Monday, December 10, 2007

ADVENTure Continues (2nd Week)

Since the second candle on the Advent wreath represents the Bible, I figure it's a good time to write more about what I do, technically speaking, whenever my mind leaps to scripture during the writing process. I'll start by noting how it's a minor miracle that my mind leaps to scripture at all. It wasn't always thus.

For the past two decades, however, regularly reading scripture and practicing lectio divina has clearly had an impact on my life. As a practical matter, I rely on tools when I write. I use a combination of references to chase down full citations when scripture snippets occur to me, or to discover what has been recorded about specific concepts or events.

Bookmarked on my computer: SearchGodsWord and the New American Bible as available on the USCCB site even though I generally can't abide the NAB translation.

By my desk:
  • A. Colin Day, Roget's Thesaurus of the Bible, which I find easier to use than Strong's Concordance. I rely on a 1998 paperback edition that I found remaindered
  • The Catholic Comparative New Testament, great for comparing translations.
  • Tanakh:The Holy Scriptures (Jewish Publication Society translation). It doesn't use the customary two-column page design, which makes it easier to read as narrative.
  • I also refer to a copy of the NIV (New International Version) translation. Its version of Hebrew scripture is remarkably consistent with the JPS translation. Imagine that!
You can count on me having much more to say in future posts about how writing is itself a spiritual practice.


  1. Hey Mere... I have an unrelated question for you (no surprise)... I would like your thoughts on community and the Mass experience. I understand there is no one right answer... but for example I love Mass without music because the music invariably makes me cry and perhaps lose focus. (Even the Amen, let alone the Alleluia or the other "stuff"). I love going to Mass in my parish and seeing people I know... but I feel close to Christ in a different way when I go to a neighboring parish where I know no one. Help!

  2. You cry during Mass?!? Silent weeping or sobbing to the edge of hiccups? I have, of course, achieved both. May I never take for granted the surprise and wonder I feel when moved to tears during the liturgy.

    The issue of community, is a top-of-heart-and-mind topic for me these days, so I'll focus on this in a blog post. Hint: My answer has to do with how "community" gets defined.


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