Friday, February 27, 2015

Review: I Will Breathe

I Will Breathe
I Will Breathe by Regina Puckett

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a big fan of Regina Puckett's writing and this new release did not disappoint. I Will Breathe is a smart and witty steampunk story, set in the time after the Great War. When tough-talking scavenger Liberty gets saddled with a robot called Boy, her quiet and self-centered life changes. As their relationship evolves, we are treated to Ms. Puckett's vision of a post-apocalyptic world, where safety is found in the dizzying heights of the sky, while the land below offers a realm of opportunity, discovery and danger.

I Will Breathe displays Ms. Puckett's classic wit and masterful story-telling skills as she deftly develops a charming tale with story elements that echoed the universal themes of new beginnings found in creation stories and classic stories such as Pinocchio.

I have barely finished reading I Will Breathe and I'm already looking forward to Ms. Puckett's next tale!

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Friday, February 06, 2015

Review: The Flame of Love

The Flame of Love
The Flame of Love by Elizabeth Kindelmann

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not sure what to make of Elizabeth Kindelmann's life and her many visions (locutions) with Jesus and Mary, recorded in these journals.

What I liked:
I enjoyed reading about this woman's deep faith. The effects on her soul of her talks with Jesus reminded me of St. Teresa's own torments.

What I am unsure of:
That Jesus and Mary would have so many conversations with one person, essentially saying the same thing, over and over, for fifty years. That Jesus had to keep repeating his urgent request to Elizabeth to go speak to her priest and to her Bishop. She would eventually do it, but not with the haste that I would expect someone to move given the source of the request. Also, she would periodically recant everything she was asked to convey on behalf of our Blessed Mother and her Son. Lastly, I did not feel the reverence or inspiration that I would imagine feeling if I were reading a text that held actual transcriptions of a person's intimate conversations with Jesus and Mary.

Another problem, possibly the biggest one that concerns me, is that this edited version of Kindlemann's journal contains a hundred times more of Jesus' words than what He says in the Gospels combined. Since this journal has received so many imprimaturs, why is it not being considered as another Gospel, then?

With so many of His words recorded on page after page, Jesus is reduced to another character in a book, and that concerns me. At one point, Jesus appears as Elizabeth is preparing to eat one of her infrequent lunches - she fasts more often than she eats - and she just proceeds to eating while Jesus speaks to her. I've never been privy to personal Divine revelations, but I could guess that I would not continue chewing on my pb & j sandwich while Jesus addressed me.

I would have to say that ultimately I was not convinced - at least not enough to start fasting on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, as we are asked to do.

Still, I recommend people read Elizabeth's journals and make up their minds. Hopefully, their hearts will be converted to The Cause, if that is God's will.

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Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Review: The Interior Castle

The Interior Castle
The Interior Castle by Teresa of Ávila

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

St. Teresa of Avila explains, in her own personal way, the subtle rooms of the soul as one delves deeper into one's faith in search of God - who dwells at the center of the soul.

There are a great many perils to be frought and to be overcome along the way, but the fight is a worthwhile one, since Jesus is waiting to welcome us into the seventh and final room.

I enjoyed this biography/how-to book although, to be honest, my initial incentive to read it was only as a prelude to reading St. John of the Cross' Dark Night of the Soul.

Given St. Teresa's frequent references to her previous biography "Life" I will now read that one before reading St. John of the Cross.

The Interior Castle is the perfect book for Catholics looking to read a Church classic during Lent.

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