Posted by: Peadar Ban | September 6, 2011

Etymological Maunderings? Nah!

The word neophyte, often used in connection with a convert to the Faith, comes from two Greek words meaning newly planted.  So, a neophyte could be looked at in that way, as a new and tender shoot, or a seed.  To think of a neophyte in any field or at any endeavor as a beginner is not at all incorrect.  And, frankly, no matter what our age an honest look at ourselves will reveal the truth that we are all neophytes at one thing or another; some of them being things we have been “doing” for quite a long time, including our own life as Christians.  We are all in some way “begin again Finnegans”.  How else can one explain our lifelong quest for meaning, and the search for answers to those questions we all have whispered to ourselves at times — questions about truth, completeness, satisfaction…  This life-quest ultimately leads into encounter with the source and answer of all our questions: God.  It is designed for that. But, and equally valid on a strictly human level, the search for fulfillment and answers also leads to pursuits of leisure, knowledge and development of our God-given talents — for our own sake and for the benefit of others as well.

At various times in life one may be moved to begin or to continue a study, a course, an activity one had perhaps taken up long ago and then put by as “life” intervened.  The study of music, whether religious or any other kind, the study of literature, drama, fiction and the arts, especially with other like-minded people, is becoming increasingly popular in this context.   Of course such activities are not limited to one age level, but are equally popular among people of all ages.  It’s only right that such enrichment should be available to all, and enjoyed by all interested in them.  Whether one is interested in any of these things, or all of them,  forming groups can significantly assist in the development and enjoyment of such cultural pursuits as music, song, literature, art, drama and dance.

At The Christian Book Corner we are keenly aware of this dimension in our lives.  It is part of our mission to support the development of our common Christian culture, especially now at a time when so many seem to have dismissed its relevance, with appropriate materials from reputable publishers such as books, video workshops, group discussion manuals, dvds, and music cds which can benefit all of us “neophytes” as we travel toward spiritual and intellectual matutity through life.


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