Friday, August 28, 2009

Recent Reading: Milestones, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

During my week-long vacation down to Sanibel Island, Florida, I brought a bunch of books with me to read. I did a lot of the driving, and I have a tendency to get distracted a lot while reading (especially when there are four other people nearby — like in the car), so I read depressingly slowly, even by my standards. I completed one book and made it half-way through another. (I also bought two books at an antique store -- Ben Hur, and Literature and Dogma by Matthew Arnold.)

The first book I read, which I finished, was Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger. It was an interesting and quaint journey through the first 50 years of his life. There is some humor, some drama, some sadness... a well-rounded life, I would say.

Over the next several days, I'll post some excerpts from the book that I found notable for sharing or else personally meaningful:
I was born on Holy Saturday, April 16, 1927 [...] I was baptized immediately on the morning of the day I was born with the water that had just been blessed. (At that time the solemn Easter Vigil was celebrated on the morning of Holy Saturday.) To be the first person baptized with the new water was seen as a significant act of Providence. I have always been filled with thanksgiving for having had my life immersed in this way in the Easter mystery, since this could only be a sign of blessing. To be sure, it was not Easter Sunday but Holy Saturday, but, the more I reflect on it, the more this seems to be fitting for the nature of our human life: we are still awaiting Easter; we are not yet standing in the full light but walking toward it full of trust. (p. 8)

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