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November 4, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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November 4, 1990

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from the spirit...Heb 3:12. If the author of Hebrews is correct then why are not more people today "ROMANCING THE WORD?" On the other hand, who of us can bear such a dreadful presence, a Lord that can slip into our lives at any moment like an unexpected guest? At times we are tempted to hide from such a pursuing Word. The Word is not given to us that we might flee from it. It is a Word to ro- mance. Romancing the Word means that we pursue it as it pursues us. We ponder it, pray it, sing it, study it. We taste it. We write it on our hearts. We fall in love with it. We cherish it and let it make its home in us. We live it so intently that it becomes a part of us. We cling to it as to a life line, as to a beloved. The people of the New Testament knew something about romancing the Word. Luke tells us that as Jesus taught in the temple each day the religious leaders desired to put him to death. "...but they could find no way to ac- complish their purpose because all the people were hanging on his words" Luke 19:47-48. How different might our lives be if it could be said of us that we were hanging on to God's words. Here is a glimpse of how daily life might look if we were truly romancing the Word. Something is being asked of you that seems impossible to accomplish. You recall Peter's water walk and hear the voice of Jesus saying to you, "It is I, Do PAGE 10 ARKANSAS CATHOLIC NOVEMBER4, 1990 (" [[ l-L, 1-[ FL By Rev. Albertj. Schneider mentalists gl r Brown describes the Book of R '[ M kl in :he iq rd Ou , IE Brown, RaymondE., Responses To lO1 elation, one of the most misunderst00~ [ Questions On the Bible, Mahwah, NJ, books of the Bible, as a message of h0pt[ i By Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr, OSB not be afraid. Mt. 14:22-33. Paulist Press, 1990. in time of persecution. And he suggest[ You are about to give up on a prayer that the reader find a copy of a Knight[ The Word of God is alive and active, that seems unheard. The Canaanite I ]' VII W of Columbus pamphlet written bY It can slip through the place where the woman and her persistent request BruceVawter and entitled "Revelati0n']=, soul is divided comes to your memory. You stay with His treatment of Jesus' institution ofth ] Who were the brothers and sisters of Sacraments is succinct and clear. [ ; Jesus? Are the Brown consciously avoids humor a dii popular transla- cleverness in the written word as We [ tions of the Bible as In the spoken word. He does s0i~| ~ any good? Was oruer to provide information in a Ai Peter the first that people can accept. While the re'[ a" pope? salt may be plodding (Brown's word):[ vl your prayer. Mt. 15: 21-28. Someone you know is going to have a baby. You pick a bouquet of flowers and rush to her house like Mary rejoic- ing with Elizabeth. When you enter the house you truly feel the presence of a new life in the room because you have allowed yourself to be aware of that new life. Luke 1:39-45. You are ready to turn away from someone who needs your help. You hear Jesus saying to the disciples, "Why don't you give them something to eat." Your heart is revitalized. Mr. 15:32-39. You glance up from your harried life and see so much beauty surrounding you that habitually goes unnoticed be- cause of your crowded schedule. You recall how often in the midst of his ministry Jesus went out to the desert hills to pray. Lk. 6:12. You look out the window and see a sparrow sitting on a branch. It is an Romancing the Word means that we pursue it as it pursues us. instant reminder to you of God's con- stant care, not only for the birds, but also for you. Lk. 12:7. These are only a few ways for you to make the Word your home. Your life and our world might be different if you could spend your days romancing the Word. (Wiederkehr is the author of A Tree Full of Angels and resides in Fort Smith.) " ~1 These are not at times, the reader will not fee 1~1 I~r the questions of tronized, put down or ridiculed by , biblical scholars, of his responses, j[a They're the A word about the author. Raym0 | qu s.o.sof ko.a,ot of hoat P I! people who are and discussions for the things held [ 0f seriously digging said and published as results of 11 [ t. into the Bible for the first time, people studies, despite the fact that Pope p tJ| who happen to live in a society that VI appointed him to the Pontifical takes the Bible literally more often than not. Raymond Brown, priest, scripture scholar, author and lecturer has fielded these questions many times. In this lat- est book, he has collected his responses to the questions most frequently asked on the lecture circuit. There were some surprises for me in this slim (147 pages) volume. Brown recommends "free translations" of the Bible such as The Good News B le (but he pans The Living Bible because of trans|ator bias). He explores several solutions to the vexing question of the brothers and sisters of Jesus, including the possibility that they were children of the widowed Joseph. His candid, personal response to the question "Why read the Bible? is: "As a Christian, I seek God's direction for my life in the situations I face. As a priest, I am concerned with God's direction for the Church." There are nuggets throughout the book. Three responses and a five page appendix give an excellent description of biblical fundamentalism and ways to express one's Catholic faith to funda- Biblical Commission. Ironically, t 'l,e criticism is strongest when BroW th most modest in his claims about r can he "proved" or "disproved" fr [e Scripture. One section of his book tre | ', the perception of conflict hetW [,iI biblical scholars and official char l rh teachers. He repeatedly points out 51 findings as well as limits of scriptli [ ; scholarship and reaffirms his firm in the doctrines of the Church. For record, Responses has a nihil obstat ' i i an imprimatur. Responses to 101 Questions B~le is written for Catholics who ~[ ; not scripture scholars. Bible study E,I ticipants, religion' teachers and all i~I th, quisitive Catholics should find it re[ ] warding reading. Homilists, and those who have braved The Birth Messlah or other works by Brown, find the book helpful for the bri !l summaries of key insights of earli [ 'e! works and responses to popular qO i[ tions A rt of Arkansas Catholic) CATHOLIC DIRECTOR OF PASTORAL SERVICES sought for progressive 188-bed acute comprehensiv.e care medical center. Prefer degreee in theology or related disciplines, four units of CPE, two units being advanced units, advanced chaplain status with NACC, or be a fellow within COC. Pastoral services and management experience preferred. Send resume to: Sister Cheryl Syivester Mt. Carmel Medical Center Centennial & Rouse Pittsburg, KS 66762 THE MONKS OF GETHSEMANI ABBEY EXTEND " SEASON'S GREETINGS TO ALL IN THE DIOCESE FOR OUR FREE CATALOG FOR HOLIDAY FOOD GIFTS WRITE: GETHSEMANI FARMS BOX #72 TRAPPIST, KY 40051-9989 OR ANSWERING SERVICE (502) 566-3398 OR FAX NUMBER (502) 5549-8281