Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sunday Knox: Jeremiah 20:7-9

Lord, thou hast sent me on a fool’s errand; if I played a fool’s part, a strength greater than mine overmastered me; morn to night, what a laughing-stock am I, every man’s nay-word!  Long have I prophesied, and still I clamoured against men’s wickedness, and still cried ruin; day in, day out, nothing it earns me, this divine spokesmanship, but reproach and mockery.  Did I essay to put the Lord out of my thoughts, and speak no more in his name, all at once it seemed as though a raging fire were locked in my bosom, pierced my whole frame, till I was worn out with it, and could bear no more. 

You duped me, O LORD, and I let myself be duped;
you were too strong for me, and you triumphed.
All the day I am an object of laughter;
everyone mocks me.

Whenever I speak, I must cry out,
violence and outrage is my message;
the word of the LORD has brought me
derision and reproach all the day.

I say to myself, I will not mention him,
I will speak in his name no more.
But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,
imprisoned in my bones;
I grow weary holding it in, I cannot endure it.

The Message:
You pushed me into this, God, and I let you do it.
    You were too much for me.
And now I’m a public joke.
    They all poke fun at me.
Every time I open my mouth
    I’m shouting, “Murder!” or “Rape!”
And all I get for my God-warnings
    are insults and contempt.
But if I say, “Forget it!
    No more God-Messages from me!”
The words are fire in my belly,
    a burning in my bones.
I’m worn out trying to hold it in.
    I can’t do it any longer!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Didache Bible First Look

Thanks to reader Eric for sharing this information with me. Ignatius Press has ok'd that I show this to you.  You can pre-order the Didache Bible now.

A couple other items relating to this new edition:
* The leather used will be bonded leather
* The bonded leather cover will have the same look as the green hardcover
* Sewn binding on both editions
* Publication date is October
* RSV-2CE translation
* The maps looks different than what is found in the ICSB and standard RSV-2CE editions

Fr. Jim Martin on Lectio Divina

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sunday Knox: Isaiah 22:19-23

I mean to expel thee from the rank thou holdest, deprive thee of thy office. And when that time comes, I will summon one who is a true servant of mine, Eliacim the son of Helcias, clothe him with thy robe, gird him with thy girdle, entrust him with the power that once was thine; to rule all the citizens of Jerusalem, all Juda’s race, with a father’s care.  I will give him the key of David’s house to bear upon his shoulders; none may shut when he opens, none open when he shuts. 

Thus says the LORD to Shebna, master of the palace:
“I will thrust you from your office
and pull you down from your station.
On that day I will summon my servant
Eliakim, son of Hilkiah;
I will clothe him with your robe,
and gird him with your sash,
and give over to him your authority.
He shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
and to the house of Judah.
I will place the key of the House of David on Eliakim’s shoulder;
when he opens, no one shall shut
when he shuts, no one shall open.
I will fix him like a peg in a sure spot,
to be a place of honor for his family.”

Monday, August 18, 2014

7 Questions: Mary Stommes, editor of Give Us This Day

     Mary Stommes joined Liturgical Press as managing editor in 2006 and became editor of Give Us This Day in 2010.  You can obtain a free sample copy by visiting their website.

1)      First off, thank you for taking the time to answer these questions.  How did you come to work for Liturgical Press, in particular your work on the personal prayer periodical Give Us this Day?

You are welcome. Thank you for asking.  The short answer to both questions: God’s providence. While working in a parish religious education setting, I took a Scripture course taught by Father Daniel Durken, a monk of Saint John’s Abbey (Liturgical Press is an apostolate of this Benedictine abbey). Father Daniel encouraged me to get my degree in theology, which I did. Realizing early on that I loved both writing and theology/Scripture, I added English as a second major.

Father Daniel had been former director of Liturgical Press and was a senior editor here at the time. Neither he nor I would have guessed that I would land here after completing my undergraduate work. I began in 2006 as managing editor in our book publishing division. In that capacity I was part of the research and development team for Give Us This Day. “If we launch this, I want you to be editor,” Peter Dwyer (publisher and director of Liturgical Press) said. Here I am.

2)      Could you give a little of the history of GUTD?  

In a very real sense, Give Us This Day has its roots in the liturgical pioneer Father Virgil Michel, OSB, who founded Liturgical Press in 1926. Father Virgil insisted that liturgy was not just for priests and religious, and not just for academics. His vision was to provide resources that would help all Catholicsclergy and religious, as well as laypeople--discover the riches of the Churchs liturgical life. Liturgical Presss current mission statement is, in part, to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to a richly diverse Church. People long for that, long to be drawn in, to enter more deeply into Liturgy, Scripture, and the sacramental life. It is a hunger and longing for communion with God and with others.
Not long after I came to Liturgical Press, and drawing on years of earlier research and planning, we began more intense research and development on what would become Give Us This Day. Listen, begins the Rule of St. Benedict. We listened to thousands of people across the countryfrom bishops and priests to religious and, of course, laypeopleto develop the resource you hold in your hands today. We launched in August 2011 and are celebrating our third anniversary of publication. I think Fr. Virgil must surely be pleased.

3) For my readers who are not familiar with GUTD, what would someone expect to find in each monthly edition?

            Daily content includes short prayer for morning, followed by a short profile of a saintly witness (Robert Ellsberg writes these pieces), the complete Mass texts, a short reflection (many are newly commissioned pieces, and about 1/3 are previously published texts, both ancient and contemporary), and then prayer for evening. Additionally, there is a popular weekly feature, “Within the Word,” that takes us more deeply into a person or theme in the week’s Lectionary. Each issue opens with a feature essay, followed by Father James Martin’s “Teach Us to Pray” column, and a section of prayers and blessings. The Order of Mass is included each month, as well as a section of hymns.

4)      The unique Morning and Evening Prayers for each day are modeled after the Liturgy of the Hours, but not as long.  How are these organized, particularly in the choosing of a Psalm and Scripture passage for each Morning and Evening prayer?

Sr. Irene Nowell, a Benedictine from Atchison, Kansas, selects the Psalm and Scripture passages. Psalms are cyclical, giving readers a broader selection than they are accustomed to hearing in the Lectionary. The Scripture texts are selected with an eye and ear on the Lectionary texts, allowing readers to pray thematically from morning to night.

5)      Could you talk a little bit about the impressive list of advisors and contributors to the periodical, most notably Fr. Jim Martin, Sr. Irene Nowell, and Fr. Ronald Rolheiser?

Our editorial advisors and contributors are a blessing, not just to us but to the entire Church. To a person, they love the Church, they love Scripture, they love Jesus!
Our contributors are passionate about the mission and vision of Give Us This Day. They are excited to be part of something they see to be so important: leading others more deeply into communion with God and each other through the practice of daily prayer, to help people realize the need to “come away and rest awhile.” None of our writers would want to be put on a pedestal. They, like John the Baptist, simply want to point the way to Christ.

6) Those who use the other popular prayer devotional Magnificat will notice some similarities between the two publications.  What would you say makes GUTD unique in comparison between the two?  

There are a number of other popular prayer devotionals, each with distinctive features. What readers tell us they most appreciate about Give Us This Day is the wide range of voices each month. Additionally, Give Us This Day is very much influenced by Benedictine spirituality, encouraging readers to establish the practice of lectio divina. There is no end to the ways in which God speaks to us if we sit with Scripture and let it speak the words we most need to hear.

7) How has been being a part of this publication, and I assume using it yourself each day, helped you in your own personal daily prayer?

This is a very good question. One of my hesitations in accepting the editor’s position was that it would “interfere” with my established practice of daily prayer. That is, I wondered if having seen all these texts in various stages of editing and proofreading, if working simultaneously in many seasons—if all of that would be a deafening cyclone of words. But God is good! I have for years prayed with the daily Lectionary texts. That hasn’t changed.  In praying with Give Us This Day, I discovered that morning prayer is a helpful addition, particularly since it serves as another entry point to the daily Mass texts. Moreover, morning and evening prayer have made me appreciate even more how the psalms “say it all.” What else? The daily “Blessed Among Us,” together with the wide range of reflection writers, makes me keenly aware of how we are all in this Body of Christ together. Each day brings something new and helpful and hopeful. Each day there is a word of challenge and comfort, a call to conversion and the assurance of God’s unfailing love in Christ.

Extra question: GUTD is current available in both regular and large print paper editions, as well as being accessible to subscribers on the website.  Is there any thought to creating a mobile App which would make accessing GUTD even easier?

More than a thought, our mobile App is in development and coming along nicely! We hope to launch it later this year. (I think Father Virgil Michel would be pleased about that too. Our publisher thinks Father Virgil would have had the app out sooner!)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Anybody have this NJB from DLT?

It is the NJB Standard Edition Leather from Darton, Longman, and Todd in the UK.  Is it hardcover leather, like many of Bibles produced by Baronius?

The New Jerusalem Bible is recognised as one of today’s most accurate, clear and modern translations, the fruit of long collaboration between leading biblical scholars.
This Standard Edition - bound in black leather on board, golden gilt page edges, head/tail bands with two ribbons and presented in a sturdy protective slipcase - presents the New Jerusalem Bible with comprehensive material designed for serious study of the scriptures.
It contains the full Bible, with special features for in-depth study:
• Extensive Footnotes to the text, plus a table of major footnotes
• Side-margin Cross-reference system
• Full-colour Maps and Diagrams, with index
• 20-page Chronological Table, detailing the historical context of biblical events
• An Index of Persons, with verse references
• Major scholarly Introductions to all the main groupings of books

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Sunday Knox: Matthew 15:21-28

After this, Jesus left those parts and withdrew into the neighbourhood of Tyre and Sidon.  And here a woman, a Chanaanite by birth, who came from that country, cried aloud, Have pity on me, Lord, thou son of David. My daughter is cruelly troubled by an evil spirit.  He gave her no word in answer; but his disciples came to him and pleaded with him; Rid us of her, they said, she is following us with her cries.  And he answered, My errand is only to the lost sheep that are of the house of Israel.  Then the woman came up and said, falling at his feet, Lord, help me.  He answered, It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.  Ah yes, Lord, she said; the dogs feed on the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.  And at that Jesus answered her, Woman, for this great faith of thine, let thy will be granted. And from that hour her daughter was cured.

At that time, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.  And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David!  My daughter is tormented by a demon.”  But Jesus did not say a word in answer to her.  Jesus’ disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.”  He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did Jesus homage, saying, “Lord, help me.”  He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.”  She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.”  Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be done for you as you wish.”  And the woman’s daughter was healed from that hour.

Friday, August 15, 2014

NABRE Now On Biblegateway

Go here.  It is about time the NABRE was available on a quality searchable online site.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Guest Review: Jerusalem Bibles

Thanks to reader Eric on this fine guest review of these two Jerusalem Bibles. 

I have used the original 1966 Jerusalem Bible as my primary study Bible for several years.  I’ve enjoyed the nice way it reads and the notes and cross-references.  However, the weight and size of what I like to call Big Red is uncomfortable for me to hold for long periods of time, and I’m not a set-it-on-the-table-and-read-it type of guy.
So, I’ve been seeing something called the thin paper edition (hereafter referred to as the TPE) on E-Bay and been curious as to how it would compare to Big Red.  I’ve thrown a few bids around and been outbid every time, so apparently I’m not the only one who likes the idea of a thinner version of Big Red.  Well, as luck would have it, I found a seller on AbeBooks who had a copy still in the box, which was aggressively priced (i.e., so inexpensive that I almost felt guilty buying it, and using a 10% off coupon code to make it even more affordable… ALMOST).  Well, it arrived yesterday and Tim said he would love to have a compare/contrast between the two editions.

First, the outside….
The cover is what the box calls ‘flexible binding.’  What it feels like to me is a textured cardboard that’s meant to look like leather.  The feel on the hand is underwhelming – Big Red’s cloth hardback feels nicer on the skin.  BUT, the fact that the TPE is about half as thick as Big Red, the weight savings and being able to comfortably wrap my hands around the spine, more than makes up for the lame cover material.  The cover does flex, and there is a definite flex mark along the spine.  Page edges are gilded and it comes with a ribbon marker.  Other than the cover material, win-win all the way around.  This would be a prime candidate for a Leonard’s rebind to something nice (Love, are you reading this?  Leonard’s gift certificates make wonderful Christmas gifts… hint hint). 

