Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Good Catholic Bibles - Why RC vs Protestant Bibles? - Prayers for reading the Bible

In the "New Covenant" made by our Creator God with humanity (Jeremiah 31:31-34) every person can know God from within - because the Holy Spirit is revealing our Creator to all who are willing to know the Lord and trust in Him. We can still help each other along the way; so may you be pleased to find here a variety of helps to the life of faith in God through Jesus Christ. G.S.

----------------------------------------------------------------


 PDF Version file   

Good Catholic Bibles 

(Quotes included shipping – check the links to verify a Bible has good study notes.)

1.     Saint Joseph New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible Hardcover – Jan. 1 1963                                 $76 used

2.     The New Jerusalem Bible: The Complete Text of the Ancient Canon of the Scriptures
with Up-to-Date Introductions and Notes Hardcover – Nov. 1 1985                                                     $41 used

3.     The New Jerusalem Bible: Standard edition Hardcover – March 16 1999                                          $37 new

4.     Christian Community Bible: Catholic Pastoral Edition, Green Hardcover – June 1 1999                   $40 new

5.     Ignatius Catholic Study Bible  New Testament only Hardcover – Illustrated, June 1 2010                  $49 new

6.     The Catholic Prayer Bible, Lectio Divina Edition Hardcover – Illustrated, June 26 2010                    $59 new

7.     Fathers of the Church Bible-NABRE Paperback – April 25 2013 by Our Sunday Visitor                      $62 new

8.     The Catholic Study Bible New American Bible Paperback – Illustrated, Feb. 25 2016             $51 new

9.     The Catholic Youth Bible, 4th Edition, NRSV: Paperback – Jan. 10 2018                                         $47 new

10.  The Catholic Youth Bible, 4th Edition, NRSV: Hardcover – Jan. 10 2018                                          $60 new

11.  The Great Adventure Catholic Bible Leather Bound – Sept. 4 2018                                       $92 new

12.  The Revised New Jerusalem Bible: Study Edition Hardcover – Dec 3 2019                          $77 new

What is the best edition of the Bible for Catholics? Short answer: There isn’t just one because none are perfect. The best approach is to have more than one different translation, even in a language other than English, and to compare the different versions of the same text in order to get a richer understanding of the meaning.

RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 


SIMPLE APPROACH TO READING THE BIBLE

How can we best read the Bible, the Word of God? Short answer: The Holy Spirit who inspired the original people who wrote the various texts is with us now to inspire us to “hear” God speak to us personally. Here are a few steps that will help you enter into a personal relationship of “listening” to God.

1.      Begin with a prayer asking the Holy Spirit to be with you to enlighten your mind and open your heart.

2.      WHAT? To understand “what” the Word says, it helps to read introductions to each book, notes at the bottom, and Bible commentaries. This “study” is different from reading the Word of God “prayerfully” but is a good step to better understand what was happening at the time God inspired the Bible writer.

3.      SO WHAT? Once we have an idea of what God was saying the first time, we can begin to wonder that that Word of God has to do with us, with me, now. This is where commentaries and homilies help.

4.      WHAT NOW? Once we begin to see the significance of what God said back then and what light God is shedding on our situation now; then we can begin to discern what God is saying to us, to me, now.

5.      HOW MUCH IS UP TO EACH OF US NOW? We are all under the obligation of obedience – as Jesus was obedient (listening and then doing) to the Father’s will – which also involves keeping the commandments, especially Jesus’ commandment to love our enemies and love one another as He loves us. Beyond that, we have a lot of freedom to discern what more the Lord is asking of us out of love.

6.      Always close with a prayer of thanksgiving to the Holy Spirit for enlightening and guiding us.


 RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE  



ONLINE SCRIPTURE RESOURCES – in
ENGLISH – la Traduction liturgique ou au CHOIX


You can get Kindle versions of most Bibles listed above at Amazon.ca (
CANADA) or Amazon.com (USA) You can also get Bible apps for your phone. Look for a Catholic Bible app.


Catholic Scripture Study International
– you can explore this option yourself

The Didache Series – Catholic teaching inspired by the Apostles examining the Roman Catholic Christian faith as well as the Sacred Scriptures – a high school curriculum edition and a parish edition – check it out

 RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 


Why are there Catholic Bibles and Protestant Bibles? Isn’t the Word of God one?

The earliest Jewish Scriptures trace back old oral traditions, and then to Moses after the Exodus which Scripture scholars and historians long placed around 1250 B.C.; to King David ca 1000 B.C., and subsequently to his son Solomon; both of whom composed a number of the Psalms which were originally set to music for singing.

