Thursday, November 21, 2013

Expect Flattery at all Times King Lear

Dear Misfits,

Many argue that the Tragedy of King Lear is Shakespeare's most overpowering work.  Our Misfits, though definitely not Shakespeare scholars, agree that it is overpowering and declared it to be one of the best books we have read.   We found the play to be a riveting portrayal of the suffering and disaster that resulted from the character defects Lear displayed at the beginning of the play.  He foolishly divides his Kingdom among two of his least deserving daughters.  Then he sets up his downfall by banishing his third and most virtuous daughter when she offends him by not fawning over him in professing her love.  He, like many people of power, expected flattery at all times, showing himself to be a man who values appearances over reality.  By his ill-thought action, he sowed chaos and discord throughout his former kingdom.  As a result of his actions he slowly loses his sanity and descends into madness. 

We asked ourselves if Lear learned from his mistakes?  The answer seemed to be, "Yes and No".  He doesn't completely recover his sanity or emerge as a better King.  However, as he faces death at the end of the play, we could see that his values have changed.  We saw that he slowly comes to understand his own weakness and his insignificance especially when compared to the awesome forces of nature.  In the end, he has developed a certain humility and he emerges as a caring, loving individual who comprehends how deeply he has hurt his kingdom and those who loved him the most.  As he faces death, he declares that he would rather live in prison with the daughter he has wronged than once again rule as a king.  He comes to cherish Cordelia's selfless love and places his love for her above every other consideration.  At the end, his defects are purged but at terrible cost and suffering.

Now to the future:

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday, December 11, when we will discuss Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis.  This is the first book of Lewis' celebrated Space Trilogy.  The story begins the Space Trilogy with the adventures of the remarkable Dr. Ransom, a man who is abducted by a villainous physicist and taken in a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra.  First published in 1943, "Out of the Silent Planet remains a mysterious and suspenseful tour de force."  But wait, there is more!  We will meet to discuss this book at Claret Farm, the new location of Loome Theological Books.  Owner, proprietor, bookseller extraordinaire, and fellow Misfit, Chris Hagen, has invited us to have our meeting there.  We appreciate this kind offer and the venue it affords.

Our meeting at Claret Farm will also be a Christmas Party for the Misfits.  I do hope as many of you as possible can attend and help us celebrate not only our love of reading Catholic literature, but also to recognize the great fellowship shared by men who love our Faith and the Catholic Church..  Our book discussion and celebration will start at 7:00 pm.  Please let me know what you can bring by way of treats, delectable's, or something to imbibe.  (I plan to bring a mulled wine.  I believe Misfit Druffner will bring a Bourbon suitable for the occasion.)  We will have a good time as we begin our celebrations in anticipation of the miraculous birth of the Christ Child.

Please come and help us celebrate.  And also, please let me know if you are coming.

And finally, we will read the second book of the Space Trilogy, Perelandra in January, 2014 and the third book, That Hideous Strength, in February, 2014.

May God bless each of you,

Misfit Buzz

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Who said it? An Exercise in Historical Theology

Who said it?
Hint: the quotations are historically chronological and each one is from a different author.

1. “It has always been the custom of Catholics, and still is, to prove the true faith in these two ways; first by the authority of the Divine Canon [Scripture], and next by the tradition of the Catholic Church. Not that the Canon [Scripture] alone does not of itself suffice for every question, but seeing that the more part, interpreting the divine words according to their own persuasion, take up various erroneous opinions, it is therefore necessary that the interpretation of divine Scripture should be ruled according to the one standard of the Church’s belief.”

2. “We believe the successors of the apostles and prophets only in so far as they tell us those things which the apostles and prophets have left in their writings.”

3. “Scripture has an absolute sovereignty; it is of divine origin, even in its literary form; it governs Tradition and the Church, whereas it is not governed by Tradition or the Church.”

4. “It is clear, therefore, that Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the teaching authority of the Church, in accord with God’s most wide design, are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, and that all together and each in its own way under the action of the one Holy Spirit contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”

5. “It is already possible to identify the areas in need of fuller study before a true consensus of faith can be achieved . . . the relationship between Sacred Scripture, as the highest authority in matters of faith, and Sacred Tradition, as indispensable to the interpretation of the Word of God.”

Hint #2: This collection of quotes inspired by the reading of Vincent of LĂ©rins and the Development of Christian Doctrine by Thomas G. Guarino.

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Loome Theological Booksellers in the News

Dear Loominaries,

Since moving to Claret Farm last year a couple news organizations took notice and printed some articles about the move.  Also, I was recently interviewed about "Why Catholic Books still Matter".  This post simply collects all three articles together in one place.

The first was an article written by Susan Klemon of the Catholic Spirit newspaper.  She visited the farm one morning and did a long interview with me and my wife.  You can read the article here.

Me and Christelle
Then on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary Joseph O'Brien sat down with me for another lengthy interview for the Catholic Times.  How do these reporters condense such long interviews into their short articles?  Read the article here.

Me and books.
Lastly, I found a request in my inbox one day from Brandon Vogt for an interview regarding the state of Catholic books.  He emailed me the questions and I answered them at my own pace.  After asking my wife and colleagues at the bookstore to review my answers I sent them back to Brandon.  He published the interview on his blog here.

Me and Oxford
The hard thing about promoting your favorite bookstore as the owner, is that it often involves promoting yourself.  Therefore, although I've included pictures of me in this posting, what is most important is that good books get in the hands of good people who will read and study them into the Truth.  That's what Loome Theological Booksellers is all about and why I promote the work of the bookstore.

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