Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Best Jerusalem Bible is a Well Loved One

I have been looking at a Jerusalem Bible on the shelf of my favorite used book store for about , oh... 2-3 years. Hoping each time I go in that it's still there and I will feel like having a reason to spend the 25 dollars all at once.

I bought it today! Along with a new Swann's Way by Proust. It has a two fold purpose for me, get back into knowing every nook and cranny of scripture and remembering those wonderful college years attending noon mass at LSU with Father Jacques Seynaeve. I loved it when he was serving for mass. In that time period, most of the time there would only be about five or so of us attending daily masses. Another girl and I would almost rush to see who could help him the most in the sacristy. He could never remember our names, and almost every time I mentioned my last name: Schmitt, he'd say "Oh, (something in German)" and I would say, Father I don't speak German. But I was always, always completely charmed by him, and the fact that he looked like an angel in only his alb.

I decided to take his class on the Gospel of John. I think at that time, I wasn't experiencing the power of scripture yet. But one day I opened up the gospels and they came alive in a moment. Then I took his class.

He slowly and carefully dissected the words for all of us to understand. He loved his large Jerusalem bible and touted that it was the 'best' bible to use for study. (Probably because it had originally been written in French, his native language.) He is Belgian. I still have my notes for the final oral exam. I will always remember I forgot to use the word shema.

When I loned the bible I used for that class to my brother, and then he moved to CA, I wanted it back for a long time just to read my notes and marks written amongst the pages of John. I finally received it back when I flew there a year or two ago after several years. Inside were all the trappings of a wonderful Catholic experience helped by a scholar of the scripture.

I don't know where Fr. Jacque is today, but I hope he is well. I know Father Jacque must be charming all the young people in Belgium! And today I would love to tell him I purchased a Jerusalem Bible of my own and hope to use it in a Theology program this semester, God willing.