I am one of those terrible people that make librarians cringe. I write in books. Not in library books, of course, but my own. But those lovers of books known as librarians probably can't stand to watch people like me starring, exclamation pointing, and underlining to my heart's content.
I can't help it. I read something that at the moment is the best thing I have ever read in my life, and well, I don't want to forget it. Since my daughter broke me of the habit of folding page corners, I've resorted to the habit of marking up my books.
If I didn't do it, then I might miss telling you about some things I have recently read in Mary, Mirror of the Church by Raniero Cantalamessa that are truly amazing. For instance, he says:
"Mary offered herself to God as a clean page on which he could write whatever he wanted."
Now I know that Cantalamessa surely didn't invent this image, but what if I were to take that as my motto? What would my days look like? Would I know longer be irritated by interruptions, because they are not interruptions at all, but just God writing?
Would it help me to set my own agenda aside and be open to God's plan, which is always better?
What about Cantalamessa's insight that "Mary is the example of the divine disproportion between what can be seen exteriorly and what is taking place within"?
I've added the following Tertullian quote he provides, to my Quotes page and am trying to commit it to memory because it is so profound:
"Nothing disconcerts the human mind as much as the simplicity of the divine works when compared to the great effects they obtain . . ."
Wow! Think about that! This leads to so many other things. The simplicity of the divine works. What are those?
Well, the bread and wine that is so simple becomes the savior of the world!
The simple "I do" said by a bride and her husband which is bonding for life!
Human conception, which starts so simply and creates a human being in the image of God!
And if you carry it further, what about how simple our work in cooperation with God can truly be, compared to what he can accomplish in us?
Or how God simply calls us to love others and we make it so hard!
Reflecting on the simplicity of the divine works would take volumes to cover, but then to move on to the second part of that quote "when compared to the great effects they obtain" moves us to wonder and awe at the power of God. More volumes could be written and lead us to gratitude for all God has done.
I hope I can be forgiven for my underlining and writing in my book, but these insights are far too great to be left unmarked!
I hope you will check out this book. It is loaded with insights that cause one to pause in contemplation. See if you can find gems that you can apply to your life as well.