My parents just passed along a recent bulletin from their parish. Here is The Pastor's Perspective, a column by the pastor of their parish....
With all of the various things happening in the world today, maybe it's time to pull out my favorite psalm and give a kind of lesson on life as it is. So...here goes: PSALM 23 "The Lord is my shepherd - that's relationship. I shall not want - that's supply. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures - that's rest. He leadeth me beside the still waters - that's refreshment. He restoreth my soul - that's healing. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness - that's guidance. For His name sake - that's purpose. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death - that's testing. I will fear no evil - that's protection. For thou art with me - that's faithfulness. Thy rod and they staff they comfort me - that's discipline. Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies - that's hope. Thou anointest my head with oil - that's consecration. My cup runneth over - that's abundance. Surely the house of the Lord - that's security. Forever - that's eternity!" Face it - the Lord is crazy about YOU! What is most valuable is not what we have in our lives, but WHO we have in our lives! A Swahili proverb puts it best: "LIFE IS THE BEST GIFT; THE REST IS EXTRA."
At firt, I thought that he was using the Douay Rheims with the type of language, but then I realized that it was using the KJV and that it was numbered 23 and not 22 (which is the Greek numbering and the numbering in the Douay Rheims). Hmmm. A Catholic priest. Interesting...but I'll kinda let that pass. I think that it would have been better to use a Catholic Bible, but I digress.
The real issue for me lies in the fact that he does an okay job with the allusions in the breakdown, until he caps it all off with a Pagan saying. PAGAN! Didn't the Christian statement speak enough for itself? Perhaps someone should also pass along that it is not Swahili, but rather it is a Tanzanian proverb.
Honestly, Father could have used any one of a number of Catholic responses as opposed to the PAGAN one, such as Ecclesiastes 3:13; Judith 12:14; Proverbs 15:24 or Ecclesiasticus 30:23. Call me crazy, but I think that would be just a little more theologically appropos.
When we lack proper theology, we will start to grasp at anything. Clearly Father didn't grasp what he was saying in the body of this, otherwise he would not have closed with a PAGAN saying. What a telling state of how Catholic theology is viewed today. The Sacred Scriptures are not enough, we must rely on Humanism to bring the real message, and relegate the Sacred Scripture to the "lead in."
I had hope....then I finished reading.