Without Having Seen
quodcumque dixerit vobis facite
RE: Bart’s Problem
Panther97, I highly recommend any book by the Anglican Bishop of Durham, N. T. Wright. His books aimed at your average Joe (at least as far as Scripture study is concerned) are published under the name Tom Wright. His book "Simply Christian" is good, and his series, "... for Everyone," as in "Matthew for Everyone" is also good. He is not Catholic, but probably 95% of what he says is entirely compatible with Catholic thinking, and he tends to be clear when he is moving away from general Christian doctrines into more specifically Anglican or Protestant perspectives. His "The New Testament and the People of God" is a large and scholarly defense of the origins of the New Testament. Scott Hahn, and for that matter the author of the above piece, David Scott, are both excellent authors. You know, at home I have a booklet that lists hundreds of scholars by the Bible books about which they've written, and also notes their basic perspective: Catholic, Fundamentalist, Mainline-Liberal, etc. Would you be interested in that sort of information? Is there a particular book of the Bible that you want to read about?
RE: Bart’s Problem
Oh, Panther97, if you're interested, email me directly. My address is withouthavingseen at gmail. I only come on here often enough to chime in, but not to conduct a coherent or responsive dialog!
RE: Seeing Others
Mr. Zimmerman, I think toward the end of your very well-written article you get to the heart of what leads us to see through others, rendering them invisible. I want to clarify that point and repropose it while drawing Christ into its core. We are each wounded and our wounds are painful. Those wounds don't quite heal over, except in the warm tenderness of Christ. Otherwise, they only scar, become very hard, and yet somehow still sensitive from time to time. Hardened over and forgotten, our wounds become sources of pain - woe to him who even inadvertently bumps into one of our sore spots - that we can't quite trace. Something hurts, but we are only vaguely aware of it and have no clue why, so long ago has the wound been buried and forgotten. Like a splinter that we never let our Father remove, it becomes infected. The vision of a vulnerable or visibly damaged other is an unpleasant reminder of the wounds we have suppressed from our consciousness and (we think) from our self-presentation to others. In reality, our wounds ooze and everyone but us (or perhaps more bitterly wounded souls) can tell that we are angry, hurt, fearful, desperate. Our wounds ooze these things and we think that continuing maintenance has fixed the problem. A homeless beggar, someone we know to be undergoing major psychiatric intervention, a retarded woman at church, a humiliated prostitute, a war amputee - all these people make us uncomfortable because we are uncomfortable in our own wounded skin. Jesus Christ, the Divine Physician, alone can heal our personal, internal wounds and divisions, which healing is a precursor to any genuine interpersonal, external wounds. We live in a marvelous age with all kinds of modern miracles that people frankly no longer trust. We cling to them for lack of anything better; yet, nobody really expects psychiatry alone, politics alone, economics alone to make them better, to heal them. As a result, our world is becoming desperate. This is what the late John Paul the Great of blessed memory and our current Holy Father have been telling us: now is the time to cast into the deep, seeking that deep interior healing upon which all transformation in Christ is based; now is the time to seek holiness so that we can show the world is a new way; now is the time to proclaim the Resurrection of Jesus Christ Crucified. We must proclaim him in words of love and in deeds of mercy. When we do, a hungry, thirsty, wounded world will begin to reorganize itself around Christ, and implicitly against the powers that have divided and enslaved us. Thank you for your thoughtful article.