Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Guess who?



Would you have guessed Lincoln said that?

In that spirit of surprise, who do you think said the following?

Once again I'm having one of those weeks when I don't read the Bible much; I never quite know what to do about it. I have no feeling of obligation about it, and I know, too, that after some time I'll plunge into it again voraciously. May one accept this as an entirely 'natural' mental process? I'm almost inclined to think so; it also happened, you know, during our vita communis. Of course there is the danger of laziness, but it would be wrong to get anxious about it; we can depend upon it that after the compass has wobbled a bit, it will point in the right direction again.


I'll give some hints throughout the day if they are needed.

Hint #1: Not an American

Hint #2: Brother-in-law was Jewish

Hint #3: Wrote letters we still read today

Hint #4: Knew the cost

Hint #5: Loved Negro Spirituals

Also, how do you feel about the Bible these days? Do you read it? Why? If you are in one of those seasons where you don't read it, how do you feel about that?

23 comments:

Chuck said...

My first guess is Mother Theresa, although Thomas Merton also comes to mind. And I have a third hunch that I won't divulge, as I don't want to take too many slots or give subliminal hints :-)

My attitude towards the Bible has not changed noticeably for a number of years. I still view it largely as the journal of a particular tribe as they encounter God and the world. It holds an important place historically and spiritually, but I don't find myself drawn to read or study it in great depth.

SusansPlace said...

I've not read the Bible in a good long time, though for a couple of months the book of "Ecclesiastes" keeps coming to mind. I do plan to reread what the wisest man had to say about life. Didn't it basically boil down to "eat, drink and be merry for tommorrow we die"? ;-)

Seriously, I have always had trouble reconciling portions of the Bible. The contradictory parts, the excessively violent parts, and the promises that don't hold true today have been problematic for me. Now that I've let go of having to make the pieces fit together, the Bible holds less frustration for me. I see the Old Testament as stories written by a group of people who were trying to make sense of their world and the supernatural. I am less clear on the New Testament..unsure how much of it is an accurate representation? Lots of questions there.

I don't know who the quote is from but I'm sure it is some well known religious figure. Interesting about Lincoln. I'll look forward to some clues.

Susan

julieunplugged said...

Chuck, not the good Mother or Thomas Merton. So go ahead and cough up that third. :)

Ampersand said...

Hmmm, I have some wild guesses, but I'm going to wait for more clues ;-).

What is vita communis? I know what the latin words mean, but I'm not sure what the phrase refers to. I tried googling that but got nothin'!

Rick said...

Hi Julie!

I have missed you and hope you are well. I just clicked on today and discovered your post. Funny enough, I just wrote about losing one's religion.

Just wanted to say hello and send you my best!

Rick

julieunplugged said...

Rick!! So glad you "emerged" to say hello. I've thought about you all fall and have worried/wondered how you are. Good to see your cyber wave.

I'll check out your post on losing your religion.

And I'm going to have to add another clue. :)

Julie

Ampersand said...

thinking, thinking, thinking...

googling, googling, googling...

isaiah said...

Pope John Paul II?

Ampersand said...

I'm going to take my best guess now...John Calvin?

julieunplugged said...

Not John Calvin.

Not Pope John Paul.

my15minutes said...

is it the esteemed martyr DB?

Ampersand said...

Bonhoeffer?

my15minutes said...

As for reading the Bible. I read. I read what I feel like reading, and I'm OK with that. Being "led by desire" as my buddy George Macdonald says. Sometimes that desire takes me to the Bible, and sometimes it doesn't. I always hear it being read in the liturgy at church, and somehow freeing the Bible from having the give me 'personal inspiration for living' has helped me hear it (rather than read it) afresh. I pretty much agree with your quotation in that regard.

Chuck said...

My third choice just got coughed up - Bonhoeffer. And I'm thinking your clues - plus the fact that you are working on a paper about him :-) - make it highly likely...

I have been rather intrigued by the spiritual doubts and faith crises that Mother Teeresa apparently struggled thru. "vita communis" however did make me think of either Bonhoeffer or someone from the Catholic tradition. I guess I should have used my "phone a friend" option. Sorry, Regis...

julieunplugged said...

Ding, ding, ding! We have loads of winners. :)

Yes, Dietrich Bonhoeffer from Letters and Papers from Prison.

Good job all. Fun to do this. Someone else ought to try it. I'd be game.

Julie

Dave said...

Bonhoeffer was my first guess, but now that you've revealed the answer, it might look like I'm just saying that in order to look like Mr. Smarty Pants... I will take you up on that "game" challenge and come up with something soon.

julieunplugged said...

Beth, I feel like you do about the Bible - not needing it to speak to me every day makes it less of a daily option but also more interesting when I do hear it read or read a passage. I am trying to hear it, not to apply it, which feels really different.

My favorite times of Bible reading came in my Greek class where the words really took on new qualities as we discovered them in Greek. That was my most recent encounter with the Bible that felt meaningful.

julieunplugged said...

Dave, yeah, yeah. Likely story. :)

Kansas Bob said...

I wondered if it was Bonhoeffer ... even before I saw the comments :)

Here's another quote:

"In regard to this Great Book, I have but to say, it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this book." -- Abraham Lincoln, September 7, 1864

About me and bible reading: I am head-over-heels into my preparation for The Bible in 90 Days class that I am leading at church. Just finished 2Kings ... started 12/1 and spend about an hour a day at it. I am enjoying it but also finding it to be a bit of a challenge ... I haven't read the whole bible in a number of years. Guess I read it, study it and meditate on it because it feeds my soul and gives me life - most of the time :)

Happy New Years Julie!

M.L.H. said...

At the risk of me-tooing, I came late to the party, but Bonhoeffer came to mind first. Can't think of too many other quotable Christians who were so frank about the ups and downs of their spiritual lives, and yet without anxiety about it. Can't think of too many believers I know who can do the same. We can certainly dollop on the guilt, but it seems that a life of faith would involve just what DB says -- letting the compass needle swing back through God's graceful tug on our hearts.

Rachel said...

Too easy! But I came in after you'd given all 5 clues. ;-) I might not have placed it right away without those.
Rachel

Carrie said...

Late, but..
1- I guessed DB.
2- I'm not at all surprised Lincoln said that. Sonlight did an amazing job of debunking Lincoln as a "Christian" leader for me. ;-)

Carri

Carol said...

Got to be Bonhoeffer!

I love reading my Bible. I don't do it because I have to though. It is truly my favorite book of all times (next is Les Mis!).