Tonight I finished reading The Making of an Ordinary Saint: My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines by Nathan Foster. Nathan is the son of Richard Foster, who is well-known for his classic Celebration of Discipline. Nathan’s book is his story of his own personal journey, sharing many of his struggles along the way, as well as many joyful moments. It is aptly described on the back cover as ‘a book of honesty and hope’. It’s well worth the read and it’s one I’m sure I’ll return to in the future, as I struggle on my own journey with the disciplines.
There are many things I would love to share from the book, but I’d rather you read it yourself. Having said that, there are a couple of quotes I’d like to share, which are quotes that Nathan shared:
This one is from Abbot John Chapman:
Pray as you can, not as you can’t.
And this is from J. Brent Bill:
Words that linger in our hearts are often more helpful than those that pass quickly through our brains.
Hopefully you’ll get the chance to check out this book. You won’t be disappointed.
Not a lot happened today, beyond church and watching Liverpool beat Manchester City. Add to that a couple of hours of reading and a few games of FIFA on the WiiU, making it a fairly restful and enjoyable day. Coffee seems to be a distant memory now, but I’ll probably go back to one or two cups a day after Easter.
In church today mention was made of the fact that once you have left something or somewhere behind it is really hard to go back, even if we are tempted to. I was reminded of a scene in one of my top 5 movies, Cinema Paradiso, the dialogue of which is as follows:
Alfredo: Living here day by day, you think it’s the center of the world. You believe nothing will ever change. Then you leave: a year, two years. When you come back, everything’s changed. The thread’s broken. What you came to find isn’t there. What was yours is gone. You have to go away for a long time… many years… before you can come back and find your people. The land where you were born. But now, no. It’s not possible. Right now you’re blinder than I am.
Salvatore: Who said that? Gary Cooper? James Stewart? Henry Fonda? Eh?
Alfredo: No, Toto. Nobody said it. This time it’s all me. Life isn’t like in the movies. Life… is much harder.
If you haven’t seen it then you’re missing out on a great movie. It’s been a couple of years since I last watched it, so I’ll need to watch it again soon. If you do watch it, try to watch it in Italian, with subtitles, rather than the dubbed version. You won’t be disappointed.
Again this evening I was going through some of my old journals and realised that I forgot that yesterday was the sixth anniversary of when I became a vegetarian. I just could not see any reason for ever going back to meat eating again. It is who I am now. It’s quite easy being a vegetarian really, once you get used to it.
It’s interesting reading things that I wrote a few years ago – some of the things that seemed so important at the time, just seem so trivial now, but I guess that’s how life goes sometimes. There was one quote from The Sacred Way by Tony Jones that I wrote down more than once, so I guess it had impact on me. It’s from page 19 of that book and, in reality, it is true: