Feast of St. Benedict

Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Benedict of Nursia, the founder of western monasticism and the creator of St. Benedict’s Rule, a guide to monastic life in which the monks of Conception Abbey follow.

During his life, St. Benedict was known to have performed numerous miracles, including breaking a glass full of poison with the Sign of the Cross, saving a man from drowning by briefly becoming another person, reading the minds of his monks, bringing a child back to life, exorcising a demon and more.

Although St. Benedict lived for several years in solitude, many people found his miracles alluring and began to follow his teachings.  He went on to establish 12 monasteries, each with 12 monks, and himself in general control of all. One of St. Benedict’s greatest achievements was his Rule, a guide for the government and the spiritual and material well-being of a monastery. His Rule is said to be one of the most influential religious rules in Western Christendom.

Here at The Printery House, we offer a unique selection of St. Benedict products, including rosaries, jewelry, icons, cards, books and more. Click the link below to see our full collection:

http://bit.ly/2KNO6Wo

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The Printery House: Send Something You Believe In!

As we come together this week to celebrate our nation’s independence we are reminded of the freedoms we enjoy and the rights we share as citizens within the United States.  We remember those fought, and are currently fighting, for our country so that we can be free from tyranny and truly pursue happiness.

On 4 July 1776 the United States was born by declaring its independence from Great Britain.  The preamble of the Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  We as a nation have struggled over the years when trying to truly understand what a “right” is, and what is self-evident.

In November 1863 President Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address, which began: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” President Lincoln reminded us during the Civil War that we as a nation had not lived up to the belief that all men were created equal.  He reminded us “that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Prayer Card

I Have a Dream prayer card

One hundred years later, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream speech” He makes reference to the Emancipation Proclamation given by President Lincoln calling for freedom from slavery in the United States.  Dr. King in this speech was harkening back not only 100 years, but 187 years to when the Continental Congress declared independence.  King writes:

“When we allow freedom to ring – when we let it ring from every city and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, free at last, great God almighty, we are free at last.’”

 

My brothers and sisters, may we take a moment this July fourth to remember our 242-year history.  May we remember that we have not always gotten it right.  May we remember that men and women have given their lives so that we can have freedom of speech, to vote, to truly live in the pursuit of Happiness.  May we take a moment to pray this July fourth.  Pray for those who are persecuted in our country; pray for those in our military protecting our freedoms; pray for each other; pray that we may let go of our prejudices, so that, we can truly be “one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

 

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Scripture Sources and Inclusive Language

Why does The Printery House use the NRSV for its Scripture quotations?

Holy BiblePeople sometimes ask us why we use Scripture quotations from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible (NRSV). This question often comes from Catholics, who are more familiar with the New American Bible. The New American Bible texts are more familiar to most U.S. Catholics because that is the version we hear proclaimed at Mass. However, the NRSV text is also approved by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops for use by Catholics in private (non-liturgical) settings.  (See http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations/index.cfm). The primary reason we choose to use the NRSV is because both Catholics and Protestants accept it.

Principles of Translation

Here is some information from the preface to the New Revised Standard Version:

Version History:

  • King James Version, 1611
  • American Standard Version, 1901, based on earlier revisions of KJV
  • Revised Standard Version, 1952
  • New Revised Standard Version, 1989

“…the Revised Standard Version gained the distinction of being officially authorized for use by all major Christian churches: Protestant, Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox.”

The translators of the NRSV include men and women,  Protestants and Catholics. The group also includes “an Eastern Orthodox member, and a Jewish member who serves in the Old Testament section.”*

Making Choices

Our goal is to reach as wide an audience as possible. Although we use the Catholic Edition of the NRSV, we generally avoid quoting from books which Protestants do not accept as canonical Scripture. This would include the books of 1 and 2 Maccabees, Baruch, Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Sirach, and parts of the books of Esther and Daniel. For a good summary the differences between Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Bibles, see the Christian Bible Reference Site. (http://www.christianbiblereference.org/faq_bibles.htm)

Inclusive Language?

