Posted tagged ‘Bible’

Pick up the Book!

November 10, 2015

In this year when we’re focusing so much on reading the Bible, I’ve just been made aware of something a little unexpected.  I had a catechist tell me about a child in her classroom whose family reads Scripture almost daily, but the child had absolutely no idea how to find anything in the Bible.  After a few questions she was able to get to the bottom of this mystery; his family always either reads the daily readings from the Magnificat or from a phone app.

I appreciate the convenience of both of those sources, but let’s also remember the value of being able to look up a verse!

Bible doveRelated (at least in my own experience), is that we tend to read differently from a book than from one of these other daily reading sources.  I read the daily Mass readings on my iPad through the USCCB’s site.  It’s easy, free, convenient, weighs less and I almost always have it with me; all very helpful things.  When I read from my Bible though, I’m not limited by having only today’s verses available.  I can keep reading, if I want.  I can backtrack to what came just before today’s Gospel to see how it relates.  I may see a verse that I underlined years ago and am brought back to the lessons of that day.  I get to read verses that may not be part of the 3-year cycle at all, and best of all God may use my tendency toward distraction to turn three minutes with the daily readings into quite a bit more as I start flipping around to other pages.

Any time with Scripture in any form is good, but if you’re only focusing on today’s readings, you may want to spend a little serendipitous time seeing what the Holy Spirit has for you in some other parts of the Bible.

A “highly dangerous book”

October 29, 2015

pope bible

The Holy Father had lots to say about the Bible in an interview last week

“The Bible is not meant to be placed on a shelf, but to be in your hands, to read often – every day, both on your own and together with others,” he wrote in the prologue to a Bible for youth in Germany.  He encouraged young people to read the Bible together the way they play sports or go shopping together.

“Why not read the Bible together as well – two, three, or four of you? In nature, in the woods, on the beach, at night in the glow of a few candles … you will have a great experience!”

“Read with attention! Do not stay on the surface as if reading a comic book! Never just skim the Word of God!” he exhorted, according to a translation by the news site Aleteia.

The Pope encouraged young people to ask what God says to them through the Bible.  “Has he touched me in the depths of my longing? What should I do?” he encouraged them to ask. “Only in this way can the force of the Word of God unfold. Only in this way can it change our lives, making them great and beautiful.”

“If you could see my Bible, you would not be particularly impressed,” he said. “What – that’s the Pope’s Bible? Such an old, worn-out book!”

But he would not trade it for a new one.

“I love my old Bible, which has accompanied me half my life. It has been with me in my times of joy and times of tears. It is my most precious treasure,” he said. “I live out of it, and I wouldn’t give anything in the world for it.”

He encouraged readers not to let the Bible disappear on a shelf and collect dust.

“There are more persecuted Christians in the world today than in the early days of the Church. And why are they persecuted? They are persecuted because they wear a cross and bear witness to Jesus. They are convicted because they own a Bible,” he said.

The Pope described the Bible as a “highly dangerous book.” Some countries treat someone with a Bible “as if you were hiding hand grenades in your closet.”

Read the entire article here.

Bible Recommendation for Little Ones

October 26, 2015

In my search for family-friendly Bible resources, I’ve just run across this book, Psalms for Young Children, by Marie-Helene Delval.  It’s perfect for preschoolers and the illustrations are as meaningful as the text.  I found online photos of these three pages (included so you could get an idea of the reading level), but there are about 37 more Psalms included.  It’s hardcover, with sturdy pages and is only $11.

Psalm 104

Psalm 125

Disclaimer: I don’t know anything about this author and have not looked at her other works.  I don’t know if her background is Catholic or Protestant (or something else).  I have only seen this one book and am completely delighted by it.

Lesson Notes: The Bible, Our Book of Faith

October 10, 2015

the bibleThis whole month is going to be spent learning and reviewing Bible basics and whether you’re an expert or a newbie, I hope you’ll be sure to go over all of this lesson with your kids.  It’s so foundational that even if your kids know it well enough that they could teach this lesson to others, there is still great value in review.  (They’re almost certainly capable of learning it better this time than they were three years ago.)

On the checklist:

  • The Bible is one volume containing 73 books.
  • It is divided into two main sections: the Old Testament and the New Testament.
  • The work is the result of over 40 authors
  • Who worked in a period of about 1,600 years.

But, miraculously, it still maintains the thread of one continuous story!  How can that be?  The single word answer is “inspiration.”  The slightly longer answer is that the Holy Spirit worked with and through each of these men in such a way that they used their own style and language, but all the ideas that God wanted included were there with nothing left out.

The rest of the lesson is a big-picture overview of the major sections of Scripture (law, history, wisdom, prophets, etc.) and how they all fit together.

TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • booksIf your kids are young enough that cutting is a tedious activity, you may want to cut out your “books” ahead of time, and just have the kids glue them onto the bookshelf in the proper place.
  • We strongly recommend you leave each section of books together when you’re cutting rather than separating all 73 of them.  It’ll just make your life easier!

AND FINALLY,

Remember that even though you won’t encounter the name of Jesus until the book of Matthew, He is all over the Old Testament as well.  In fact, the Catechism teaches us that “the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately so oriented that it should prepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men.”

All About Jesus logo

In this case, it really is all about Jesus!

Bible Basics: Do Catholics Follow All Those Weird Old Testament Laws?

October 9, 2015

Fr. Mike Schmitz – great, as always.

Try it and see!

December 2, 2014

Advent has begun and that means it’s time to open up the next edition of Our Sabbath Scripture Book.  Our Sabbath Scripture Book follows the Pauline family as they prepare for the Sunday Gospel in fun and creative ways.   By using this simple tool, you and your family will learn how to incorporate the Gospel into your daily life by bringing it to an easily understandable level.

To give you a little taste, here is the story for this coming Sunday, the 2nd Sunday in Advent.  (Practical Hint: If your kids have a shorter attention span, it’s okay to just read the Gospel reading.)  Try it with your family and we are fairly confident in predicting that this little bit of preparation will help all of you to get more out of this Sunday’s readings.

Read aloud:         

  • Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11
  • 2 Peter 3:8-14
  • Mark 1:1-8

It was a crisp Sunday morning.  The Pauline family looked out their picture window at the snow that had piled up overnight.  It was a huge, white blanket of snow covering everything they could see.  There must have been 14 inches!

“Are we going to be able to make it to Mass today, Dad?” Lucy asked.

“I sure hope we can,” Dad answered.  He looked again at all the snow and wondered to himself if the car could get through.  The streets looked pretty congested and snow-packed.

Mom came back from the kitchen and said, “It looks like we might be stuck.  But I think that we should prepare ourselves for Sunday Mass by reading today’s Scriptures.  We’ll see if the snowplow comes in time to get us to church this morning.  If it does, we will be ready to go!”

The Paulines gathered around the kitchen table, and Dad read from Mark, Chapter l.  The reading told of John the Baptist who foretold the coming of Jesus by quoting the words of Isaiah, a great prophet of the Old Testament.  John spoke loudly, saying, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” (Mark 1:3b)  John went ahead of Jesus, telling people to remove any obstacles that would prevent them from entering into the full life God wants for them.

“Okay now, Kids,” Mr. Pauline said.  “Who can give me an example of how something goes ahead of something else to prepare the way?”

The kids looked around the room.  Nothing was coming to them.  Mom and Dad looked from one blank face to the next.

Just then they heard a sharp, grinding noise.  The noise was growing louder and louder.  It was coming with power and might.  It was the snowplow coming down the street!

Suddenly Vincent’s eyes brightened, and he leaped to his feet.

“That’s it!”  Vincent exclaimed.  “John the Baptist was like the snowplow!  He prepared the way for Jesus, like the snowplow is going ahead of us so we can get to church this morning!”

“Yeah!” said Mary Clare.  “The obstacles have been removed, and the path is now clear for us.”

John said, “I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”  (Mark 1:8)

SSB

We just started Cycle B and you can purchase a copy on our website, or by stopping in the Family Formation office any time during regular office hours.

The Basics: Meet the W.O.G.

October 5, 2014

It’s the beginning of the year, and in the interest of introducing all our old friends (and familiar elements), I’d like you to meet the W.O.G.  He’s our Family Formation mascot and it’s his job to encourage kids to read the Word Of God.  (Get it?)  You’ll see him greeting families at all our monthly meeting times and in a variety of other places.  His image has been on stickers, tattoos, and buttons in the past and you’ll see him printed in your home lessons in places where we want to remind you to open your Bibles.

Maybe most important is his work with the W.O.G. Logs.   Each month, we encourage kids to keep track of days they’ve remembered to read God’s Word.  At the Church of Saint Paul program, kids can bring their completed W.O.G. Log page back to the next Family Formation meeting to be entered in a drawing for some kind of prize.  (In October, 4 lucky kids won Dairy Queen gift cards!)

Of course, we hope kids will do a little Bible reading each day, but even if they only read one day in a particular month, we encourage them to bring the W.O.G. Log back to church for the next Family Formation classroom time.  God is glad for this beginning step and can use it to work in their lives!

There is a little change in procedure this year: instead of dropping off your W.O.G. Log at class with your catechist, we want you to put it in the appropriate box by the holy water font when you walk it.  We’ll still do prizes the same way – it’s just the drop off place that has changed a bit.

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So next time you come for class, be sure to say hi to the W.O.G!  He loves handshakes, hugs, and high-fives and is even glad to give just a little wave to shy kids who are peeking at him from behind a parent.  Most of all, he loves kids who spend time reading God’s Word!


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