Spiritual Warfare Forum: what to do with books
what to do with books QUESTION from Kathryn on October 1, 2002 My question is what am I to do with books which people have given me which I feel are contrary to my faith? Worse they are not plainly contrary to my Catholic beliefs, but they are insidiously, indirectly, and deceptively so.
After writing this I know at some level that I should dispose of them. But I can't help but feel a disdain for burning books. I am thinking of tearing them up and then putting them in the garbage. This seems less zealous and ritualistic. Have you ever had to do this?
The books are: something about the Enneagram (a concept that my sister was pushing on me for years which I disliked even as a fallen away Catholic! and now really disdain as a returned Catholic. Another is about Rumi, given to me wih great love by a fallen away Jewish now weakly New Age friend. Another is some rendition of a Chinese classic--the Lao Tzu? or authored by Lao Tzu. (Sorry, they are not in front of me.) Another is a (harmless?) work of fiction which recently won the esteemed Booker Prize. It extols and also trivializes lust and fornication and I cannot give it my time and take it in any more than I would eat broken glass. It insults me to read a review on the cover: Morally beguiling... Ugh!
I have considered a plan to keep some of these (Lao Tzu), but write a long essay to be placed inside describng all the ways it is either irrelevant or contrary to Gospel values and Catholic teachings. But this plan sounds stupid not to mention taxing...
Do you think a book in one's home itself presents a danger to someone such as myself who believes he is not sympathetic to or persuaded by its contents? Did the early Church Fathers ever discuss issues like this? What would you do?
Thank you for your time.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on October 8, 2002 Dear Miss Kathryn:
The books are not a danger in-and-of-themselves unless there is a demonic attachement to the book (which sometimes happens). Reading the books for academic reasons is not necessarily a danger if you are well-versed and confident in the faith and know how to recognize subtle threats to the Faith.
As for keeping the books on your bookshelf, if you would prefer no to keep them as they have no interest in them it can be difficult to know what to do with them. I understand not wanting to destroy them. I get visions of the novel Fahrenheit 451 when thinking of that. And one does not want to give them to a book sale were others might become contaminated by their contents. you can send them to us, if you want.
We do have a need for such books as we do research and write papers on various issues of the new age and the like. If you would like to donate them to us, rather than destroy them, our address is:
Legion of St. Michael 307 N. Richmond St. P.O. Box 184 Roscoe, SD 57471
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