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« A Little Apocalypse Now and Then | Main | Pope Benedict XVI: Theologian of the Bible »

Monday, November 15, 2010


Haven't done my homework and read the work yet, but is there any mention made of the biblia pauperum tradition of visual treatments of typology as seen in the altar of Verdun?

Or the grisaille vs technicolor telling of the Good News in a speculum humanae salvationis (a 'mirror on man's salvation')

IMHO functional illiteracy would preclude much of what may be assumed from "reading" the Word - even more so when the hearers of the Word at Mass are subjected to homiletics unrelated to the texts, no?
Clare Krishan

More on the typology of the speculum and ecclesial arts here:

(indeed Marian apparations such as Guadaloupe and Fatima evidence
an illuminated typology akin to those found for the 'burning bush
unconsumed' of Eastern iconography: reflections of the universal
Word sent to reconcile the division of sin... )


This is a fascinating subject.

There seems to be a creeping suspicion in some Catholic circles that liturgy is for Catholics, the Bible is for Protestants.

Creeping suspicion? What an understatement!

Ask Marcus Grodi, how many Catholics has he spoken to who when returning to the Church for the Eucharist (liturgy) have told him that they left because they "weren't being fed?" They went down the street to the Baptist Church where the preacher would open up the Scriptures and expound in certain tones.

The immediate Catholic apologetic response to such a statement is, of course, did they not know they were being fed by the Eucharist? True enough, but the stream of people going to Protestant Bible studies etc. should tell us one simple thing.

The Holy Father has given us the entire context and backdrop in his usual thorough fashion, but at the ground level of the parish it is not complicated. As a Baptist preacher said to me once many years ago, "people are hungry for the Word of God."

For a Sola Scriptura believer, it is all very simple and imperative. Preach it and teach it. That's all they have and they make the most of it. But does that mean we have to leave it all to them?

An exchange I heard on the Sirius Catholic Channel one afternoon said it all for me. In the course of a little quiz segment, the priest who was on the show answered a question pertaining to the duties of a priest, one of which he said was "preparing sermons." There ensued a small debate whether properly speaking a priest should be preparing "homilies" rather than "sermons." It was clear that this was far beyond a question semantics.

How many times have we listened in frustration to a homily on a Sunday morning as a priest nibbled around the edges, spent precious minutes relating a humorous story, and then wound it up leaving so much of the Scripture readings still on the table?

I hope this encyclical will have the effect that I think the Holy Father desires, a revival of the study and explication of the Scriptures from the heart of the Church.

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