The Catholic Thing presents a thoughtful article, On Reading Fiction, which exhorts the youth, in particular, to put down the mobile phone and pick up a book. Something which modern man strives to acquire is the ability to provide, primarily through technological advancement, the virtual “experience,” and this by applying the senses. However, books appeal to the intellect in order to give the reader the “experience.” Ever wondered what it would be like to go off to sea and comprehend the sheer power of the ocean as the wind wails and the waves thunder, hold your breath for fear of being caught by raging pursuers or feel your spirit soar with exaltation when the hard-fought victory is at last won? The experiences that can be found in reading fiction are practically unlimited. As Emily Dickinson expressed in one line, “There is no frigate like a book...”
Given that a gloomy saint is no saint at all, Señorita Rita provides a few tips on how to keep the depression at bay in her piece, The Art of Being Happy and Gaining Graces on Who Shall Find a Valiant Woman.
A fascinating little glimpse into the monastic life, Jonathan Burgess’s Trappist Signs: Holy Silence & Holy Language from Catholic Exchange reveals a part of the unspoken form by which the members of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance communicate to each other during the hours of silence if the need arises. Can you imagine what a short conversation in Trappist sign language would look like?