I just finished ‘Lit’ by Mary Karr. I had been pin surfing Pinterest searching for books to read and came across this suggestion. The summary made me interested. Two things stood out, addiction and God.
When I choose a book, it depends on timing in my life. Books centered on food such as aspiring chefs, chef stories, restaurant owners, and as a bonus most books contain recipes always amuse me. Of course, I like to read about the faith, but haven’t tapped into one lately where a story is told on how faith became real in their life. And I underline bold face REAL. Memoir faith based books I have read are well, too vanilla.
Another book along the lines of ‘Lit’ titled, ‘Drunks and Monks’ by John Carmichael, gave me something some faith books just don’t. And that’s concrete, hard core (at times) experiences detailed and how each segment of their life shaped them into the strong faith they have now. Not just information on if you are experiencing a struggle, pray to God or learn these exercises and you’ll find peace. But down right, gritty stories that make me grab onto the faith in a deeper way. I get it because in my journey, I can relate.
So, back to ‘Lit’. ‘Lit’ is a memoir written by Mary Karr. Tells her struggles as an adolescent, her parents who are dealing with their selfishness, her addiction, marriage, birth of son, experiences of becoming a writer, and finding Jesus. All this in language that engaged me into a rich, twisted, swirl of captivating literature.
As I began writing for this blog, I noticed that many female, Catholic blog writers carry a certain tone. I know it works for many, but for me, it wasn’t calling my attention. I don’t know if it has to do with age so much as it has to do with upbringing.
I feel as though there are many Catholic women who are being left out of this sphere of unity/belonging. Some may feel they need to shy away from their past in order to get on board. It’s not that the messages these certain point blogs cannot be applied in anyone’s life, it’s the content of the person’s life, to me, is what helps to relate to it. So many different paths go untouched.
Karr shares deep struggles with addiction, not up to par with other students, parents, coworkers. She talks about seeking God and allowing the first step towards prayer which is a few words mentioning God. All this develops into daily exercises and references her prayer life, baptism, and the Catholic Church.
Her writing takes you on a journey of sights, smells, and feelings. It made me think of my own childhood. Many points in the book, I would stop and recall a memory which either brought me joy or pain. There were moments I had forgotten.
What’s even more crazy is the timing of when I finished this book. On Sunday, July 30th mass reading, the gospel was about:
Matthew 13:44-52 Jesus said to his disciples: "The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net thrown into the sea, which collects fish of every kind. When it is full they haul it ashore and sit down to put what is good into buckets. What is bad they throw away. Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. "Do you understand all these things?" They answered, "Yes." And he replied, "Then every scribe who has been instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old."
It’s about truly letting go of one self’s bonds, walls, crutches, addiction, sadness, brokenness, pain, unfulfilled, struggles, unaccomplished.
It’s everywhere I think I am in my life. It made me realize due to some things going in my life right now, how much I still have not let go from my childhood. Karr’s book resonated with me in my own life with similar experiences. Being diagnosed with Lupus gave me the push to learning about my faith, walk with Christ, but over the years til now, it kind of stalled. Life became what it did and I lost a bit of listening. When you running the daily rat race, you don’t! You don’t realize how much more needs to be pulled out of you so that our Lord can rework you. My upbringing and the loss of nurturing a child needs can still rear up its ugly head as an adult.
By working on this with Our Lord, helps me to open up to the next stage in my life. Where does He have me going next?
I hope and pray this is the beginning of that to whomever is reading this post. I’m ready to let go!
May our Dear Lord grant you the awareness you need to see what other areas of your life you need to give up for the pearl of great price to buy that life only Christ can give. Keep praying you want Jesus to take areas of you life still holding you down. +++
6 thoughts on “How the great pearl and Lit found me”
Memories hold us to everything we are. It’s part of the journey our Lord allows us to go through. What we do with our present and future determine whether or not we have grown to be true disciples 💖💖💖
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Yes and whether we are living His will! 💙
I need to read Lit! I really liked the Liars Club and Cherry many years ago when I read Mary Karr’s work for the first time. I had not thought about either of those books for a long time. Thank you for the suggestion and reflection – with my time so limited, I tend to only read faith-based books because so much literature is not-so-great out there on the open market. I will definitely check this one out!
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That’s my next book to read – Liars Club. I read Art of Memoir. It could all be timing too in my life, but this book revealed something I needed. I hear ya! I’m careful too in what I read.
Pinterest – for books?! That’s an idea worth considering.
About unity/belonging and relationship – I suspect that men are similarly-hesitant to commit or risk the effort, too.
My guess is that many of us aren’t particularly aware of the hesitancy. Not until later in life, anyway. My own case is – different, for now-known reasons. (Shameless self-promotion, I talk about that in “Internet Friends, Real People” http://brendans-island.com/catholic-citizen/internet-friends-real-people/ )
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Yes, I know. Who would’ve thunk it!