Peter J. Floriani, computer science and Catholic adventure/sf novelist extraordinaire, has written several interesting nonfiction books too. His newest one is about the Rosary as… something really geeky….
The Rosary is a thoroughly Christ-centered prayer, a most intellectual tool for deep exploration of the Gospels, a thoroughly rational action which demands your intellectual power as well as your creative skills. This is what one expects from such a simple tool, designed with the genius of both engineering and art, yet endowed with all the power of theology, history, and philosophy.
If you want to know more about Christ, you need to study His life constantly, and the Rosary is a most suitable way of accomplishing that purpose. Even if you had the mental power to carry all four Gospels verbatim in your memory, you should still use the Rosary, for the Gospels are just the written description we have available, and the Life of Christ is far larger than they are. One of the most critical parts of every lab report and every journal article is titled “Discussion of Results” – and that is part of what the Rosary entails.
Floriani’s novels and books are only available in dead tree format. (Alas!) But they are worth any added trouble or expense. His writing is eccentric in a pleasant way, but he is an eminently sane and sensible thinker and believer. So I bought the book just based on the description, and am waiting for it to arrive so that I can chew on it.
But there is a free sample in the Look Inside feature on Amazon. His opening quotes link The Amateur Astronomer’s Handbook (“An unrecorded observation is an observation wasted”) with the Gospel of St. Luke (“Mary kept all these words, pondering them in her heart”). To record, to remember, and to ponder are intimately bound together.
The book also apparently provides a scheme for internalizing the new twenty Mysteries format, as opposed to the older fifteen Mysteries. (There had historically been zillions of different schemes of Mysteries before the fifteen Mysteries common today were developed, so there’s no single original one.) I’m the kind of person who likes having a scheme, so I’ll be interested to see his idea worked out. The free sample is quite extensive, though, and lets you see all sorts of interesting discussion. So check it out. (Did you know that “Gethsemane” means “olive-oil press”? Poor Jesus, that’s exactly what His agony was like….)
Seriously, though, this is impressive. It is hard to say anything new or surprising about the Rosary without straying into BS, but Floriani has managed it.
UPDATE: Got it. It’s another gorgeous and geeky Floriani book, and I’m learning a lot.