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Stop Reading!

alec vanderboom

I wish I had a dollar for every time someone at Carmel told me about this fabulous new spiritual book they were reading and how much it was going to change their life.  Excessive spiritual reading is a problem. It steals time. It steals silence. It's counter-productive.

Here is why:

  • Throughout time, there have been millions of amazing Christians who couldn't read. Believing that God can only communicate to you through books, is incredibly arrogant.
  • The Saints are real. If there is a Saint who has adopted you, then they will get their book into your hands. You will receive it as a gift. You'll find it for $1 at Walmart while you shop for wrapping paper and scotch tape. You'll find the perfect Saint's quote on Facebook when you check Reese's Rainbow. You'll hear a great quote in a homily while at church. The Saints take an active role in getting the right words into your head when you are ready to receive it. Remember, the right Saint at the right time, finds you. You don't need to waste time trying to find them.
  • Saints are people too. One deep and meaningful friendship with one Saint will change your life more than a slight acquaintanceship with hundreds of Saints. 
  • Reading is easier than writing. Reading is easier than praying. Yet our world needs more prayer, and more writers who actually sit quietly with Jesus each day. 
  • The best spiritual book is the Bible. The word of God is alive, it strikes at the heart.
  • The saints are helpful in highlighting certain aspects of Jesus--but remember they are always pointing us back to Christ. Christ is the main friendship of our hearts. We meet him in the Gospel.
I'm very firm about this because I'm a recovering "over-reader." The only thing that stopped me, was my poverty. My family became too poor to buy books. My relationships with reading and writing is so much more healthy and less "attached", or "disordered" now that I don't over read. My prayer life is better too.