Thursday, August 26, 2010

Unity, Diversity, and Being Catholic

There's a fellow on Twitter who plans to post the entire Bible on his account, by doing one verse a day. Some of those verses will have to be posted in pieces, since they run more than Twitter's 140 character limit. Like Luke 1:5.

Bible Verses, Platitudes, and Me

My hat's off to him, and the folks who make those 'one platitude each day' websites.

Catholics are encouraged to read the Bible (May 31, 2010), and committing to typing a verse a day is one way to make sure you stay with a reading program. About platitudes, Hallmark demonstrated how many folks like sayings like 'be thankful.' That's good advice, by the way.

But I'm not going to recite Bible verses, or post parables at intervals.

For one thing, I've done my 'read the Bible, cover-to-cover' exercise and don't see a point in repeating it just yet. By the way, with due respect to the Author: some of those census reports in the Old Testament are not particularly scintillating reading.

I'm glad I read the whole Bible, though. It was a good way to get a sort of overview of what's in Holy Writ.

Why am I not going to type (or copy and paste) the entire Bible? There's the matter of copyright infringement: and yes, there's a copyright on the NAB.

Another, major, reason I see no need of transcribing the Old and New Testaments is that they're already available online. "The New American Bible" is on the Vatican's website: full text, with footnotes and links, and no index to speak of. Which is okay by me: I'd probably use Google to search for particular verses or topics, anyway.

As for parables: I can get those elsewhere, and I'm pretty sure you know where to find them, too.

Conforming to Catholic Teachings, Being an Individual

A joke from my 'good old days' involved a speaker addressing young people with, "all together now, say 'I am an individual!'"

It was a time when 'the nation's youth' declared their individuality and independence: by wearing jeans and T-shirts, and letting their hair grow.

I proclaimed my individuality by growing sideburns and wearing white socks every day of my high school years. The pocket protector and huge Adam's apple helped.

Fact is, I've never had difficulty standing out from the crowd: or having the crowd stand away from me. I'm not sure which way it went, in some cases.

What Being Catholic is Not

I did not convert to Catholicism because I wanted to be part of a clique where everybody would be like me. I've written about my reasons for conversion before, and probably will again.

The 1,100,000,000 or so Catholics living today are not a monolithic mass of indistinguishable church groupies.

One Body - Many Members

We all believe the same things - or should. That's where tools like the Catechism come in. But we are not - and are not expected to be - identical. There's the 1 Corinthians 12 thing, for starters.

Archbishop Gregory of Atlanta, Georgia, talked about individuality in the context of cultural diversity:
"...'Our efforts at national unity often depend upon bringing peoples' diversity into something of an artificial harmony that seeks to minimize the uniqueness and distinctiveness of people. The Catholic Church on the contrary focuses upon what we all share in common which is our faith and our oneness in Christ,' Archbishop Gregory said.

" 'To be a Catholic one need not abandon one's individuality. In fact, the Catholic Church is most perfectly herself when all of her children display that rich diversity that God has fashioned into the very heart of humanity,' the archbishop said. 'We are most Catholic when we reflect our oneness of faith and worship that is achieved in response to our rich mixture of human variety through the grace of the Holy Spirit.'..."
("Atlanta Archbishop delivers homily at Catholic Cultural Diversity Convocation," USCCB News Release, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (May 10, 2010))
[emphasis mine]
I figure that if God had wanted me to be close to the 50th percentile in most ways, that's the way He'd have made me. So I'm not going to try to be 'just like everybody else.'

Sure, there are things that a Catholic must believe, if he or she is going to be Catholic: But I think that leaves an enormous amount of room for what I'll call individual style. For some folks, that means posting one verse from the Bible each day. That's fine.

Me? I write posts like this one.

Related posts:


BroJer said...

The way Kewl thing about Holy Mother Church...there is room for us all! Married, single, traditional, charismatic, etc...the Lord I believe in His wisdom, set the church up in a way that allows every kind of personality, every way of life, to co-exist within it so that we can "compliment" each other, not "compete" with each other!

Thank You Lord, for loving us enough that You allow us to be, and accept us, just how we are. Teach us Lord, to see others the way that You do!
+++ Bro Jer

Brian H. Gill said...


Amen to that!

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.