“I consider a room without reading to be a hell without consolation, an instrument of torture without relief, a prison without light, a tomb without ventilation, a ditch swarming with worms, a strangling noose, the empty house of which the Gospel speaks.”
~PETER OF CELLE, Bishop of Chartres, 1181 – 1183

Okay, to some, that could seem overstated. But those of us who love to read – who really love to read – will understand.

In fact, the church has a long tradition of devout readers. Consider this curse found near the library doors in the monastery of San Pedro in Barcelona, Spain:

“For him that stealeth, or borroweth and returneth not, this book from its owner, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surecase to this agony till he sing in dissolution. Let bookworms gnaw his entrails…and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of Hell consume him forever.”

We Christians can get passionate about our books.

And I’m no different. When I read in the Gospel of John that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God,” I take that as my personal confirmation that God was the original writer, and that he has a soft spot in his heart for me – a writer too.

And a reader. I can never resist a good book, can you? I could use either a bigger night stand with stronger legs, or else maybe a little self-discipline. Frankly, the night stand’s easier to come by.

You’ll notice a certain bias in all my writing and reading. It’s this:I believe that beneath the trouble and frustration of life in a fallen world, a deeper, more beautiful reality glimmers through. That reality is my obsession. When The Message says in Matthew, “If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light,” it tells me the wonder is there, hidden sometimes, but there to find if we trouble ourselves to look. I for one don’t want to miss it.

In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.” If that’s you, then please drop by from time to time.

And whatever you do, don’t miss the wonder.

(Thanks to Radek Bayek for the beautiful image.)

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