Since last time:The Prayers of St. Isaac the Syrian,
published by Divine Ascent Press. Just a very short pamphlet but extremely powerful.
As my soul bows to the ground I offer to you with all my bones and with all my heart the worship that befits you. O glorious God, who dwell in ineffable silence, you have built for my renewal a tabernacle of love on earth where it is your good pleasure to rest, a temple made of flesh and fashioned with the most holy oil sanctuary. [. . .] In wonder at it, angelic beings are submerged in silence, awed at the dark cloud of this eternal mystery and at the flood of glory which issues from within this source of wonder, for it receives worship in the sphere of silence from every intelligence that has been sanctified and made worthy of you.
『結局、「1%に集中できる人」がすべてを変えられる』 (In the end, the person who can focus on the 1% can change everything)
by Fujiyoshi Tatsuzo.
Basically it is a self-improvement book (in Japanese) aimed at people who are so overwhelmed with all the things that they have to do that they don't know what to do, so there are a lot of tips about eliminating things that are unnecessary in one's life (ranging from unnecessary social engagements to unnecessary thoughts and beliefs), focusing one's energy completely on whatever is the most important task in front of you, and also on finding out what it is that you most want to do in life and figuring out what you need to do to achieve it. I felt like the author took a long time to say things that could have been said much more briefly; also I didn’t do any of the exercises he recommended, so whatever benefit can be gotten out of this book, the amount I actually got out of it is minimal. It was not bad, though--but also not great.
Not quite done with, but I will go ahead and list:
新完全マスター文法 日本語能力試験N2 (New Complete Master Grammar: JLPT N2)
It's a workbook for the JLPT N2. (I already did a N1 workbook a while ago but I thought I'd go back and review what I skipped.) Very helpful and well put-together. The workbook I used for N1, N1文法スピードマスター (N1 Grammar Speed Master), which was made by a different company, was also helpful and wasn't a bad book, but between the two I would definitely recommend the Complete Master series for people who are studying JLPT grammar.
That's all for things I have finished reading or almost finished reading (or working through in the case of the workbook) since I last posted. But I read a few short works from The Apostolic Fathers (ed. Jack Sparks) so I guess I'll share those.
Polycarp’s Letter to Philippi
was indeed, as the editor said, very lacking in originality and was mostly rearranged quotations and paraphrases from the New Testament. The Martyrdom of Polycarp
was mildly interesting, but I had heard all the best bits already in lectures and sermons.
From I Clement,
one interesting point was that Clement saw Rahab’s cloth that she hung outside her window in order for her and her family not to be killed as symbolic of salvation in Christ (similar to the Passover). I also liked the phrase “savior of those in despair” from 59.3. I feel like there was something else I felt was noteworthy but I can't remember what it was. I think it mostly felt very similar to the New Testament.