Today’s Gospel (Mk 4:35-41) struck me as particularly relevant to me (and many others, I’m quite sure) in these turbulent times in our nation and in our world. Jesus’ words (above) to His disciples in the boat being tossed about in a storm tracks very well with the tempest we are experiencing in these days. It is quite easy to fall into discouragement and even fear regarding seemingly unending and increasingly turbulent civil unrest, a devastating pandemic raging for nearly a year, and upheavals in government policy just beginning but sure to be exacerbated in the coming days. It is important to be aware of what it going on in all of these areas and to do what we can to deal with them (beginning and ending with prayer). But we never must forget who is in charge and who wins in the end. So let us be at peace, a tranquility that comes with faith in a God who said, “I will never forsake you or abandon you” (Heb 13:5).
Out of curiosity, I counted how many books I read in 2020 (a number easy to determine since I post every book I read along with a short review on Goodreads). Fifty-seven books (59 if I add two books finished in the first days of this year) were polished off in a year in which reading became a leading pastime for many folks. You can see all my books and reviews here, but i thought I would highlight seven (a biblically perfect number) in no particular order:
- A Church in Crisis by Ralph Martin
- Columbus and the Crisis of the West by Robert Royal
- Knowing the Love of God by Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange
- The Sacramental Mystery by Paul Haffner
- The End and the Beginning by George Weigel
- Lessons in Hope by George Weigel
- Work Play Love by Mike Aquilina
I already have at least two books for Lenten reading in the dock:
- What Christ Suffered by Thomas McGovern
- St. Joseph and His World by Mike Aquilina (for March 19, the Feast of St. Joseph)
You will not find a better resource for vaccine ethics than the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Go to https://www.ncbcenter.org/bioethics-resources and click on “COVID-19” for a wealth of information on this important subject. Stay informed in knowledge and conscience.