After the Exodus, Moses and his collaborators and helpers developed the first five books of the Bible, called “The Torah” or “The Law” by Jews. Subsequently some of the historical books were written as well as some of the books by the prophets. There was a concentration of inspiration and writing before, during, and after the Babylonian Exile and Captivity which happened roughly between 597 and 538 B.C. and subsequently included rebuilding and rededicating the Temple. This caused a new edition of the Sacred Scriptures over a century or so.

 Subsequently there were a few more prophets and a lot of spiritual writing. In the few centuries before Jesus there developed a Jewish population of Greek language and culture in Egypt around Alexandria, and some of them composed some new Scriptures in their Greek language. For a time these works were welcomed into the Jewish religious culture even in Palestine / Israel and Judah.

By Jesus’ time the official list of inspired books in the Jewish Scriptures was fairly settled. However, as Jesus’ disciples made extensive use of the Jewish Scriptures, having been taught by Jesus how to trace the many prophecies about the coming Messiah and how Jesus had fulfilled them all; things began to change.

Many of the Scriptures originally composed in Greek, such as The Book of Wisdom, seemed given by God to prepare the way more intensively for the coming of his Son into the world. As a result, when the majority of the Jewish population rejected Jesus and the developing Christian faith, the Greek Scriptures fell out of favor. By coincidence corresponding to the three centuries of Roman persecution of Christians and often also of Jews, the Jewish religious leaders came to exclude those Greek Scriptures from their official list of the Word of God.

At the Council of Rome in 382 under the scholarship of Saint Jerome, the Catholic list or Canon of the Sacred Scriptures was set as it remains to this day. The Council commissioned Saint Jerome to translate the Bible into the current language of the people, which was Latin. This translation was called the Vulgate.

In the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century, Martin Luther and most other Reformers rejected this Catholic Canon of Scriptures and opted for the Jewish list or Canon. They therefore eliminated the books that had been originally composed in Greek rather than in Hebrew in and around Alexandria in the centuries before Jesus.

To this day, this remains the main difference between Catholic and Protestant Bibles. Orthodox Bibles have a few different lists but they most resemble the Catholic Canon. Here are the books included in Catholic Bibles but which Protestant Bibles exclude or include in a separate section called Apocrypha or Other Writings.

Tobit – Judith – 1st Book of Maccabees – 2nd Book of Maccabees – The Book of Wisdom – Ecclesiasticus also known as Ben Sira – Baruch 

Protestant Bibles: O.T. – 39 + 27 N.T. = 66 books in all

Catholic Bibles: O.T. – 46 + 27 N.T. = 73 books in all

Feel free to check out: Fr. Gilles’ Web Home Page                             Madonna House Apostolate

 RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 


PRAYERS TO THE HOLY SPIRIT FOR PONDERING THE WORD OF GOD

(In Saint Joseph “New Catholic Edition” of the HOLY BIBLE – Confraternity Edition, a Revision of the Challoner-Rheims Version Edited by Catholic Scholars under the Patronage of the Episcopal Committee of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine – Catholic Book Publishing Company, New York, 1962.


Before reading the Holy Scriptures

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love.

℣. Send forth Thy spirit and they shall be created.

Ʀ . And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.

Let Us Pray.

O God, Who didst instruct the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit; grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things and ever to rejoice in His consolation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 


After reading the Holy Scriptures

(Prayer of St. Bede the Venerable)

Let me not, O Lord, be puffed up with worldly wisdom, which passes away, but grant me that love which never abates, that I may not choose to know anything among men but Jesus, and Him crucified. (1 Cor. 13:8; 2:2.)

I pray Thee, loving Jesus, that as Thou hast graciously given me to drink in with delight the words of Thy knowledge, so Thou wouldst mercifully grant me to attain one day to Thee, the Fountain of all Wisdom and to appear forever before They face. Amen.

 


Opening Prayer at the Second Vatican Council – 1962

(By Pope John XXIII)

We stand before you, Holy Spirit, conscious of our sinfulness, but aware that we gather in your name. Come to us, remain with us, and enlighten our hearts. Give us light and strength to know your will, to make it our own, and to live it in our lives. Guide us by your wisdom, support us by your power, for you are God, sharing the glory of Father and Son. You desire justice for all: enable us to uphold the rights of others; do not allow us to be misled by ignorance or corrupted by fear or favour. Unite us to yourself in the bond of love and keep us faithful to all that is true. As we gather in your name may we temper justice with love, so that all our decisions may be pleasing to you, and earn the reward promised to good and faithful servants. You live and reign with the Father and the Son, One God, forever and ever. Amen

 

Saint Pope John XXIII, pray for us.


RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 


----------------------------------------------------------------

In the "New Covenant" made by our Creator God with humanity (Jeremiah 31:31-34) every person can know God from within - because the Holy Spirit is revealing our Creator to all who are willing to know the Lord and trust in Him. We can still help each other along the way; so may you be pleased to find here a variety of helps to the life of faith in God through Jesus Christ. G.S.

----------------------------------------------------------------

© 2006-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2006-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC
 

+ + + + + + + + + + + +  

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Christian Prayer – How to Pray as a Married Couple, that is, with your spouse

In the "New Covenant" made by our Creator God with humanity (Jeremiah 31:31-34) every person can know God from within - because the Holy Spirit is revealing our Creator to all who are willing to know the Lord and trust in Him. We can still help each other along the way; so may you be pleased to find here a variety of helps to the life of faith in God through Jesus Christ. G.S.

----------------------------------------------------------------


 PDF file for more detail   

Christian Prayer – How to Pray as a Married Couple, that is, with your spouse

For busy parents – a simple approach to prayer 

Prayer is simply visiting with God – the Creator – who is always present – a Community of Divine Persons: the Father, the Son, Jesus – and the Holy Spirit.

PRELIMINARY NOTES FOR ALL WHO PRAY

1.      BUSY PRAYER IN THE DUTY OF THE MOMENT: We can pray – visit with God – anywhere, anytime, but in the car, driver, attention to the road!

 

2.      PRAYER OF SILENCE: Friends of God find Him in the silence we learn to keep within ourselves, quieting our mind, heart, and spirit, like a baby in the parent’s lap. We can share the silence together.

 

3.      OTHER FORMS OF PRAYER: You can pray TO God with Scripture, with the Mysteries of the Rosary; at Holy Mass; or with the saints.

 

4.      PRAYER TIME & PLACE: Choose a time and place to visit together with God by setting aside any other activity.

 

5.      IT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO REALLY DOES THE PRAYING WITHIN US: Let the Holy Spirit carry you in the praying, and to help you pay attention to each other and listen with care to each other.

RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 

ACTUALLY PRAYING

1.      “BE NOT AFRAID!” Remember: God will always remain mysterious to us, but what’s life without mystery?

 

2.      DECIDE: Simply decide to take some time to visit with God together.

 

3.      ASK: Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you both and help you to pray together, to visit together with the Holy Trinity.

 

4.      ENTER INTO YOUR PRAYER METHOD: In silent prayer OR with a Scripture text OR with the Mysteries of Jesus in the Rosary OR…

 

5.      “WORRY NOT – ENJOY!” Enjoy the presence and the love of God the Father, his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in the presence of your spouse.

 

6.      AT THE END GIVE THANKS: Say together or one of you for both: “Thank You, Lord… or Father… or Jesus… or Holy Spirit.”


SCROLL DOWN FOR MORE DETAIL 

Especially for busy parents with young children – simplifying our approach to prayer

Prayer is visiting with God – the Creator of the Universe – who is always present. Jesus revealed God to be a Divine Being that is a Trinity, a Community of Divine Persons: the Father, the Son – who became human through Mary and is named Jesus – and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides us interiorly in our own spirit.

RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 

PRELIMINARY NOTES FOR ALL WHO PRAY

1.      BUSY PRAYER IN THE DUTY OF THE MOMENT: Our life is complex in many dimensions. We can pray – visit with God – anywhere, anytime: in bed, in the shower, as we prepare food, before / after a meal, commuting to and from work, pausing a moment during work, at play…. CAUTION: Pay attention in the “front” of your mind to what you are doing to avoid injury… let prayer “happen” on the “back burner”….

2.      PRAYER OF SILENCE: Friends of God find Him in silence, not the absence of noise, but in the silence we learn to keep within ourselves, quieting our mind, heart, and spirit, like a baby in the parent’s lap. You can brush away interior “noises” by noticing them and immediately letting them go with your “out” breath. Try to sync your breath in / out with a holy word: “Lord Jesus, I trust in you.” OR simply “Jesus Christ.”

