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Posted March 24, 2010

Book: The Catholic Faith & Family Bible
Harper Catholic Bibles. New York. 2008. Pp. 1616

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

The Catholic Faith and Family Bible is designed to make the Bible easier to read and understand, helping you and your family grow in faith together as you discover God’s message for your life today. Instead of being tucked away on a bookshelf, this Bible will find a place throughout the house — at the dinner table as part of family prayer, on the living room coffee table as part of family discussion, on your bedside table as a source of inspiration and solace, and in your teen’s room for learning and guidance.

Features include:

600 NOTES that help you and your family apply the truth of scripture to daily living to encourage faith sharing

500 REFLECTIONS that offer important insights and highlight key biblical themes

BOOK INTRODUCTIONS with historical facts and helpful tips for sharing scripture with children

A TOPICAL INDEX that guides your family to important Bible stories, prayers, teachings, and connections to everyday family living

READING PLANS and lectionary readings that help you find biblical wisdom for your family and insight throughout the seasons of the year

HELPFUL ARTICLES on how to read and pray with the Bible, including traditional Catholic prayers and practices such as Lectio Divina

PRESENTATION PAGES to record important family events

MAPS to help visualize the Bible lands


THE NRSV CATHOLIC EDITION TEXT that carries the Catholic imprimatur.

An Excerpt from the book:

Dn 3:14-20

King Nebuchadnezzar said: “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you will not serve my god, or worship the golden statue that I set up?

Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments; otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace; and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar, “There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us! But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up.”

King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.

He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual and had some of the strongest men in his army bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”

“Assuredly, O king,” they answered. “But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”

Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.”

Commentary: Take It To Heart

The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is a great drama pitting faithfulness and loyalty to God against the wishes and whims of the king. The three young men expressed their hope that God would deliver them from the fiery furnace, but if not, they were willing to die. In response to their miraculous deliverance, they sang a song of praise and thanksgiving to God.

Have you ever been confronted with a choice — perhaps not a life-and-death choice — that seemingly required you to compromise your faith and values? How did you respond? What were the results or consequences? If confronted with the same choice again, would you act the same way or differently? How do the values of popular culture today affect your faith? Discuss together as a family.