From an interview on Speaking of Faith:
"You know, we don’t usually think of reading as a spiritual exercise, but I think it is, because in order to hear a story you have to quiet yourself, and you have to empathize with the characters in the story. And isn’t empathy part of the spiritual life? Isn’t quietude part of the spiriitual life?
And you also discover in the story that you don’t have control. You might like the characters to do one thing or another. You might wish they would make one decision or another. But you can’t control the situation. And part of the spiritual life is learning that we are not always in control.
Also, if we are truly listening then all the details matter. It matters what the color of her hair is or what he’s wearing or what the time of day is. Paying attention to the details of life is part of a spiritual life.""