Wednesday, 15 February 2012

My Three Favourite Books - Yes I've Been Meme'd (?)

Read it! Or I'll send the boys 'round.
Oh well here goes, head first into the 21st Century.

Apparently I've received a "meme" from Richard at Linen on the Hedgerow Blog.

I had no idea what this meant. my first thought was that a meme was an unmarried French lady, but I don't think Richard would use them as a currency (he seems far too civilised).

So what is it to be "tagged on a meme?" I'm still not 100% sure, but apparently I have to name my three favourite (Catholic) books and then ask some other bloggers to do the same.

Oh the mantle of responsibility! I may have dreaded that this day would come. Like a humble Cardinal not wishing to receive the Keys of Peter... but duty has called, so here goes.

As of today (and Lord knows this may change) here are my favourite three books:

1. The History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland by William Cobbett. Although a protestant, Cobbett pulls apart the Reformation in such a way that the reader will think it bizarre that he didn't convert. He looks primarily at the social impact of the Reformation, which is vital for English/British and to an extent even Irish history. There are so many books dealing with the liturgical aspects (I haven't yet obtained/read Michael Davies's trilogy - but hope to do so eventually) and the impact on the monarchy etc., but Cobbett looks from the lower tiers of society. he also argues forcefully and convincingly against such things as a married priesthood (how apt in today's climate). It's a must-read!

2. God's Secret Agents by Alice Hogg. A boys-own adventure story - but this was real, the life of the priests who struggled and sacrificed to bring the Sacraments to the poor, put-upon Catholics of England and Wales. An "easy" read (as opposed to some more turgid or academic works) it really reminds one of those days, when so much was at risk, so much was lost, and yet some beautiful crowns of martyrdom (whether priests or housewives) were gained to the glory of Wales (yes, and England). It is another must-read.

3. The Flying Inn by G.K. Chesterton. A fun fable by the master of English wit and Catholicism. Here we find the heroes in a future England in which Islam has banned pubs. very un-pc. It is an age since I read this book and I must do so again. The heroes establish their own "underground" travelling pub, with sign and rolling cheese. It is joyous, thoroughly English, irreverent, political (with a small p), imbued with GKC's Catholicism and wit. A great book to hook people on GKC.

Some of those bubbling under: The Lord of the Rings by Tolkien, the famous Brummie Catholic, partly because it was the first "grown up" book I read and had a huge impact. The Counter Reformation 1550-1600 by BJ Kidd, DD, because it brings home how Catholics rallied to defend their Faith, how whole nations were 'won back' through arguing for Catholic Truth. A magnificent read. The Church and the Land by Fr V McNabb, because it reminds one of how 'fighting Catholicism' took its message to the streets, the impact of the whole Chesterbelloc phenomenon, and of those who dream of a 'green and pleasant land'. Radio Replies Vol 1 - 3 by Frs. Rumble and Carty - Cathechetics that pull no punches, they answer the really hard questions that doubting Catholics may have or that enemies of the Church may fling. A beautiful defence of the Church. The Curé d'Ars by Abbe Trochu, which shows just why this Holy Saint is the patron of parish priests. It reads almost like an adventure. The Great heresies by Hilaire Belloc, because the more things change, the more they stay the same. The enemies of the church may tweak here and there, but their heresies remain pretty much the same, attacking on different fronts. The Rash Adventurer by Margeret Forster, because the story of Bonnie prince Charlie can still bring a tear to a manly eye... another "what if..." Christian Institute Briefing Paper: Section 28, which (although Protestant) deals with the realities of allowing pro-homosexual materials in schools. This opened my eyes to some of the awful things homosexuals choose to do... yuch. Then there's William Thomas Walsh's Characters of the Inquisition, which I found incredibly informative after believing so much anti-Catholic propaganda for years. Similarly The Last Crusade by Warren H Carroll deals with more recent Spanish history, and was a revelation. Fires of Faith: Catholic England under Mary Tudor by Eamon Duffy is a fascinating reappraisal of Catholic England after the Edwardine Reforms and overturns 100s of years of "war propaganda" against Catholicism in England. His book The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, c.1400 to c.1580 is a heartbreaking account of those who turned beautiful altars into soulless tables. Columba by Nigel Tranter is the heartwarming story of the Irish Saint-monk who takes monasticism and Catholicism, the Sacraments and the Mass, to the Scottish islands and highlands, into pagan territories. Even the Loch Ness monster gets a look-in (and you know you're on to a good thing when that happens!).

Sorry to warble on, but even though I seem to get less and less time to read the books I want to (I have quite the 'waiting-pile') a good book, an enthralling book, a book that opens one's eyes to the Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Faith that we hold so dear can really and truly lift the soul to Heaven... why else does the modern world turn out such garbage as umpteen Katie Price ("Auto-") Biographies?

I will now seek out three (?) other bloggers to "meme"(?). oh yes you can tell I'm a dab hand at this kind of thing.

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