In creating the NRSV translation, the principle followed was “As literal as possible, as free as necessary.”* The translators paraphrased only rarely. They did so mainly for the sake of inclusive language. That is, they often shifted passages using “he” or “him” in reference to human beings into the plural. A good example is Psalm 1:1: “Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked…” (NRSV). In other translations this verse is rendered in the original singular: “Blessed indeed is the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked…” (from The Revised Grail Psalms: A Liturgical Psalter © 2010, Conception Abbey/The Grail, GIA Publications, Inc., exclusive agent.  www.giamusic.com All rights reserved.). The translators of the NRSV used inclusive paraphrases wherever they felt it did not obscure “the historic structure and literary character of the original.”*

God and Pronouns

On the issue of using gender-neutral language when referring to God, we do acknowledge current Catholic Church teaching on the general principle that God has no gender:

“In no way is God in man’s image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit in which there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective ‘perfections’ of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother and those of a father and husband” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 370; see Is 49:14-15; Is 66: 13; Ps 131:2-3; Hos 11:1-4; Jer 3:4- 19).

However, we also recognize the difficulty of creating an appropriate language for God. Our concern is to remain faithful to our mission and to our Church while reaching as many people as possible. Because of this, we prefer translations which have been approved for Catholic use. These tend to be translations which respect the grammar and style of the original languages. This includes the traditional use of masculine pronouns to refer to God. We choose to quote the Scriptures as given in the NRSV because it is commonly accepted among mainline Christian denominations. We do realize that this will not please everyone. The English language continues to evolve. If a newer, more inclusive translation becomes widely accepted, we may consider adopting it.

Options

For the present, we will continue to use the NRSV. If you would like us to produce a card for you with a Scripture quotation from a different translation of the Bible, we will be happy to do so. You would, however, need to pay our customization fee. We must also be able to obtain permission from the copyright owner to reproduce the copyrighted material for sale. If your request involves custom calligraphy, the fee will be greater.

 

* Unless otherwise indicated, quotations above are from the preface to the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville,  TN.

Br. David is a monk of Conception Abbey and webmaster for The Printery House.

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A Word From The “New Guy On The Block”

While I’ve never lived with the thought that I am defined by my career, I have always been blessed to be in a position I am proud to hold. I see work as a means to support my family, but I also see my work as an avenue to serve the Lord. If you’re able to do something you love that’s just icing on the cake.

I’ve spent the last 10 years of my professional career writing for local newspapers in my hometown community. It’s been a wonderful experience getting to share stories of great moments that impact people’s lives. I decided to make a professional shift in order to get hours that are closer matched to my family’s in hopes to spending more time as a husband and father.

Living in rural Missouri I never imagined that I’d be fortunate enough to step out of the newspaper gig and land in a similar position.  Finding myself at the Conception Abbey and The Printery House doing something just as fun – assisting in card development and marketing through graphic design – I have found that God truly does works in mysterious ways.

As a Christian I’ve always enjoyed touting that I am “spreading the good news” through my job as a reporter. While not every story was Christian-based, they were always positive in spirit and brought joy to the reader.  This stands in contrast to the news we have become accustomed to from things like TV and social media. I told my editors that I refused to be an “ambulance chaser” that reported on things like wrecks. While reporting in this way may increase readership, I never wanted to portray the worst experiences in someone’s life. I did unfortunately have to cover some big events in the community that had a negative impact, but with the caveat of how someone is making the best of the situation or used my platform to assist that individual through their hardship.

As I begin this new chapter in my career working at The Printery House, I can continue to boast that I help spread the good news, but this time it can be the Good News of our salvation through Christ. There is a joy and peace knowing that I am part of something that can have such a great impact in someone’s life.  My hope is that you will also feel that joy when you purchase something from us.

I look forward to working with you, our friends, and hope to hear from you all as I continue to work on stationery customization through graphic design here at The Printery House.

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