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The Word that Matters: Weekly Message for 07-23-2019
Dear Friends in Christ,
190 years ago today, in 1829, the U.S. Patent Office awarded William Austin Burt the patent for “a type writing machine for the first time in any country,” although it was actually just the first in America (Pellegrino Turri had made one in Italy in 1808, and in 1714 the British patent office issued a patent to Henry Mill for a typewriter that he never ended up building). Burt’s invention was called a “typographer.” It proved impractical and didn’t catch on; it was the “type-writer” by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1867 that ultimately caught on. The hyphen didn’t disappear from the name “typewriter” until the 1880s. Typewriters today have largely passed into the realm of historical curiosity.
Today we have so many ways to put the spoken word or thought into writing: voice recognition, keyboards – electronic and digital, optical character recognition, and handwriting recognition. Mankind has sought throughout the centuries to give permanency to the words that matter in their lives, sharing them with others, scratching them on cave walls, writing them onto tablets, whether stone or digital. Today, words are so easy to capture and transmit that perhaps at times we lose sight of the words that truly matter among an onslaught of verbiage. Is an archaeologist thousands of years from now going to boot up a long-lost computer or tablet with the same awe and reverence as our archeologists discover scroll fragments, cave paintings, or broken clay tablets today?
The word of God has endured in created history from the moment when the Lord said, “Let there be light” to the moment when we crack open a book or open a file to read those words that the Lord inspired the sacred writers to pass on in written form. St. John the Evangelist in the prologue of his gospel aptly taught us that the Word became flesh and the Word has dwelt among us ever since. The Word of God, achieving the summit of revelation in the Son, has withstood the test of time as the Word that really matters, even in those moments and places where his enemies have sought to erase it and forget it. It all boils down to finding and treasuring the Word that matters. Every time we read Sacred Scripture or hear it proclaimed in the liturgy, we have another opportunity to explore the depths of the Word that truly matters: Our Lord.
In addition to Sacred Scripture, the Word has inspired many throughout the centuries to put into words the experiences and thoughts that not only mattered to them, but to us. At RCSpirituality we have set up a page of Recommended Reading to help you find and treasure the words that matter in the areas of apostolic, intellectual, human, and spiritual formation. If you have a recommendation to make you can use the Suggest a Book button at the bottom of the page.
May you treasure and share the Word that matters always.
Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.