Why? Why can't I stop reading "frugal living" books?
Life Stories

Basement Reading: Letters to Malcolm

I must say, one good thing came out of last week's basement cleaning extravaganza/existential book crisis. I realized there's a lot of books in my basement I haven't read yet. So periodically for the rest of this year I think I'd like to delve into some basement books and see what I find.

As last week was the last week of Lent, a.k.a. Holy Week, I thought I would start with a C.S. Lewis selection titled Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. Good Catholics actually give something up for Lent, but I was too weak (although I tried to go easier on the butter--we're starting to go through it at a scary pace around here, and Mr. CR doesn't really use a lot of butter, so we know who the culprit is there), so I thought maybe spending a little more time on religious reading might be a good plan.

It's a short book, in the form of letters Lewis wrote to a friend, Malcolm, and covering their discussions on prayer. Nothing too deep--they discuss using pre-written prayers vs. more free-form ones, etc.--but still a very thoughtful little book. And each letter, or chapter, is only a few pages long, so it makes for good bedtime reading. I'd read it before, but I find with Lewis you can read all his stuff again and again and always find something new.

But this time what I found was something I'd remembered from my first reading of this book: "The Jones boy's name is Cyril--though why you find it so important to pray for people by their Christian names I can't imagine. I always assume God knows their surnames as well. I am afraid many people appear in my prayers only as 'that old man at Crewe' or 'the waitress' or even 'that man.' One may have lost, or may never have known, their names and yet remember how badly they need to be prayed for." (p. 18.)

I always got a kick out of that, as I am a former waitress, and believe me, we'll take all the prayers we can get. Although, if the choice is between a prayer and a big fat tip, go with the big fat tip.