Saturday, December 01, 2007

An open letter to Pope Benedict

Your Holiness,

It's me, your favorite (just kidding). I've got a problem and I'm hoping you can fix it for me.

For the past year or so, I've been bringing your book, Jesus of Nazareth, into the confessional on Saturday mornings. It's phenomenal. It's great. Thank you for writing it. But my problem is this: it's got so much "packed in" it, that it's taking me longer than I ever expected to read it. More than a year later, and I just began chapter eight today! Now I know I'm not the brightest bulb in the lamp, and thankfully there have been weeks when the number of penitents coming for Confession have made it impossible for me to read more than a page or two, but still there's so much there to devour. Now you've got me wanting to read the books you mention in your book, like Neusner's A Rabbi Talks With Jesus from Ch. 4!

Now, to add to my reading, you've written this brand new encyclical on the virtue of hope (which means I'll probably want to skim through your last encyclical on the virtue of love just to "bring myself up to speed"). Plus, I keep hearing that there's more volumes of Jesus of Nazareth coming down the pike. Finally, I've still got loads of Ignatius Press stuff of yours that I either read years ago and forgot, or haven't read yet.

Holy Father, please, can you slow down a bit? You name it: I'll buy you a Playstation 3, Nintendo Wii, boxed sets of past seasons of CSI, whatever. You like Sudoku? I bet you'd be great at it. I'll get you enough Sudoku puzzles to fill your free time, just give me a chance to catch up!

This is what I wanted to tell you when I met you last October. However, as you probably recall, I was a nervous mess who couldn't put words together in a sentence. So if you lay off the writing for a while, I promise to send you a big, hefty gift card for you to spend on yourself.


Fr. Jay Toborowsky


Anonymous said...

Great stuff, Father. You remind me I want to go back and re-read a whole tonne of the Holy Father's works.

Father Schnippel said...

Fr. Jay,

I am having the same issues with our beloved Holy FAther. Today, I brought the new encyclical with me 'into the box,' an hour and a half scheduled, and I didn't get one word in on the virtue of hope. To make matters worse, I was gonna use the encyclical for my homily! Now what am I going to do?!?!

Jeff Miller said...

His writings are as densely packed as matter in a black hole, but I say pour it on!

Unknown said...

Umm.... while I can agree with the fine Fathers about his holiness' prolificness of arent you glad youve been to busy to read 'in the box'?

ignorant redneck said...

Fr. Jay,

I right there with you! I'm still trying to digest "Jesus of Nazareth", I've not started on the "spirit of the Liturgy", or on "Deus Caritas Est" and now we have this new encyclical.

It's enough to make me live up to my handle!

Rev. Daren J. Zehnle, J.C.L., K.C.H.S. said...

Fr. Jay,

You've written a great letter but I'd greatly appreciate it if you didn't send that letter :)

The Holy Father's insights are brilliant and I want to be able to read more and more of them until I'm dead. The more of his thoughts he can give to the world the better!

I, like you, have yet to finish Jesus of Nazareth, for the same reasons, and I, too, have a stack of his books yet to read. Nevertheless, I say, "Keep them coming, Holy Father!"

Father Schnippel said...


I was certainly glad to give up the time spent reading for freeing people of sins in Confession.

ashley said...

I too have a massive reading list of things by the Pope or recommended by the Pope. ANs that's in addition to my reading for school.

Unknown said...

We're having a Jesus of Nazarath book reading at Assumption Grotto Parish in Detroit. I don't think Father Bustamante will reach chapter one by the first of the year! Hands were raised across the room questioning and analyzing each word and sentence through the Introduction. This book will certainly require some dedicated reading time!