Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Women of the Bible...

I was recently presenting my books and gift items at a conference of the Catholic Women's League, which is an organization of Canadian Catholic Women.

Over the past three years, I've had the pleasure of presenting my wares at three other conferences for the CWL, representing various districts.

I've been around CWL women most of my life. My mother belonged, even though she was not Catholic (they have associate memberships), as did my future mother-in-law, and many of the adult women I remember from my childhood were also members.

My mother always seemed to enjoy the company of these women although I do not recall, as a child, really knowing why they met.

Over the years, I joined a couple of times. My experiences with the local groups I connected with were not always positive and with time I got the idea that the CWL was really wandering away from what I thought should be their mandate of being Godly women.

I think that, gradually, I am beginning to see that there are many Godly women within the CWL and that they belong there. The speakers I had the pleasure of overhearing (I was not actually inside the meeting room) were very strong in their faith and very encouraging to the women to keep strong in the Faith.

This is consistant with what I have seen at the other conferences.

I do my best to sell only books and materials which support Church teaching. Where there have been other displays present with me, they seem to be in this mind-set as well.

What I sell and am asked about often leaves me in awe of these women.

Celebrating Mass when there is a CWL conference in town is a joy, as the women SING! This time, the Bishop was present. His homily exhorted the women to continue in their mission. He told them they were "engaged". I guess the homily might have been a little long. As the Bishop said "engaged" I happened to look up at the priests. They were not engaged. They appeared to be dozing. was getting late in the evening!

Keep up the good work, all bible-believing Catholic women out there!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Good Reading

Happy Easter

I've been trying to do more reading of late, now that the Octave of Easter has passed, and thespian activities in the household have subsided. It irritates me greatly when such things coincide, as they did this year, with opening night happening exactly one week from the beginning of the Triduum.

I like my holidays to be something I can focus on.

At any rate, I have had time for some reading.

One book is a children's book I have been reading to my son. It is a reprint by Sophia Institute Press of a title originally published by Benziger Brothers in 1882, and is called "Bible Stories for Little Children".

This is not the brightly coloured, padded cover type of children's Bible story book, but a little paperback with pen and ink drawings. This does not for a minute deter my son, who is five and developmentally delayed, from wanting to look at them!

The stories are succinct, but what has really grabbed MY interest so far is how brief commentary on some stories is used to point out where Old Testament stories are 'figures' (the word they use) of events in the New Testament.

I think the word we might be more familiar with is 'prefigurement' (perhaps too difficult a word for the younger reader!). Two examples I have come across so far are the passage through the Red Sea being a 'figure' of Baptism, and the manna in the desert being a figure of the Eucharist.

This impresses me greatly and at the same time illustrates how far Catholic Education has suffered. This book, I would guess, was originally intended for children from about 5 years of age and up.

I am a 45 year old Catholic who attended 11 years of Catechism classes, and attended Mass nearly every Sunday of my life, and it was not until about 8 years ago that I learned about the prefigurements in Scripture. IF I was ever taught, I certainly did not retain it! And here is this critical information being given to "Little Children" according to the book's title!

So why are these prefigurements so critical, anyway?

Last week, the Religious Ed session I had with the candidate I am teaching focused on Mary, Mother of God. There is little written about Mary in Sacred least on the surface. If one is aware of the prefigurements and types (another term used for prefigurements of a human sort) presented in the Old Testament, the story of Mary gains depth and breadth, and what is often dismissed as merely tradition by those who put no stock in Sacred Tradition, gains a great deal of credibility.

So, yes, I am pleased with this book and look forward to finishing it. I hope also to be finishing up "Everlasting Man" by GK Chesterton, which I am enjoying greatly, and "Remaining Catholic", published by ACTA which was loaned to me at Mass this morning.

More soon!

God Bless