Now, the inside….
The paper is thinner, with significantly more ghosting on the TPE than Big Red.  Also, it has a less-than-smooth feel that more recent bible papers have.  I don’t know if it’s related to the thinness or just age, but it is something that makes me want to tread slowly when turning its pages.  The thickness feels to me similar to the paper that comes on the Oxford compacts or the Little Rock Study Bible hardback (just not as smooth).  While the ghosting is much more noticeable, it is no worse than the Darton Longman Todd Popular Edition of the Jerusalem Bible I also have (as a traveling/casual reading copy).  Contents are identical between Big Red and the TPE, right down to the page numbers.
So, to summarize some thoughts here….
If you want to get ready for the ‘gun show’ but not hit the weights, get Big Red.
If you want to be able to hold your Jerusalem Bible comfortably in one hand, yet still have all the notes, get the TPE.
Of course, if you just want the text of the Jerusalem Bible that can be comfortably held in one hand and don’t care about all the notes, just get the Doubleday Reader’s/DLT Popular Edition.
For me?  I’m keeping the thin paper edition (and trying to treat it gently until I can save up some cash and get it rebound).  I’ll probably keep the DLT Popular Edition I have for awhile (besides, the resale value on them stink on E-Bay) and maybe let my kids use it as a starter Bible.  But, after a wonderful journey with Big Red, it’s going to go online and hopefully travel somewhere in the USA to another reader who would like a good copy of the full Jerusalem Bible and nice biceps to boot.

Monday, August 11, 2014

And the winner is.....


Just send an email to me at mccorm45(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address and full name and I'll get the commentaries out to you.  Thanks to all who participated.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Sunday Knox: Matthew 14:22-33

As soon as this was done, he prevailed upon his disciples to take ship and cross to the other side before him, leaving him to send the multitudes home. When he had finished sending them home, he went up by himself on to the hill-side, to pray there; twilight had come, and he remained there alone. Meanwhile the ship was already half-way across the sea, hard put to it by the waves, for the wind was against them.  And then, when the night had reached its fourth quarter, Jesus came to them, walking on the sea. When they saw him walking on the sea, the disciples were terrified; they said, It is an apparition, and cried out for fear.  But all at once Jesus spoke to them; Take courage, he said, it is myself; do not be afraid. And Peter answered him, Lord, if it is thyself, bid me come to thee over the water. He said, Come; and Peter let himself down out of the ship and walked over the water to reach Jesus. Then, seeing how strong the wind was, he lost courage and began to sink; whereupon he cried aloud, Lord, save me.  And Jesus at once stretched out his hand and caught hold of him, saying to him, Why didst thou hesitate, man of little faith?  So they went on board the ship, and thereupon the wind dropped.  And the ship’s crew came and said, falling at his feet, Thou art indeed the Son of God.

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.  After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.  When it was evening he was there alone.  Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it.  During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea.  When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified.  “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear.  At once Jesus spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”  Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”  He said, “Come.”  Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus.  But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?”  After they got into the boat, the wind died down.  Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

USCCB Communications sends over 1,200 donated bibles to unaccompanied minors detained in Arizona

USCCB Communications sends over 1,200 donated bibles to unaccompanied minors detained in Arizona

Monday, August 4, 2014

End of Summer Contest

Thanks to a generous gift from my friend Louis at Baker Book House (Grand Rapids) I am happy to offer this contest to all my (North American) readers.  I have one more week of summer recess before I head back to school to prepare for the upcoming academic year, so why not go out with a bang!  So, for this contest I will be offering three brand new volumes of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture.  The editions include the ones for 1 Corinthians, First and Second Peter & Jude, and Philippians, Colossians, & Philemon.  

Rules for the contest:

1) If you have a website or blog or are active on Facebook, please announce this contest. If you don't, that is OK. You can still enter the contest.

 2) Please enter your name in the comment section of this blog post. I (or my wife) will randomly draw one winner at the conclusion of the contest, which will be on Sunday August 10th at 11:59 PM.

 3) I will announce the winner on Monday August 11th. The winners must contact me, via email, within a week with their full name and address.

 4) One entry per person.

 5) Contest is only available to those who live in the United States. (Fear Not! There will be an international-only contest hopefully in the coming month or so.)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sunday Knox: Isaiah 55:1-3

So many athirst; who will not come to the water? So many destitute; who will come and get him food, get wine and milk free, no price to be paid?  What, always spending, and no bread to eat, always toiling, and never a full belly? Do but listen, here you shall find content; here are dainties shall ravish your hearts. To my summons give heed and hearing; so your spirits shall revive; a fresh covenant awaits you, this time eternal; gracious promise of mine to David shall be ratified now.

Thus says the LORD: All you who are thirsty, come to the water! You who have no money, come, receive grain and eat; Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk.  Why spend your money for what is not bread; your wages for what fails to satisfy?  Heed me, and you shall eat well, you shall delight in rich fare.  Come to me heedfully, listen, that you may have life. I will renew with you the everlasting covenant, the benefits assured to David.