Thursday, March 17, 2016

Lent Day 4, with a list of books for inward balance, comfort, solace and fortitude

Talked with a good friend from Ottawa + my Mom.
Cleaned!!! Finally. This place was a bit of a clutter Catastrophy.
Fixed books our Church Kids use during Liturgy.
The littles do a number on them!

This one, up top, is a pop up book and trying to fix it took a while!

The kids just love these books, as you can see!
 Listened to Classic FM on and off today.
I am trying to do more healthy eating,
goal today is to make a smoothie or two.
I have been cleaning by room, starting with the front of our home,
the living room with the bay windows.
Now on to the dining and kitchen areas...
I got some stinging nettle tea for extra iron, suggested by a friend.
Of course I never seem to do anything halfheartedly...
at least when it comes to tea...

First cup of it had today!
A friend and I were texting and she is having this tea too,
for the same reason, in hopes if it helping us to regain strenght. 
It is high in iron... 
Nancy asked me to tell her the list I have of books that
are for "comfort, solace and fortitude" as I wrote yesterday.
Knowing what you are facing, Nancy, I totally get why you want this list.
Well, what I have so far is... as follows...

I will try to do a separate post at some point on this....

Books for inward balance/comfort/solace/fortitude:

1. Letters to An American Lady by CS Lewis

I have read this one at least twice and in it he is consoling a woman who
is older and not in good health.  He speaks of heaven and of how
our bodies fail often leads us to be more ready for heaven.
He responds to her many personal challenges with grace, faith in Christ,
wisdom and at times gentle instruction and much solace.
And he does not shy from speaking of his own pain at times, so it is a
realistic book.
One that I told myself I must read when I am older, but when I read it again
a year or so ago, I realized I should read it more often.

2. The Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer

A travelogue in both outward travel to various
countries where the prayer has been nurtured,
but an travelogue full of people who give such pearls of wisdom
for one to think on.... it is a book really of pilgrimage, of exploration,
a true travelogue in my book!
 that I found in the end to be full of wisdom and love.
I wrote briefly on it here and there is a book review I linked to.
I still mean to write more on it.

3. The Orthodox Way by Met. Kallistos Ware 

Just re-reading this one now.
Reminds one of why we have faith in God and it explores
the Orthodox church and what is found there.
I find it an encouragement and comfort.

4. Walking on Water by Madeline L'Engle

I have not read this one in a while, but read it again and again
when in my twenties, full of light and hope in God, of the world as it is,
with Guardian Angels, art, childhood, hope and beauty.

5. The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge

This was the book for me,
read it first when I was newly 19, in 1996.
I was at Calvin in a Soviet style cement block dorm room,
on an old used couch with my first semester of college done
and when I read it, I was entranced, when I finished it
and looked out the window, everything was brighter.
The tree with red berries gleamed.
I had such a sense of hope given to me at that moment.
I likened it to CS Lewis reading Phantastes for the first time
and suddenly one crossed over to spiritual realities and beauty...
I read it again 10 years later, all in one day, on a January 1st,
a holiday that I was at home in Ottawa in my big kitchen with
white and black checkered flooring, sitting my Dad's old gold chair.
I felt such a restoration in that one day,
I had been so exhausted and felt so renewed after a day of quiet
and reading The Scent of Water. 

6. The Dean's Watch by Elizabeth Goudge

Learning to love and do inward spiritual combat in the process.
I need to read this again, so much wisdom is in it.

7. Kathleen Norris' books -

The Cloister Walk

A good friend in my undergraduate years wrote me letters one summer at camp,
I worked at a camp for years in my twenties,
and she kept saying, "did I tell you I am reading this book called The Cloister Walk?"
A delightful book, one that I have returned to many times over the years
and read stories that shore one up inwardly.

I met Kathleen Norris years later in Ottawa and gave her a small card
which thanked her for her books and told her that
her books helped me very much in my later unexpected quick
but long lasting entry into the Orthodox Church.

Amazing Grace: a Vocabulary of Faith

This was the first of Kathleen's books that I read,
I found it surprisingly at an airport bookstore on my way home for Christmas.
I had an unexpected layover in Missouri and was given a hotel room for the night.
I think it was the first time I had a hotel room to myself and that in it's self was
an adventure, I remember thinking of Madeline L'Engle and her love of
bathtubs and how excited I was that this hotel had a really nice one in my room.
I sat on the hotel queen sized bed, another luxury, and opened the book,
I am sure my journal being near by.
And I began to read.
And realized that I had entered, upon reading, a whole wonderful new world
that, I see now, reached deep in the past wells of Christian spirituality while
dealing with things that were at hand.
It also helped me also sort out a lot of my questions about feminism and
Christianity, as I had a lot of confusion about the two for a lot of my twenties.

The Quotidian Mysteries: Laundry, Liturgy and "Women's Work"

Small, full of light, love and I need to read it again, it was a comfort.
It's one that I think about when remembering the love of God.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis.

Wonderful. The way life really is.  Good does win in the end,
there really is all the wonder and goodness in the world
but also real struggle, but with hope.
I told my NJ Munchkin that Narnia is a place that once you visit,
you will never want to leave.

9. L'Engle's Circle of Quiet 

About how in the end, everything will be alright.
Beautiful, thoughtful, I loved it.
That's my list for now!
I am going to the Canon of St Andrew again tonight
and then back home...
so posting this early for today!


Lisa said...

I wish you many graces on your Lenten journey; ours is almost over. xoxo

Nancy McCarroll said...

OH, my, so many. Have delved into so few. I will forge on. Although I am ahead of you in years, you are ahead of me in racing and spirituality, me thinks.. Thank you, ELizabeth.

elizabeth said...

Welcome - well, I don't know that I can judge if anyone is ahead or behind but the older I get the worse I am it seems. God bless. I would recommend the Letters to an American Lady for your Julie...and the Elizabeth Goudge, and Narnia esp. if she's never read them.... God bless! I know you and Julie are in a difficult time in terms of her health!