Held hostage, though, by the ubiquitous coverage and conversation around me. I said I wouldn’t talk about it anymore – and I’m not going to. But, I’m still paying attention. And Fr. Andrew Greeley got it with this column: Sadomasochism Glorified. Amen.

When I first came back to the Catholic Church, one of the ways I learned about it was by reading Greeley’s novels. While somewhat formulaic, they were nonetheless enjoyable, entertaining and informative. His view of God, as revealed through his loving and struggling characters is one of LOVE and PASSION. This resonates with my experience of a God who has loved me into being and continues to push me to be more loving of myself and others.

Of the many, many books, my favorites are those which feature Fr. Blackie Ryan (later Bishop Blackie) as the smart, unassuming, fiercely intelligent, detective whose love of God is invariably strengthened by his love of a good scotch, his Irish American clan and a good myster.

One learns through novels (stories being how we make sense of our world.) I learned a lot about how a Pope is chosen from his entertaining tale, White Smoke. That’s knowledge we’re all going to need someday.