Thursday, September 09, 2010

52 Books in 52 Weeks: Book 33

Last week I finally got around to getting my library card. This allowed me to finally check out some books in an effort to get caught up on my reading {I believe I am about 4 books behind for the year}. Anyways, I rarely go into a library any more. I like to search online and request my books and buzz in to pick them up when they are available {way more efficient}.

Since I had to go in anyways {and I was already there} I decided to peruse the aisles. It was a bit overwhelming. I am so used to browsing bookstores – where everything is displayed so that you can easily see the titles – that it felt odd to walk down rows and rows of never-ending books in an effort to find things.

 Without having anything in particular in mind, my finds were pretty random. The first book I picked up was Fumbling by Kerry Egan. It is Kerry's journal of her pilgrimage {with her boyfriend in tow} on the Camino de Santiago, a medieval pilgrim route through Northern Spain

Kerry's father had died the previous year after years of fighting a debilitating disease and she is struggling with her view of God and what she thinks about a god who would let her father suffer and die. 

The book is written through the lens of a Catholic pilgrimage, but I really identified with a lot of it. I am particularly fond of reading about journeys that people take and how it affects their lives.

I had a lot of favorite passages from this book, but will stick to five:
Just like walking, prayer is a state of being off balance – of moving, of not being able to stay in one place even if you want to because some force of nature won't allow it.

To be angry with God means to realize at the deepest level, a place that is both physical and emotional at the same time, that the world is broken and not as it should be. Anger at God is a protest against suffering.

Everyone is doing the best they can, all the time... You think you could have done better, or should have. But for whatever reason, you couldn't. That's the best you could do. It might not have been very good – it might have been a failure – but if you could have done better, you would have.

The relationship with God may be deeply personal and intimate, but it becomes possible in the context of people, struggling together, supporting one another together on the way.
There are times in at least some people's lives – maybe many people – when belief in any compassionate or kind or even benign force in the universe is almost impossible. But if you can just hold on to something – or perhaps more likely, if something holds on to you – it can be the beginning of a new way of seeing, a new life.

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