The Friar Book Club

Currently there are two books we are working on. The Confessions of Saint Augustine is a classic autobiography of the great Church Fathers life. The Reed of God is a spiritual classic by Caryll Houselander.

The Friar Book Club offers an opportunity to read and hear books, as well as to get commentaries of books. We began with the Confessions of Saint Augustine. We have also added commentary on The Reed of God.

When I was a diocesan priest, the bishop at the time used to encourage the high school students at their confirmation to get involved in those things the parish offered. The challenge to me was that for the life of me, in many parishes, I wasn’t sure what that would be they could get involved in. I recently read on the Forming Intentional Disciples Facebook Group the frustration that it was hard to find things to offer people who were seeking to get involved with in their parish, since they felt there was nothing really available to become involved in.

This lead me to think that maybe I could help. I am a Dominican friar, and this website has been a great source of blessing to me and to others. So, I have decided to start a collection of books I have found interesting, either to comment on them by chapter (usually because the book is still under copyright and so I cannot post it), or to read aloud and post the text online. I’ve started with The Confessions of Saint Augustine. I will post a reading for the week from Saint Augustine’s Confessions, with some questions to consider. This can be used as an individual or as a group. I have chosen Saint Augustine’s book for two reasons. First, and most important, it is a great story of conversion that I think might get each of us thinking about our own need to convert. Second, since it is in the public domain, I can post the reading for each week here without copyright considerations.

I will provide both the written text, as well as an audio version you can listen to as a podcast. Stay tuned!

The Confessions of Saint Augustine

Each Monday we will post a new set of chapters from The Confessions of Saint Augustine. As The Confessions of Saint Augustine are not copyrighted, you can either read the chapter sections on our website, or listen to them as a podcast. Either way, the hope is that you will benefit by reading/hearing The Confessions of Saint Augustine, and pondering the questions we offer at the end of each section. Here is hoping you enjoy The Friar Book Club’s first selection.

The Confessions of Saint Augustine Chapters 3-5. As we look to these next chapters, Augustine is pondering the very nature of God. And what he discovers is that there is much about God that to his mind seems to be a paradox. God fills the earth, yet does not contain it. God is in all things, but is not all things. We owe God a debt, but God never loses anything. Even though we cannot pay the debt, God is no less complete.

The Confessions of Saint Augustine: — Chapters 1 and 2. At the beginning of Augustine’s Confessions is a reference to Pelagius, who shares a belief that is probably common to many even though it is heresy. Namely, Pelagius believed that we were able to achieve our salvation by our own efforts, that we were not wounded by Adam’s sin. On some level it can be seen as a popular image of God holding a scale, our good works on one side of the scale and our evil deeds on the other. Then, whichever weighs more gets us into even. Namely, we earn our salvation because of what we do.

The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Introduction. For the purpose of clarity, it seemed helpful to provide some definitions and explanations for some of the things mentioned in this introduction. Note that understanding these ideas is not essential to understand Augustine’s confessions.

Other Books in The Friar Book Club: The Reed of God (Commentary)

I have long been a fan of Caryll Houselander’s The reed of God. Even though we are continuing with The Confessions of Saint Augustine, it seemed appropriate during this Advent season to make Houselander’s The Reed of God available as well.

Commentary on The Reed of God – Part 4: Our Lady’s Seeking

Commentary on the Reed of God – Part Three: Idol

Commentary on The Reed of God – Part Three: The Lost Child

Commentary on The Reed of God – Part Two: Et Verbum Caro Factum Est

Commentary on The Reed of God – Part Two: Fugue

Commentary on The Reed of God – Part One: Et Homo Factus Est

Commentary on The Reed of God – Part One: Emptiness

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