Have you ever read a book that changed your life?
No, really, think about it. Has there ever been a novel that told a story so captivating and thought provoking it changed the way you look at the world? Or a memoir that inspired you so much that person became your role model? A work of non-fiction that intrigued you so greatly it ignited a new passion in that subject?
Books do this to us all the time and all sorts of books influence us. They change our perspectives, broaden our horizons, inspire us, teach us new things, give us new ideas. Every time we open a book we risk changing our world.
I was in middle school when I first read "To Kill a Mockingbird." It opened my eyes to all kinds of things I’d never given much thought: racism and prejudice, the South and our American history, and how it takes a lot of courage to do what you know is right when it isn’t easy. Plus, it made me realize there were good books outside the young adult shelf .
Good books can change our lives.
In college I was assigned "The Long Loneliness," the autobiography of communist-reporter-turned-Catholic- social-activist, Dorothy Day. I was inspired by her work to put Catholic social teaching into action, her care for the poor and striving to grow in holiness, and her understanding that community, other people, are the most important things in life. I wanted to go find a nice Catholic Worker commune to live on right then. But that would have been reckless, so I started learning all I could about Catholic social thought, how the Church works for justice, and cares for the poor. Eventually I did do a service year with a Catholic organization which had huge impacts on my faith and my life. All because I read this book.
If good books can change our lives, good, holy books can change our eternal lives.
As Christians we know the Bible is a living book that continuously works to change our lives, but as Catholics we know that other works also help us to learn about our faith and explore different aspects of our lives as disciples of Christ.
And that’s why we started a library here at Saint John Paul II Parish. The library at the Parish Office Center is stocked with books (and CD’s and DVD’s) on all aspects of our Catholic Faith: books on spirituality and prayer, stories of saints and other interesting Catholics, information on theology and understanding our faith, great works of fiction, and much more. All these books are here to help you better understand your faith, and grow in your relationship with God. If you ever doubt that reading a book can help with these things, I’ll leave you with these quotes from people much smarter than me:
“When we pray we speak to God. When we read, God speaks to us” - St. Jerome (347 – 420)
“There are also many other things that Jesus did, but if these were to be described individually, I do not think the whole world would contain the books that would be written.” - John 21:25
The Parish Library is located in the Parish Office Center on Carla Drive, and is open during regular office hours, Monday – Thursday 8:30 am – 4:00 pm, Friday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.
Leave a comment if a book has ever changed your life or if you are excited to check out the new library!