Thursday, July 8, 2010

100 Books Every Woman Should Read - The Odyssey ***

The Complete Woman Blog says: "This tale of homecoming has fascinated for millenia and the Robert Fitzgerald translation makes it as engaging and fast-paced as Homer ought to be. The final destruction of the suitors is hugely satisfying."

When I thought of reading The Odyssey I envisioned a giant tome that would take at least a year to get through. What I got was an easy to read paperback that I finished in two days. Granted, my job allows me 8 straight hours of reading a day, but still.

I would recommend The Odyssey. It's a good story, easy to read, entertaining, and a classic (which means you'll sound intelligent when you say you've read it). There was no glaring immorality in it and even contained, one could argue, a defense of fidelity. I was fascinated by the piety of the characters. If they had been worshipping the one, true God I would have been cheering them on. Nevertheless, I think a lot of Catholics could learn from the piety displayed in this book, given, of course, that they understand that this piety should be directed to God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and not to some bizarre idol (or idols, as the case may be).

One quote that I found thought-provoking was:

"My word, how mortals take the gods to task!
All their afflictions come from us we hear.
And what of their own failings? Greed and folly
double the suffering in the lot of man."

I think this is perfectly theologically true in view of our sins. We often blame suffering on God with no recognition that our sins are the cause of suffering in the first place. That is not to say that the less you sin the less you will suffer, but rather, the closer you are to God the better you will be able to understand and cope with your suffering. This is because you will recognize that this is the price mankind has had to pay for our transgressions and it is a far cry from what we would have had to endure had Christ not suffered Himself and died for us. Due to His great love for mankind God sent His only Son to take our sins and punishment upon Himself. If we truly understand this we will rejoice to share in His sufferings.

Three stars for the Odyssey.

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