Call: 877-542-7664

Weakness as the Way to God: In Honor of Jean Vanier (1928–2019)

Yesterday it was announced that Jean Vanier has died. The well-known philosopher, theologian, and humanitarian was 90.

Vanier was best known for founding L’Arche in 1964, a global network of communities where people with and without disabilities live together in solidarity. His experiences in these communities fueled many powerful writings, including the excerpt below.

Pope Francis called Vanier before his death to thank him for his ministry and witness. Vanier uniquely embodied the Lord’s compassion and gentleness in our time. Paired with his gifted writing and intellect, those virtues were an inspiration to millions.

Below is an excerpt from Living Gently in a Violent World, coauthored with Stanley Hauerwas.

***

[. . .] When we meet people with disabilities and reveal to them through our eyes and ears and words that they are precious, they are changed. But we too are changed. We are led to God.

Shortly after the genocide in Rwanda, I met with people from the Faith and Light communities there. They came from the villages, and we had a beautiful little retreat in the cathedral of Butare.

During a very moving moment, many mothers of children with severe disabilities came forward during the celebration of the Eucharist and lifted their children up as a gift to God.

Later, we had a meeting with all these women. I asked, “What has Faith and Light brought to you?” And they said, “We no longer feel ashamed.”

When we read Deuteronomy 28, we see that at the heart of the Jewish vision is the belief that disability and sickness are caused by sin. A son with a disability reveals that somewhere in yourself and your family you are doing things against God, against truth and against love. This vision is frighteningly powerful. That is why in the ninth chapter of John the immediate question the disciples ask Jesus when they see a man born blind is, “Is it because he has sinned or because his parents have sinned?” Jesus answers, “Neither he nor his parents have sinned, but it is so that the work of God may be manifested in him.”

[. . .] Francoise came to our community nearly thirty years ago. She walked only a little and couldn’t eat by herself. She had a severe learning disability. She is now about seventy-five, older and weaker. She has become blind and lives in a little home where there are ten people with severe multiple disabilities. Francoise is really quite beautiful. What touches me is how the assistants wash her and prepare food for her. But she can’t see the way they prepare the food and feed her, and I ask myself, “What is the mystery behind this woman of seventy-five who cannot leave her bed and who cries out now and again?” The assistants say, “She is our mama, our little grandmother.” They love her with tenderness and gentleness. What is the meaning of this mystery of people with severe disabilities?

I know a man who lives in Paris. His wife has Alzheimer’s. He was an important businessman—his life filled with busyness. But he said that when his wife fell sick, “I just couldn’t put her into an institution, so I keep her. I feed her. I bathe her.” I went to Paris to visit them, and this businessman who had been very busy all his life said, “I have changed. I have become more human.” I got a letter from him recently. He said that in the middle of the night his wife woke him up. She came out of the fog for a moment, and she said, “Darling, I just want to say thank you for all you’re doing for me.” Then she fell back into the fog. He said, “I wept and I wept.”

It all sounds so crazy. But when something is totally crazy, it may be that we have to go deeper. There’s a mystery, and maybe it comes back to the question of who God is and where God is.1

How to Get a Great Deal on All the Features of Verbum 8

Verbum 8 launched last week and with it awesome features like Workflows, Canvas, the Theology Guide, and more.

While many Verbum users have already chosen to get a complete upgrade (new features and new books), another popular option is the feature upgrade.

With a feature upgrade, you upgrade your software with new features without adding new books to your library, and you get a custom price that ensures you only pay for what’s new to you.

Learn about all feature upgrade options, and keep reading to learn if this option is best for you. [Read more…]

Introducing Workflows, a Brand-New Verbum Feature

Fresh with the arrival of Verbum 8 is Workflows, a powerful new Verbum feature that takes you step by step through Bible study and prayer.

We were really excited about this one as a company, and we’re thrilled to see that our customers love it, too.

