Posts Tagged ‘Catholics’

1. Does anyone know which Bible translation(s) the American Founding Fathers were using? It’s my understanding that the Pilgrims used the Geneva Bible (which I’m reading on Kindle in a 1587 edition), but it occurs to me that (off the top of my head) I don’t know what the Founders were hauling with them to all those hate-to-do-it-but-it’s-time-to-sever-ties-with-the-homeland sessions, or to the earliest sessions of Congress. I’m sure I can get the info by googling, but quite frankly, my first searches turned up an avalanche of anti-Christian, hate mongering sites that libel, and badly misrepresent, the Founders, more than they shed light on them. (Sigh.) [Added: A reader found this on Bibles used for the swearing in of Presidents, and left the link in the comments. Interesting. It also reminds me of what I should have remembered. Bibles were rare and expensive in colonial America, in part because the King controlled who could print Bibles.]

2. Regarding the Geneva Bible: if you aren’t used to the writing style and the slightly-modified alphabet of the 16th century, hang in there. It makes sense after a while. The spellings will be all over the board, even on the same page. Nombers is the same as numbers, for instance. U and v swap places a lot. I frequently means J. And so on, and so on. A little more difficult than sounding out words to get the right one, is figuring out where letters are dropped, but it’s assumed you know they’re there. N and M get left off a lot, erratically. In many old texts, a line over a letter apparently means it is followed by an n or m. (This Kindle book doesn’t do that, but for a great example of old-style writing that might help you ‘crack the code’, see The prophete Ionas with an introduccion before teachinge to vnderstonde him and the right vse also of all the scripture/ and why it was written/ and what … the true sense and vnderstondynge therof. [Kindle Edition], by William Tyndale.) Just to make it more fun, words get combined that we don’t usually combine any more. Shalbe means shall be, for instance. (I’m thinking we might want to bring that word back into use, by the way. It’s growing on me.)

3. This doesn’t quite answer my original question, but I just thought to google “congressional bible america,” and got this.

4. Changing subjects, you may laugh at me now. I’m self-publishing eleven years’ worth of books I’ve written, some of which got good noises from publishers, but no actual contract. I have most of them on Kindle and Nook now, and have been working on trade paperback editions, which are slowly coming to completion. I don’t expect to bump anyone off the bestseller lists, but I figure, on the one hand, that I might as well try to get a little something out of them, and, on the other, that if I don’t publish them, I will be editing and rewriting them on my deathbed. I simply can’t seem to stop polishing, unless a book is actually out on store shelves. So, I have declared “Enough!” on several books, and put them out. What I invite you to laugh about is my consternation over the cover of the large print edition of Why We Raise Belgian Horses. I have come up with a cover that is eye-catching, and pleasant, and that I don’t think will drive off men on the one hand, or women on the other. (This novel was out in a homemade edition years ago, and did well with men as well as women, adults as well as teens. While this is good, it makes cover design a bit tricky. You can’t be too girly, or too masculine.) So, I have a nice cover design, one that I think is better than the one I went with on the regular trade paperback, or the ebooks. It even looks good in a thumbnail, or from across the room. The problem is that the photo I’ve used is of a horse that really isn’t quite the right sort of Belgian horse. But I really like the photo. It’s artsy, with lighting that plays into the storyline. If I go with what I have, I’m nearly ready to go. I’ve just redone the back cover copy, and am waiting on what could be the final proof – if I don’t change the picture. The first proof sits on my work table, causing me to seesaw between ‘ooh, I like that,’ and ‘hmmm, should I try to find another photo?’ As if it really, really matters…

5. I am still harvesting from the garden. Amazing. I have nine watermelons that are nearly ripe, which is really amazing. The odds of any of them actually getting ripe this time of year are probably slim to none, but I sometimes go out and marvel at them, resolutely ignoring the season. For that matter, I am still getting blossoms on the watermelon and pumpkin vines. Go figure.

6. David Jeremiah, on his radio show, has been talking about cultural rot and where the church (that would be all us believers) fits in. This week, he was using Vincent Van Gogh’s painting of the Church of Auvers to help illustrate a point. Not knowing the painting, I looked it up. And then followed links. And came to this literature-rich letter from the artist to his brother Theo in 1880, which contains some food for thought, I think.

7. While halfheartedly searching for new cover art, and happily taking detours as they showed up, I stumbled across this blog, which looks promising. Papergreat shares clips from old newspapers, magazines and books. Here’s a post with clippings from World War II.

7 Quick Takes Friday is hosted at Conversion Diary. Head here for this week’s round up. Our hostess is discussing Halloween costumes, controversies related to Halloween, forewords to Catholic books, pseudo Jedi mind tricks, Story Engineering, the best rap songs for Catholics, and is wondering what makes a good photo portrait.

