April 25, 2006

Various &/or Sundry

I picked up The New World Dictionary Concordance to the New American Bible for something like $5 a few years ago. What a nice little resource. Over 700 pages, the bang-for-the-buck ratio is extraordinary. I can look up little known figures in the bible and get their full biblical and extra-biblical history. I can look up more well known figures, like Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate and learn that both of their "reigns" ended in 36 AD, with Pilate no longer the Roman prefect of Judea and Caiaphas no longer the high priest. I also learned, in a lengthy entry on poetry, that Hebrew poetry does not rhyme:
Assonance, alliteration and rhyme, so common in occidental poetry, only occasionally occur in Hebrew poetry, not being in any way essential.
_

Tom of Disputations has a post with more comments than words in it. There should be some sort of blog term for when that happens.
_

George Weigel's books, since his opus Witness to Hope, seem not quite of the same calibar. I can hardly fault him for it, having neither his talent or work ethic, but is this a case where you live off the capital of your great first hit?
_

The rosary can be a nourishing prayer or it can be somewhat exasperating, with the decades going by with little or no comprehension of the mysteries. I've found a helpful book aid of late, helpful in the sense that it's pocket-sized and includes icons to help focus on particular mysteries. (The art is to my taste, with a Byzantine bent.) I'm speaking of Michael Dubruiel and Amy Welborn's Praying the Rosary. It also helped open up the Joyous mysteries to me. Before they seemed tinged with non-joy (i.e. the loss of Jesus and presumed dismay of Mary, the sword that would pierce her heart, the lack of inn, or hearts, the Holy Family found). But the book emphasizes the positive side of each mystery, which pessimists need, and there was also the helpful reminder on every page: "Ask Our Lady to help you pray this mystery." I've become increasingly mindful of the help I need to do just that.
_

One of the things that strikes me about the story of "Doubting" Thomas was that his unbelief seemed partially a function of simply not being present -- (i.e. "must be present to win!"). It was only when Thomas was with the others that Christ became present to him and he believed. Perhaps the story of St. Thomas is another way Christ tells us of the necessity of church, of not just going our own way and praying in the woods lest we miss something.

No comments: