Highlights from the week online

How St Cuthbert kept a book for 300 years

At JSTOR Daily, Allison Meier described the history of “Europe’s oldest intact book”. The small red book, a copy of St John’s Gospel, was found inside the coffin of St Cuthbert in 1104. St Cuthbert’s body was incorrupt, and Catholics would bring devotional objects to his resting-place after his death in 687.

The article quoted the academic Stuart McWilliams as saying that small books were sometimes worn for spiritual protection: “While many kinds of relic could be worn as amulets, books were particularly desirable, and there are multiple accounts of Gospels and Psalters (especially those linked with saints) being fitted with cord or placed in a pouch and worn on the body.”

Talking to kids about transgender issues

At Catholic Answers, Trent Horn and Leila Miller asked how to talk to small children about transgender issues. They said they couldn’t “stress enough that parents must form a child in objective truth from the youngest years”. Recently, one of the authors took their children to get a haircut. The hairdresser “was clearly attempting to ‘transition’ between the two sexes. This person was friendly and gave a great haircut. We did not say a word of judgment or derision.”

The parent told the children afterwards “that this stylist was a child of God with inherent dignity, and how confused and troubled a person must be to want to change or reject one’s very nature. As we do when we encounter anyone in grave confusion or sin (including ourselves!), we reminded the children to pray for that person, and we reiterated what we have taught from the start – and what you must teach: we cannot change objective truth, including the good and right way that God made his world.”

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