3.      OTHER FORMS OF PRAYER: You can pray with Scripture, the Word of God in the Bible; or with the Mysteries of the Rosary; or at Holy Mass; or TO God WITH the saints to help you pray; or written prayers.

4.      PRAYER TIME & PLACE: Choose a time and place to visit with God by setting aside any other activity.

5.      IT IS THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO REALLY DOES THE PRAYING WITHIN US: Let the Holy Spirit carry you in the praying, especially when you are doing something else. At all times it is really the Holy Spirit who prays in us, and if we want, the Holy Spirit can give us the grace to relax; so we don’t need to “strain the brain” at all, and the Holy Spirit teaches us how to allow the prayer to “echo” within our spirit.

 



ACTUALLY PRAYING TOGETHER

6.      “BE NOT AFRAID!” Remember: God, revealed to us by Jesus of Nazareth, is a “Divine Being” in whom is a “community” of Divine Persons: the Father, his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit; yet God is a single Divine Being. God will always remain mysterious to us, but what’s life without mystery?

7.      DECIDE: Simply decide together to pray with each other, and in this way visit together with God.

8.      ASK: Ask the Holy Spirit to be with you and help you to pray, to visit with the Holy Trinity.

9.      ENTER INTO YOUR PRAYER METHOD: In silent prayer together using a “holy word”, learn to “breathe” the word in and out, letting your breath and word “sync” to relax and rest in the Lord.
OR Select a
Scripture text and read slowly, “ponder” the words, let them touch your mind, heart, spirit.
OR Pray the
Rosary with Mary while meditating on the Mysteries of Jesus in the Holy Rosary. OR…

10.  “WORRY NOT – ENJOY”: You can almost hear Yoda say this to you. Just let whatever comes into your mind or heart – worries, ideas, emotions, resolutions, anxieties, lists or whatever – as you notice it wanting to occupy you, just let it drop, fall away… you will be able to find it or pick it up again later. Enjoy the presence and the love of God the Father, his Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

11.  AT THE END GIVE THANKS: Say “Thank You, Lord… or Father… or Jesus… or Holy Spirit.”

+ * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 

PRAYING WITH HOLY SCRIPTURE – THE WORD OF GOD – AS A COUPLE

God is the source of vitality and love for Marriage and Family life.  Prayer is entertaining God’s presence in order to let Him connect us to his divine vitality. Here is how you can pray together as a Couple.

Step 1.  Pick a form of prayer activity, such as praying with Scripture, and select a passage.

Step 2.  Someone pray out loud, in a way something like this, in order to ask God’s guidance: “Dear God, here we are in your presence. Please guide and inspire us, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Step 3.  Follow this simple process, which will give each person the opportunity to hear the other person sharing their thoughts and in this way reveal how they need to be prayed for.

1.      One person read the Scripture passage out loud, slowly, and clearly. 

2.      Both remain quiet for a good 2 to 3 minutes, to allow the Word of God time to bounce around inside you and stir up impressions that come from your daily life, thoughts, and feelings.

3.      The other person reads the same passage over again out loud, slowly, and clearly.

4.      Both listen again in silence to what’s bouncing around inside as the Word of God continues to connect with thoughts, impressions, and feelings that come from your daily life and deep within you.

RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 

Step 4.  Now you take turns putting into words, for each other’s sake, what effect the Word of God had on you.

1.      Now one of you can start and give the other a glimpse of what the reading from Scripture stirred up inside – your thoughts, impressions, feelings, and maybe experience of your day. The other listens.

2.      The second person prays a simple prayer out loud repeating some of the words the first used to say what in them is being touched by the Word of God.                E.g.: She said, “As I listened, I remembered the fight I had with my boss, and I feel bad about it, and worried.” So, he says, “Father in Heaven, You heard her say what happened, and now she feels bad and worried. Please give her peace and help her find a way to resolve this problem, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!”     

3.      Your prayer for the other can be simple or detailed, as you are comfortable and have the time to do, but use the other’s own words. This whole exercise is done in freedom, trust, faith, and generosity.

Step 5.  Now it’s the other’s turn to put into words, for each other’s sake, how the Word of God touched you.

1.      Now the second gives the first a glimpse of what the reading from Scripture stirred up inside – your thoughts, impressions, feelings, and maybe experience of your day. The one who was first listens.

2.      The one who was first prays a simple prayer out loud repeating some of the words the second used to describe what in them is being touched by the Word of God.                 E.g.: He said, “As I listened, I recalled I didn’t handle our child’s discipline very well, and I don’t know what to do.” So, she says, “Father in Heaven, You heard him say what happened, and now doesn’t know what to do. Please give him peace and help him find a way to correct this problem, in Jesus’ Name. Amen!”    

