I received this book before I left for Italy. I thought I would be able to get through it and review it before I made the pilgrimage, but isn’t that how life goes? Michael Seagriff’s Fleeting Glimpses of The Silly, Sentimental and Sublime is a book full of personal memories of his life, faith and journey toward grace.
Each time I set to read one vignette, it turned into three and I spent a good amount of time smiling and even more time realizing how my life could be reflected on through the way he “breaks open the bread” of his life.
As I read through, I highlighted what caught me, because as his title suggests, the glimpses he shares are fleeting. I would like to share a few with you here:
…the proud shall be humbled, and pick up your pants.
This comes as a revelation to Seagriff, who after much daydreaming about his glory days on the basketball court, he is asked to play for a fundraiser years later, and has an embarrassing moment. Not one to let it live him down, he brings a sense of humor and perspective that you’d expect from a Lay Dominican.
One of the reasons we don’t always trust Him is our failure to understand the necessity and value of the suffering He asks of us. In our current world, many of us to everything we can to avoid suffering. We see little meaning in it.
How true, this quote is tucked into the chapter entitled “Crosses or Toothpicks”, my favorite chapter. Maybe it’s the season I’m in. I don’t question God for the sketch he’s drawn for my life, but I wonder at the weight in which He draws (and maybe if he can whip out an eraser from time to time).
In the end, I was taken with a prayer he included, which I would love to find out if it was the beginning of how he came upon his second book, Forgotten Truths to Set Faith Afire! A compilation of quotes from scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Church Doctors, Popes and Saints. This one, is by one of my favorite saints, St. Francis de Sales:
The everlasting God has in His wisdom foreseen from eternity
the cross that He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart.
This cross He now sends you
He has considered with His all-knowing eyes,
understood with His Divine mind,
tested with His wise justice,
warmed with loving arms
and weighed with His own hands
to see that it be not one inch too large
and not one ounce too heavy for you.
He has blessed it with His holy Name,
anointed it with His consolation,
taken one last glance at you and your courage,
and then sent it to you from heaven,
a special greeting from God to you,
an alms of the all-merciful love of God.
This book had everything, family, ministry (he does work with prison inmates!), humor and a theology that reads in such a way that you’d never know you were being taught. Pick it up, but don’t let the short chapters deceive ya, he’ll have you thinking long after you turn the page.
For more information, please visit his blog Harvesting the Fruits of Contemplation.
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Next month, I’ll be pairing up with Tiffany at Life of a Catholic Librarian, where we’ll review a book (fiction people!!) written by Erin McCole Cupp titled Don’t You Forget About Me. I am actually meeting up with her in person, in a few weeks to chat about all things DYFAM (as the book fans call it!) I can hardly wait to share the details of the book, the interview and our meeting! In the meantime if you wanna read it before hand…GET IT!
Tiffany and I were chatting and we’d like to pair up and promote Catholic writers going forward, because they need our support too! Please head over to her site where she’s reviewed so many already for your next read!