An angel arranged for me to receive a copy (two, in fact) of the Clear Faith Publishing’s recent book Naked, And You Clothed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle A. It follows last year’s Hungry, and You Fed Me: Homilies and Reflections for Cycle C. Both are edited and published by Deacon Jim Kipper (I admire him a lot for having joined the Catholic Worker movement after college…)
I can think of several special reasons for buying Naked, And You Clothed Me, apart from being a great read. One springs to my mind right away: all proceeds go to charities. The fact that they take care of homeless women, men, families and very poor babies goes straight to my hear (the time of my life dearest to my heart is when I worked alongside homeless women and men in La Perla in viejo San Juan). One charity, the Bethesda Project, takes care of homeless women and men; another, Dress For Success Mercer County, helps disadvantaged women; a third, HomeFront focuses on homeless families; and the last one, Newborns In Need, helps needy babies.
It is a book to be used throughout the Liturgical year. Still, to buy it now is one way of ensuring that some people truly in need of help will be able to receive it thanks to this book.
I have another reason to like this work: it has 25 contributors, seven of whom are women. I am familiar with the writings of several of them, both women and men, so it is a thrill for me to find out how they resonate with the Sunday readings. Each one brings her or his own experience, life story, denomination, heart and thoughts of follower of Christ to share them with us. In a Catholic world where women are only invited to preach on rare occasions, finding a book where their voices can be heard, alongside those from other denominations, is an added treat.
I am pretty sure you will recognize some of the same writers I love: Sr. Simone Campbell, Michelle Francl-Donnay, Fr. Daniel P. Horan OFM, Michael Leach, Fr. James Martin SJ, Christine Valters Paintner, Jan Richardson, Fr. Richard Rohr OFM, and Fran Rossi Spzylczyn, just to name a few.
This weekend I was at a Sacred Heart retreat house in the mountains of Barranquitas (Puerto Rico), with other members of our CLC community. We are preparing the first retreat led by laypeople forlaypeople. Among the books I brought for the book table was Naked, And You Clothed Me. One of my friends snapped the book, exclaiming, Just what I need! His second question was, Where can I get it? Needless to say, I expect several of our team members and participants to have the same enthusiastic reaction as my friend and I have had when they look at it.
Others have recommended this book before:
Faith Meets World, Barry Hudock
Catholic Sensibility, Todd Flowerday and John Donaghy
The Anchoress, Elizabeth Scalia
Dating God, of Daniel P. Horan, OFM
The Parish Blog of St Edward the Confessor, Fran Rossi Szpylczyn
The Deacon’s Bench, Deacon Greg Kandra