3.      Your prayer for the other can be simple or detailed, as you are comfortable and have the time to do, but use the other’s own words. This whole exercise is done in freedom, trust, faith, and generosity.

RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 

Step 6.  You look at each other and notice how you now feel, having prayed for one another. (Kleenex time?)

1.      You may not need to talk, but may see in each other’s eyes that this has been a significant time of prayer – a time of intimacy with God, but also a time of intimacy with each other – you have trusted each other with simple, daily, secrets of the heart. You are revealing yourself to each other in love.

2.      We tend to feel tremendously loved when someone listens to our heart, because this is who we are.

Step 7.  Wrap-up and closing

1.      Now, hold hands, sitting as you are, or standing up, or even kneeling together. 

2.      Wrap up with prayer out loud in your own words, to simply express to God your gratitude for his abiding presence, care, and love. 

3.      You can also end with an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory be to the Father.

4.      Feel free to hug, kiss, stand up, genuflect, prostrate yourself, bow before an icon, make the Sign of the Cross, or make a reverent genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament if in a chapel. Prayer may be without words and is as lively and connected as we are. Praying together is a marvellous way for husband and wife to prepare for sexual intimacy, the “holy blessing” of Matrimony, especially when unhurriedly he joins gently with his wife, entirely focused on her pleasure rather than his own.

Remember that prayer is a normal human activity. You will become more at ease with it the more you do it. On the other hand, because you are not alone in it, but God is there with you, prayer is not only a human activity, but also divine, like a dance. So it doesn’t make sense to try to evaluate our prayer experiences using human parameters or measuring sticks. In fact, it is better not to evaluate our prayer at all, but rather to pay attention to the fidelity and generosity with which we spend or “waste” time “visiting” with God every day. With time you will discover which forms of prayer are most loving for each other and most helpful in your couple intimacy. The ultimate rule of thumb is the rule of love that expresses itself and gives itself in freedom and generosity.

+ * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * + * +

RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 

PRAYING WITH HOLY SCRIPTURE – THE WORD OF GOD – AS A COUPLE

The above method of praying as a couple with Sacred Scripture can be easily enough adapted to other forms of prayer, such as meditating on Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, reading spiritual works by one of the saints, reading inspiring passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, sermons from the saints or pastoral and spiritual letters written by various Popes, and so on. There is no talking when you pray in silence together, but at the end of the silence you can share with each other any “word” you felt arise within you perhaps as a “personal hint” from God. By sharing such “words” with the other, you can better discern together whether this word is really from God or simply a distraction, or perhaps even a temptation from the “evil one”, the “adversary of humanity”, the evil angel who accuses us before God and tries to lead us astray here on Earth.

Whenever you pray together as a couple, the abiding values are:

First - in your praying together to God at the beginning and at the end; 

Second - in your “interior converse” with God;

Third in your sharing with each other;

Fourth - in your listening to each other;

Fifth - in your praying out loud for each other;

Sixth in the mutual trust you show to each other by the simple act of praying together; and

Seventhin actually opening your heart, mind, soul, and body (sharing at times even any physical sensations you may have experienced during prayer) to each other.

God is always at work within us, but through the incredible trust we show God and each other in praying as a couple; we give God permission to accomplish wonderful things in us individually and in our couple.

RETURN TO CATHOLIC CHRISTIAN TOOLS PAGE 


----------------------------------------------------------------

In the "New Covenant" made by our Creator God with humanity (Jeremiah 31:31-34) every person can know God from within - because the Holy Spirit is revealing our Creator to all who are willing to know the Lord and trust in Him. We can still help each other along the way; so may you be pleased to find here a variety of helps to the life of faith in God through Jesus Christ. G.S.

----------------------------------------------------------------

© 2006-2021 All rights reserved Fr. Gilles Surprenant, Associate Priest of Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montreal  QC
© 2006-2021 Tous droits réservés Abbé Gilles Surprenant, Prêtre Associé de Madonna House Apostolate & Poustinik, Montréal QC
 

+ + + + + + + + + + + +  

Règles du discernement des esprits de la première semaine - Selon Saint Ignace de Loyola, fondateur de la Société de Jésus au 16e siècle

In the "New Covenant" made by our Creator God with humanity, as reported in Jeremiah 31:31-34, every human being can know God from...