I am a member of the Seeds of the Word book club – a book club for the soul – at the Redemptorist Renewal Center. You obviously enjoy books or you wouldn’t be visiting this site. I think everyone who enjoys reading should find a book club to participate in.
Yesterday we had our monthly discussion, this one on Flannery O’Connor’s second collection of short stories, Everything That Rises Must Converge. Sixteen readers participate in the discussion moderated by my good friend and avid reader Greg Wiest. Fra Greg moderated Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer several months ago. He did a fine job, so we asked him to do another of his favorite books. He selected O’Connor.
Flannery O’Connor was a practicing Roman Catholic who wrote in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. She died painfully but calmly in 1964 of lupus. She was only 39-years old. Most of her stories contain a shocking touch of violence that at first blush frightens many readers away.
Fra Greg brought her work into perfect perspective when he opened the discussion. “O’Connor writes parables just like Jesus,” he suggested. When Fra Greg referred to my personal favorite story in the collection, “Revelation,” he stated, “This is how Jesus might have told this story,
The kingdom of God is like a pig farmer’s wife who enters a medical clinic waiting room….
And about the story “Parker’s Back,”
The kingdom of God is like an ex-sailor who loves tattoos and falls in love with a Christian fundamentalist ….
This post isn’t about Flannery O’Connor or Father Greg. It’s about reading. If you are the avid reader I think you may be, find a book club in your community and get involved. You will be pleasantly amazed at where it can lead you.