Read Full Post »

Liber Abbici, published in 1202, was not the first book in the West to advocate the use of arabic numerals instead of Roman. James M. Kushiner points to earlier works in the short post How We Got Our Numbers.

Read Full Post »

First I read: Osama Bin Laden and the Terror of Narcissism by Russell D. Moore. (hat tip: Trevin Wax)

Then: Life doesn’t have to be easy to be joyful, by Jennifer Fulwiler.

Hmmm. Food for thought.

Read Full Post »

The following is a chapter from my book Not Exactly Allies, which is now available on Kindle. When I get a few other projects out of the way, I’ll try to learn how to do what needs to be done to make trade paperback editions of my books, but for now I’m just trying to get them all on Kindle.

To some degree, this could be called an extraneous chapter. None of the major characters are in it, and it has nothing to do with the main storyline. In a book with a fair amount of action, this is a chapter with little action. (On the other hand, I can share the whole chapter with you, and not give you any spoilers. Such a deal.)

I have it in the book, for one thing, because it addresses the theme of what makes a good marriage, and that is a refrain I pick up again and again in the seriocomic series of which this book is a part. For another thing – you may cue the laugh track now – in the early drafts of this book, Philip was an important character, and quite a fun one, too. But, in the later edits, he wound up on the cutting room floor. Except for here. And while I happily sent other minor characters back into oblivion for the sake of a smoother read, I enjoyed this bit with Philip and Father Jules too much to kill him off entirely.

I hope you enjoy it, too.

93 – Father Jules and company

Father Jules called a meeting of the men of the church. Some of the women were offended that they were left out, but since many of them were perpetually offended, he was well practiced in ignoring their sniffs and cold looks. Some of the men, however, were quite concerned.

“You do not know how much trouble you are causing me with my wife, Father,” one man said. “Really, she thinks we are up to no good whenever men get together by themselves.”

“That is your problem,” Father Jules said. The men sputtered. Father Jules smiled at them. “You will just have to educate your women, gentlemen, or you will have to learn to assume an air of mystery. In any case, I want no apologies for this project. Do you understand me?”

“Not yet,” a man who looked like an athlete said, with the hint of a wink. “You must explain your project first, I think.” (more…)

Read Full Post »

“Suddenly, I Was Surrounded by Life”

I think that sums it up pretty well.

The article also mentions a new book: Atheist to Catholic: 11 Stories of Conversion.


Read Full Post »

Tim Muldoon writes about lessons learned when his daughter goes to the memorial mass of a premature baby. Along the way, he describes much of what’s at the core of Christian life. Beautiful.

Read Full Post »

Julie of Happy Catholic is now writing at Patheos. This post combines observations on faith, classic literature, and chivalry. It’s hard to beat that.

And, by the way, if you think you know about the Round Table tales of Camelot, please go read the post. She points out some of what later versions have left out.

I hope she’ll not be upset with me if I mention that you don’t have to be Catholic to find old books to be new creations after you convert and as you grow deeper in faith. I suspect any sort of real Christianity will do, to a greater or lesser degree. (It sure has made a difference in what I see and understand in books.)

Read Full Post »

Taking his cue from The Screwtape Letters (don’t tell me you haven’t read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis?!!), Fr. Dwight Longenecker has a senior tempter instructing junior tempters on how useful pop culture and political leaders can be. Despite himself, just like the more-candid-and-revealing-than-he-knows Screwtape, Slubgrip says a lot about the delusions that are necessary to keep a person from repairing his relationship with God. Or, for that matter, that keep him from being able to live with his neighbor without hatred and bloodshed.


Satirical and flavored with somewhat vile humor, yes. But priceless.

(If that doesn’t get you to check out the link, I guess I don’t know what might… 😉 )

hat tip: The Anchoress

Read Full Post »

I haven’t participated in Conversion Diary’s 7 Quick Takes Friday in while. But here goes:

1. While hanging around a Catholic hospital’s emergency room earlier this week, I saw on the wall a cross with Jesus on it, but Jesus was oversized for the cross, was fully robed, and wasn’t nailed to the cross. His hands were held out, in consolation and victory. I love the symbolism: the risen, living, loving, triumphant Lord with the cross behind him. But I have no idea what to call such a thing. Surely it’s not called a crucifix? (That would be confusing.) Help me out, here. This sort of cross with Jesus in front of it is called a… what?

