Sunday, September 8, 2013
A Religious in the Attic
Someone I know compares the Church's storehouse of spiritual treasures to an attic filled with family heirlooms, ones discovered anew as each generation comes and goes. Our Church is blessed with devotions, traditions, revelations, stories, truths, and precious gems of faith. Some of these are emphasized at particular times, while others slide into the background only to resurface a few decades later. Thus we may find it helpful to “climb up into the attic” from time to time to see if perhaps there might be some treasures we're overlooking.
There are a few people who try to caution us about the attic. There's nothing but old stuff up there, we're sometimes warned. Just bundles of old junk not relevant to the world today. "We don't really have books about saints," I was once told by someone running a Church library. "Mostly we have modern self-help books and some fiction." I came away feeling like someone whose spiritual ancestors had been forgotten; maybe even erased from the family tree.
One of my favorite books was sent to me by a friend in another country. She'd rescued it when people hosting a retreat were throwing it into the trash. It's just an old volume, very "out of date," she was told. Funny. I quote this (out of print) book here from time to time, and am often told how much help it has been. In fact, because of a recent request, I have gone back and labelled blog posts quoting this writer - so now we can more easily find them. The author, who wrote simply under the name "A Religious," actually wrote a number of small volumes on prayer and spiritual growth. Thanks to the generosity of yet another kind friend, I'm currently able to borrow some of these titles, one at a time.
If you've ever searched for copies of The Living Pyx of Jesus, or any other writings by this particular author, you know they're rare - and in the neighborhood of $300 per volume (last time we checked) when they can be found.
And someone was throwing one into the trash.
If you'd like to sample some treasures from the heart of "A Religious," you can now do so by clicking this line.
Also: I have used other short quotes from this writer on The Cloistered Heart, and I've now labelled those as well. They can be found by clicking this line.
This post (which is an adaptation of an earlier one on "the attic") is also being published on The Cloistered Heart blog today.
We are unearthing treasure! It's good to have at least the shadow of a map.