I heard a story about a saint or a monk who enjoyed reading Cicero. One night, God approached him in a dream, and when He asked who he belonged to, the man responded “I am a Christian”, to which God replied “No, you are a Ciceronian.” And then I heard that he stopped reading secular writings and only read Christian ones.
Is reading secular/non-Christian books sinful? Or is this story just saying that we need to not let secular works draw us away from the Lord?
Edit: This was St. Jerome. God released him from his dream only after he swore off reading pagan literature. Is this a necessary step for every Catholic to take? Jerome later says “What communion has light with darkness?” he continued. “‘And what concord has Christ with Belial?’ (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). How can Horace go with the psalter, Virgil with the gospels, Cicero with the apostle? Is not a brother made to stumble if he sees you sitting at meat in an idol’s temple? (1 Corinthians 8:10). Although ‘unto the pure all things are pure’ (Titus 1:15), and ‘nothing is to be refused if it be received with thanksgiving’ (1 Timothy 4:4), still we ought not to drink the cup of Christ, and, at the same time, the cup of devils (1 Corinthians 10:21).” Wouldn’t this mean that he considers pagan literature sinful to read?