The Bible Has the Best Writing Prompts

by Larry Peterson

As a cradle Catholic who went to twelve years of Catholic school “waaaaay” back in the ’50s and ’60s, I can say without hesitation that my education in the Bible and about the Bible and of the Bible was almost non-existent. The Catechism with its nays & yays and right & wrong dominated the conversation. However, over the past ten years or so I have come to honor and respect the Bible. It took me all those decades to realize how profound and so magnificently in our faces with truths this book, written so long ago, is. The seven Wisdom books alone are worth more than all the jewels on Pharaoh’s crown.

Back to the ‘truths’ I mentioned. The other day, August 26, the gospel reading was from Matthew 23: 27-32. I believe this gospel actually references today’s world and the egotistical and self-centered mindset that so many people have embraced. Countless people have stomped on the goodness within God’s creation by choosing to grasp onto  the secular banner of “meism.” The Bible has their number–literally. It had it then and it has it now.

It follows that, as writers, the Bible also has the best writing prompts…especially if you are having trouble getting the words to flow from your brain to the screen or paper. The Gospel reading from August 26 did it for me. It was from Matthew 23: 27-32. (I’m just using 27 -28.) Here it is:

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.”

There are actually seven “Woe to you” paragraphs in Chapter 23. I quoted number six  because it was part of the Gospel reading for the day. Anyway, the first thing that came to mind was Planned Parenthood. Think about it: “beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men’s bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing.” I immediately thought of the people destroying the lives of babies and joking about it. I thought of all those defending  this organization and insist that those vilifying it are taking away women’s health protections. There are many in high places that certainly appear beautiful on the outside and, since I do not get to look inside, I can only imagine. I do know this: abortion is the Holocaust of the last four decades.

In America, marriage between a man and a woman is being denigrated by the beautiful, sophisticated, upscale and highly civilized secular community. Same-sex “marriage” is hailed as a right and the enhancement of freedom. Rejecting one’s God-given sex and deciding to change to the opposite sex is hailed as heroic and courageous. Legalizing euthanasia has taken root in Europe and in America. In Belgium they now permit childhood euthanasia. I could go on and on but you all know what has and is happening. And many of those who proclaim Catholicism as their faith  approve of these practices.

I am amazed that it has taken me so long to realize the magnificence and  page-to-page wisdom the Bible holds. So much of Scripture defines the present. It describes us and our world. It tells us how and where are journey began, where it has taken us, and where we are going. It is a great gift and I shall never ignore it again. It is also the one and only book I will reference when seeking out writing prompts. The Bible has it all.

©2015 Larry Peterson-All RightsReserved

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2 Responses to The Bible Has the Best Writing Prompts

  1. I, too, am a baby boomer Catholic. Although I attended 12 years of Catholic school, had a Bible in high school, and received a Bible from my mother as a wedding present, I bought into the non-Catholic criticism that “Catholics don’t read the Bible.” I didn’t “get into” the Bible until I bought my own after a Mass for the Healing. I love it! But you know what I discovered? The non-Catholics were wrong. Everyday of my Catholic life I was “reading” the Bible–not with my eyes, but with my ears when I went to Mass (wow! Old and New Testament readings, a Responsorial Psalm, a Gospel, a Liturgy of the Eucharist based on the Last Supper and Revelations, and songs based on Bible truths.) And my religion books were Bible based and true to Bible truth. Everything was familiar to me. Catholics may not quote verses by number, but we sure know the truths–and we always have. Still, I sure am glad to have adopted the practice of Lectio Divinia so I can see the Word as “my own” as it is personalized for me in prayer.

    • You make such a great point Victoria. All the readings in the Mass are Bible based. I just do not remember any real significance being attached to that fact. We did not read the Bible per se. Anyway, for me, better late than never.