While I wait for the Catholic Summer Reading winners to be announced, I’m reading a couple of spiritual books by Christian-but-not-Catholic authors, both of which have to do with the way I live right now. I don’t tend to read a whole spiritual book from start to finish, but kind of just take a bite every now and again until the whole thing is done. This way I can digest what I’ve read for a while before moving on.
Death by Suburb: How to keep the suburbs from killing your soul by David L. Goetz is a fascinating book about the spiritual challenges we face in this kind of neighborhood. Right now I’m reading the chapter on envy. The author prefaces each chapter with an “Environmental Toxin” and a “Spiritual Practice.”
Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson is almost poetic, it’s so beautifully written. From the preface:
Keeping house can be a very mundane activity….But at the same time, housekeeping is about practicing sacred disciplines and creating sacred space, for the sake of Christ as we encounter him in our fellow household members and in neighbors, strangers and guests.
I’m looking forward to the last chapter on “Routines,” which could really use some work around here.
Both of these books encourage me in the situation I am in right now: wife and mom, living in a “keep up with the Joneses” kind of suburb. And I’m not having a problem reading both of them at once (no, I do not sit here with one book at my right and one at my left, with my eyes working independently of each other, despite what TheDad said at dinner when he accused me of doing just that–though Big Brother thought that would be scary and awesome all at the same time).
If you’ve read these books, I’d love to hear your take on them.