Books about Education and Formation

Education and formation are inseparable. Education is the process by which our ideas and emotions are shaped, which in turn shapes our action, which in turn shapes our characters. These are books that I have found deeply helpful in deepening my understanding of who God is, who I am, and how I can enter more fully into the Reality for which He created me…in other words, be (trans)formed more fully into the imago dei.

Confessions by St. Augustine
This was a grad school book, and the third time I’ve read it. I was 18 and 25 the first two times, young and arrogant and holier-than-thou, or at least holier than St. Augustine. (I cringe at the recollection of who I have been. Thank the Lord for His patience and mercy.) Reading it this time around I was struck again and again by how very contemporary it is: Augustine’s struggle with his desires for sex, honor, glory, pleasure, and knowledge are all still relevant. But more relevant still is his impassioned desire for God. The book is written as a prayer, and in reading it, I found myself praying alongside him. This is a book I will be returning to again and again for its wisdom and soul-searching honesty and for the way it gives me words to understand my own desire for God, and how quickly that desire can be satisfied with lesser things.

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