Books That Saved My Life This Summer
I have just ONE more chapter to write in my book and then I am D-O-N-E! Of course, there will be revisions. But I am almost there! I finished Chapter 10 a couple of days ago and I had this really excited feeling like: YES! This is such a good book! It's a book *I* would want to read! Writing this book has been a deeply painful, cathartic, redemptive process. I never want to go through it again. Ha. Since my book isn't ready yet, I thought I would share some of the books that kept me going this summer. Enjoy.
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those perennial classics that you probably haven't read since high school. Read it again as an adult and I can promise that it will resonate on such a deeper level. I found myself underlining and dog-earing page after page. The story itself is deeply compelling but it is the wise, universal insights that make it a shining classic. I was so inspired by "To Kill a Mockingbird" that I quote it in my own book.
A Separate Peace is another classic and yet I just read it for the first time this summer. The story involves two friends at a boarding school during World War II. The seemingly ordinary events of adolescence provide a telling look at the dark shadows of the human psyche. This is a book I'll be reading more than once.
Shirt of Flame: a year with St. Therese of Lisieux absolutely revolutionized my life. Earlier this year I read St. Therese's autobiography, Story of a Soul, and was alternately frustrated and captivated by this "little saint." I found St. Therese maddeningly melodramatic but also deeply inspiring. Following up her autobiography with Shirt of Flame helped me more fully understand the very special gift St. Therese brought to the world. I really can't overstate how deeply St. Therese has changed my life. At the end of reading this book I did a Novena (9 days of prayer) dedicated to St. Therese. I can't get into details right now (it's in my book!) but suffice to say, I experienced a miracle. I am absolutely, 100% convinced that God sent St. Therese to save my faith from certain shipwreck. I have discovered "The Little Way" to God and it has radically altered my entire perspective and given me such amazing hope. When I could do nothing on my own and was lying face-down in the dirt--"The Little Way" rescued me. I can't wait to tell you all about it in my book!
Story of a Soul is St. Therese's autobiography. She wrote it while living as a nun in a French, Carmelite convent during the late 1800's. She entered the convent at the stunningly young age of 15 and died of tuberculosis at age 24. St. Therese didn't do any great work of God in her short lifetime. She lived a small, invisible life. Her one, shining legacy was love. "My vocation is love!" she wrote. She accomplished this by devoting herself to tiny, small tasks and performing them with great care and attention. She embraced her smallness and described her practice of faith as "The Little Way." She is often portrayed carrying bunches of roses in her hands because she also referred to herself as "The Little Flower." St. Therese's last words--as she gazed upon the Crucifix were: "Oh! I love him! My God, I love You!" To be very honest, I don't understand that depth of love. But I want it more than anything. I am profoundly grateful to have found St. Therese--and, more than that--that St. Therese found ME.