September 10-11, 2016

Friends, 

One of the highlights of my vacation time is reading, and I like to let you know what I read during my 2 weeks off. Some of these I bought and others were a gift to me. It's good to know that as we get to know each other we realize what type of books our friends may like. I loved all 7 of these books and I would highly recommend them, but we all have different tastes. These are the books in the order that I read them: “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger; a novel about the effects that death has on the life of a teenager: accident, nature, suicide, murder. “Finding Jesus, Faith, Fact, Forgery” by David Gibson and Michael McKinley; six holy objects that tell the remarkable story of the gospels. “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. This book is an Oprah's Book Club selection. The author recreates the fears, challenges and atrocities in the pre-Civil War era of slavery. It is a novel that forces the reader to identify with the characters and tragedies. “Redeeming Our Sacred Story: The Death of Jesus and Relations between Jews and Christians” by Mary C. Boys. The book questions the role that the passion and death of Christ has played and continues to play in our world's attitude toward those who are Jewish. Are we at all responsible for the anti-Semitism in society today? “The Life We Bury” by Allen Eskens. This novel brings together a college student and a convicted murderer who is dying. The insight into both characters and how their relationship evolves is intriguing and emotional. “The Sin of Certainty: Why God Desires Our Trust More Than Our ‘Correct Beliefs.’” by Peter Enns. I loved this book and could have written much of it. Is it true that our beliefs at times can actually be an obstacle to our relationship with God? You decide. “Lies My Teacher Told Me” by James Loewen. This is a national bestseller and you have to read it with an open mind. The author says "Those who don't remember the past are condemned to repeat the eleventh grade." He confronts the process of hero-making, Columbus, Thanksgiving, Native Americans, Racism, America, the Vietnam War and many areas of history that may not be the whole truth.

Some of you may feel that you'd just rather veg out on your vacation and not have to face the issues and emotions that these books present. I owe it to you to challenge myself and look at life in a way that educates and energizes me to become all that I am created to be. Reading enhances my personal life and because I have the privilege of preaching, I can incorporate so many of others' ideas and insights into my homilies. Preaching the gospel in 2016 is a privilege. These is so much knowledge out there - why leave it there?

Enjoy Life! 
Fr Coyne

 

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