We particularly like what one of our customers, Cynthia, had to say: [Read more…]

Four Great Reasons to Become a Verbum Now Member in June

If you’d love to use even more features with your Verbum software as well as get access to additional resources, Verbum Now membership is a great option. Verbum Now is a membership program that gives you free resources, big discounts, exclusive features, and more every single month. If you’re not a member yet, here are four great reasons to join in June: [Read more…]

What’s New in Verbum Now 6.4?

We just rolled out another update to Verbum Now. This new version (6.4) includes the latest features, media, and datasets for your Verbum library. If you’re already subscribed to Verbum Now, your new content is detailed below. If not, start your free month of Verbum Now to ensure you’re not missing out on the latest and greatest updates!

 Here’s what’s new in 6.4

Systematic Theologies Guide: Verbum searches your systematic theology resources for biblical references and then organizes the results according to standard theological categories. These results are then further broken down according to the generational/denominational affiliation of the author. Discover what Modern, Medieval, and Patristic theologians say about a specific passage of Scripture. Non-Catholic interpretations of the biblical text are also included.

References Concordance: The concordance tool builds an index of all the data in any resource in your library and allows you to filter by primary source references such as biblical texts, Josephus, Homer, or Xenophon. Sort the results by heading to find all the places Josephus is cited or by count to see which references are cited most often.

New Testament Manuscript Explorer: Transform text-critical notations and details about New Testament manuscripts into a helpful interactive tool that enables you to navigate, sort, and filter countless manuscript witnesses to the text of the New Testament. Find all the manuscripts that are a part of the Byzantine Text type and more.

Narrative Character Maps, Vol. 2: New character maps are now available for Abraham, Isaac, and 1 Samuel.

Before and After, Vol. 2: New interactive media allows you to view images of ancient sites as they once stood and as they appear now. Use the slider to view the remains of the Temple of Artemis then view the modern-day remains.

Old Testament Propositional Outlines: New outlines are available for 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, & Nehemiah.

 Plus new resources for you to try throughout July

Until the end of the month, you’ll enjoy free access to the following resources:

Stay tuned to the Verbum Blog for more updates to Verbum Now. If you haven’t yet subscribed, make sure to get your first month free!

Leverage Verbum’s Visual Filters

Verbum has dozens of powerful tools, but sometimes the little things you don’t even know to look for can be incredibly helpful. This week, we want to draw your attention to Verbum’s Visual Filters with this excerpt from our Verbum 360 Training, which is currently free with any Verbum 6 Library as part of the Easter Sale.

Get the end of this chapter and training on all your favorite tools with the complete Verbum 360 Training—free!

 

Take 26% off Verbum’s 13‑volume Homilies Bundle

Verbum’s power extends beyond pure Bible study: some of its most useful features have to do with researching and preparing homilies. And, with features like the Catholic Topical Index, homily prep has never been easier.

Verbum’s new Homilies Bundle gives you insight from some of today’s leading homiletics experts. You can browse hundreds of homilies on a variety of liturgical events, from Sunday and daily Masses to feast days, weddings, and more.

Of course, all these homilies are linked and fully searchable, so you can study your homily side by side with relevant Bible verses, Catechism references, and Church documents.

Plus, with Verbum’s lectionary layout, you can open up a homily right next to the Lectionary, Roman Missal, and Bible for extra inspiration.

Homily preparation can be time-consuming. Verbum speeds it up—as you study, you’ll find references to works you may not have even considered looking up, all thanks to the way that Verbum organizes your library and links it together.

Want to learn more about Verbum and homiletics? See how Verbum can help you by watching this quick video.

Take 26% off the Homilies Bundle today!

The Catholic Topical Index: Studying the Immaculate Conception

Today we’re going to take a closer look into the Catholic Topical Index, one of the brand new tools and resources you get in the Verbum Plus libraries. The Catholic Topical Index is extremely easy to use, revolutionizing the way that you study in Verbum.

Watch the video below to learn more:

 

This Advent season get 10% off a new Verbum Plus Library and start using the Catholic Topical Index today! Use coupon code ADVENT13 at checkout.

Help Desk Software