Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

The Best of The Question Box

by Father I.J. Mikulski

(From the June 20, 2013 edition of the Inland Register)

Father I.J. Mikulski Q. Please pardon my inquisitive nature but this has been on my mind for a while. What is the background on your unusual first name? Isidore is the patron saint of farmers. Is that in your ancestry? I’m just being curious so you can skip this if you want.

A. Mothers know best so, as a mere youth, the Q.B. scrivener asked Mom the same question. She replied, as mothers have always, that “it’s a lovely name.” Of course. And, she added, there are more saints with that name and she, for a personal reason, preferred the Spaniard. We did not pursue that mystery.

St. Isidore (560-636) archbishop of Seville. Scholar considered the most learned man of his time. Father of the Western church. Author of the first-ever encyclopedia, titled Etymologies or “Origins,” consisting of 20 hand-written volumes on proper grammar, theology, food preparation, Scripture, utensils and many other topics.

St. Isidore of Miletus, sixth century Byzantine architect designer of the famed Church of St. Sophia in Constantinople. St. Isidore, farm laborer, worker of miracles.

Given that erudite company the Q.B. writer happily accepts his status as struggling mightily to maintain a distant fourth place.

Q. Your answer to the question about the Catholic Church’s stand on psychics missed the point. You were much too gentle. The church’s response is a complete condemnation. Will you please correct that?

A. Yes, of course. Thank you for your concern. The Q.B. writer dismissed psychics as scam artists who have lost favor with sensible people. The Catechism of the Catholic Church takes a much stronger condemnation.

Item 2116: “All forms of divination are to be rejected.... Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens, the phenomena of clairvoyance and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time.... They contradict the honor, respect and loving fear we owe to God alone.”

Asking psychics for advice on any topic must be one of the dumbest sins on the list. We can understand human weakness, as listed in the seven capital sins, but asking psychics for help in making right decisions is just a dumb choice, and sinful too.

Q. Frankly I’m confused. I’m open to the possibility of the “End Times” after listening to this TV special. It makes sense right now but maybe not later. The experts interpret Bible predictions some of which have come true. What does the church say?

A. In the past few months we have been aware of two, maybe three, forecasts of the end times. In the past year there must have been a dozen, maybe more, prophecies that had to be tossed out to make room for new ones. They appear every year like wild flowers in the spring.

You too can be a prophet ahead of your time. You will need a Bible concordance, a large book that lists every phrase in the Bible alphabetically by its first word. It covers Old and New Testaments equally, everything you want know.

That’s a sorry abuse of the Bible. We can’t use the Bible as a tic-tac-toe fix for coming events. The only true answer comes from Jesus Christ, who advised us “You know neither the day nor the hour.”

Q. Tell me where I can find that Bible praise of a good woman. It’s for a wedding anniversary I’m part of.

A. Look in Proverbs 31. It’s part of an alphabet poem praising the perfect wife using the 21 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

It’s impossible to match the Hebrew and English alphabets. They’re too divergent.

The inner kernel has great sentiment. “Her husband sings her praises. Many women have done admirable things but you surpass them all.”

Could you fit that on the top of the cake?

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