Here is a prayer written by St Anselm of Canterbury that we could say before the Scriptures
Teach me to seek you,
and reveal yourself to me as I seek:
For unless you instruct me
I cannot seek you,
and unless you reveal yourself
I cannot find you.
Let me seek you in desiring you:
let me desire you in seeking you.
Let me find you in loving you:
let me love you in finding you.