February 14, 2006


My high-school educated grandparents not only had these [KJV] bibles, but they read them--every day of their lives. I had occasion to go and stay with my grandmother to help her around the house and get her to appointments while my grandfather was in the hospital recovering from surgery. During times in the hospital waiting room, when she wasn't lifting the spirits of other visitors, she was rapt in her Bible. One time my Grandpa S was saying something about the Blessed Virgin (this upon learning that I had wholeheartedly joined the Catholic Church) and my grandmother quoted chapter and verse. Grandpa, "There's nothing so great about Mary." Grandma, "Now, Oscar (her pet name for him) you know it says right there in the Good Book itself, 'Hail thou that art highly favored, Blessed art thou among women. . .'Cain't see any way around that making her special. The good book says so." For any occasion their first recourse was the rich treasury of scripture that they had read, memorized, internalized, and to some degree lived. Both of my grandfathers could give long, and I pleased to say that subsequent research revealed, largely correct talks about the historical background of the books of the Bible, and understood clearly what is often unclear to me in Paul's letters. - Steven Riddle of Flos Carmeli

When folks from my local church gather for an evening meal or adult education class, we usually close with Compline...This service is helping me to understand sleep as part of faithfulness. For it is sheer hypocrisy to pray with my community for a peaceful night and a perfect end if I know I am going home to put in three or four more hours answering email. Sleep more: this may seem a curious answer to the question of what Christians can do for the common good. - Lauren F. Winner, via Terrence Berres

As is so often the case these days, there seems to be a great divide in discourse on this issue [on the cartoons & Muslim violence]. And the divide is not between various opinions, but between the realities that people take into account as they're forming their opinions and responses. A parallel situation might be the situation down on the US-Mexico border. In the debate, some seem to persist in the paradigm that all we are talking about here is huddled masses yearning to be free, but the deeper reality is that we're dealing with drug and people-smuggling cartels, increasingly heavily armed. That calls for more than statements about the human right to support one's family.... I can't begin to really sort out this issue, but I can hope for more honesty. Religious leaders who comment on this need to take more into account than their concerns about blasphemy in general. They need to admit that the destructive, hateful forces at work in some elements of Islam, and that those forces are no friend of Christianity or Judaism.  The old, safe paradigm is collapsing...which is another way of saying - it's not safe any more. - Amy Welborn

There is the awful necessity of playing teacher when I'd rather be here, unordained preacher of unvarnished truth; add to that many student papers in need of grading by the light of melting, midnight tapers, not to mention the book in urgent need of revising, and an article, too, against my protests the editor advising that, on our pilgrims' way to the land of milk and honey, the ignoble but pressing need yet remains: to make money. - William Luse of Apologia

We really need another Eucharistic Miracle just like the ones which occured in Lanciano (I think there is a video by the Church on this) etc... The world needs another Miracle to come to Christ and Catholics need the miracle to strenghten their faith which is constantly being attacked... God willing, may a Eucharistic Miracle come soon. - commenter on "Curt Jester"

Calling for Eucharistic miracles is an easy way out. Taking as certain what my Savior said in John chapter 6 should preclude any need for extraordinary signs, He can neither deceive nor be deceived. This generation gets only one sign-the sign of Jonah. I hold my Eucharistic Lord in my hands every day when I preside at Eucharist. His guarantee is enough for me. - Fr. Dave on "Curt Jester", responding to previous commenter

Two books stand out in my mind from that time of my life [as a child] - one was a Louisa May Alcott book in which a rosary is mentioned (prompting me to ask my mom "what's a rosary?") and the other was a biography of Saint Dominic (I read my way through the whole row of Vision Books lives of the saints!) in which I learned the words 'heretic' and 'heresy' - and once again, that mysterious thing, a rosary. - Alicia of "Fructus Ventris", who grew up Anglican

There is an elegance to nature that all can recognize, even those who do not recognize the intelligence that created it. When materialistic scientists say there is "no need for God" in whatever mechanism they're studying, we should consider that a compliment. After all, there's no need for a watchmaker inside a well-made watch; the fact that it works without the watchmaker constantly tinkering with it is what we mean when we say it's "well-made." As created by God, you might say, Nature comes well stocked with natural causes. - Tom of Disputations

The things I thought were so important -- because of the effort I put into them -- have turned out to be of small value. And the things I never thought about, the things I was never able to either to measure or to expect, were the things that mattered. - Thomas Merton

The weirdest, and perhaps most frightening part comes when you encounter what strikes you as some rather good passages...and you have no memory of writing them! You think...well, perhaps the editor really cleaned this up. You look back at your original manuscript - no, it was your work. Why is that frightening? Because you recognize that your best work comes from some place within that is beyond your control, that somehow, in the mysterious mix of skill, memory, intuition and the muse...this evocative little passage emerged. And you have no idea how it happened. And no assurance that it can ever happen again. - Amy Welborn on writing

It took me a long time to get into the rhythm of meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary while praying the decades. I didn't know them all by heart and for a while it seemed like an ancient form of stressful Windows multitasking. But it comes more easily now, and frequently the Lord bestows little insights about his nature out of nowhere while I'm praying. - Roz of Exultet

I have also learned that God wants not only our minds (because this is what I tend to give Him), but also our hearts. Song helps us to give our hearts. This also why the restoration of singing together-whether hymns or folk songs-is important to the restoration of a Christian culture. People need to know how to give their whole being. Music helps us do this. People resist. Singing makes them self-conscious. But this is exactly why it needs to be done-to thrust aside the self in order to give your entire self in song... - J Curley of "Bethune Catholic"

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