2. A loved one was due to go in for heart tests next Monday (yes, Valentine’s Day – that’s when they had an opening), and was expected to get a stent at the same time, if not open heart surgery.  But this last Tuesday, as it happened, a number of diseased or damaged hearts all said phooey on schedules at the same time – including my loved one’s diseased heart – and the hospital to which my loved one got transferred was swamped with heart patients. Triage was necessary. My loved one wound up getting a stent in a late-in-the-day battle (his very hard, 99.9-percent-blocked artery gave the doctor a difficult time of it). He is already home, doing surprisingly well. Amazing. Praise God.

3. I would like to thank Subway for having a store inside the hospital. More specifically, I’d like to thank them for having a $2 English muffin egg and cheese melt available all day.

4. Although I have much good to say about the three (count them, three) Catholic hospitals I have been in during the past week, the one in which we wound up for The Mighty Stent Battle has something called an Interfaith Reflection Room (I think that’s right), for people to use for prayer and meditation – and on the sign outside the door, it asks people to respect this “sacred space.” I feel it incumbent upon myself to suggest that a room that violates the First Commandment cannot be sacred space. What would it be sacred to? Not the God Who has gone to a great deal of bother over the last few thousand years to teach us that ‘thou shalt not hedge your bets.’ As in, ‘thou shall have no other gods beside me.’ Sigh. If they provided a ‘Quiet Room’ for worried people to use, that at least would leave the matter between the individual and God, instead of officially seeming to recognize no difference between prayers to God and prayers not to God.

5. I am reading in a Kindle edition of The Godly Man’s Picture, by Thomas Watson, a 17th century Puritan preacher. Nearly everything I had understood about Puritans in my younger days was wrong, by the way.

6. The snow is nearly gone. There has been plenty of it in the right places this year. It’s looking good for farmers around here who have to irrigate to get a crop in.

7. We don’t usually have elk around here, but this winter we did, off and on for weeks, which has caused a regional sensation. And so, when people have heard where I live, they have been asking me, “Have you seen the elk!?” To which I have said, “I can watch them out my kitchen window, sometimes more than a hundred at once,” which has been good fodder for small talk. Shortly before the elk showed up, we had a herd of more than a hundred pronghorn antelope pass through (also unusual, that was). I haven’t seen the elk in days, though. I suspect they’ve moved upland, as the snow has melted. I can only hope they are gone for now. The hay fields are muddy. Elk could do much damage to them, in their present condition.

Read Full Post »

From Mark P. Shea, answering a question on how he’d deal with a couple that aborted a baby diagnosed with severe deformity (which certainly would have been fatal, if the diagnosis was correct):

Part of the difficulty here is that such questions usually involve several parts. What does God think? What would I do? What should I make of what those people over there did? And then we start feeling torn between obeying God when He says “Don’t kill” and obeying God when He says “Don’t judge.” And in our culture, “Don’t judge” has much the louder voice because of the great terror of “imposing our values.”

Let’s start with the loudest voice: “Don’t judge.” We are bound to obey that command of Our Lord, but we are also bound to understand what it means. It does not mean, as our culture takes it to mean, “Remain agnostic about the possibility of ever knowing what is right and wrong.” It means, “Don’t play God. Don’t imagine you know the souls of others and what motivated their choices, how culpable they are, etc.” The funny thing is, our culture is ready to play God all the time, while remaining unable to say if there is such a thing as right and wrong. So let’s set aside the people in the story, whom it is not ours to judge, and simply consider the act in abstract: the deliberate taking of innocent human life. Is it wrong always?

The answer is: Yes. Always. That’s what “You shall not murder” means.

That’s the other command we have to deal with here. I think, pastorally speaking, the best thing we can do with this situation is not adjudicate the souls of people we don’t know anything about concerning a choice they have already made (since that is way too much of a temptation to judge them, especially in cyberspace where judgment and condemnation flow like wine), but to first ask ourselves how we might respond rightly in a similar situation.

In talking to my wife (the actual baby carrier in this family), she points out the following: First, ultrasounds have been wrong. Second, miracles happen sometimes. Third, and most salient here: Every baby she has had is dying. The question is, simply, when?

When we put it that way, we suddenly realize something: Knowing that the baby is going to die sooner rather than later is no reason to kill the baby. It is, says my wife, a reason to love the baby for as long as you can while it’s here. That’s very painful, but that is the risk we take every time we choose to love, because everything we love in this world is mortal.

It may be objected that a headless baby cannot appreciate our love. I would reply that a healthy baby cannot appreciate our love either, because a healthy baby has no more mind than a headless one. The whole point of parenthood, especially in its earliest stages, is radical self-giving (like Christ) to a being who is wholly incapable of giving anything back besides a sucking reflex and a poopy diaper. It’s an analogy of the grace of God, the great wake-up call enfleshed, that It’s Not About Me and What I Get From It — a short course in the life of the Blessed Trinity.

Read the whole article.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »