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Your Triple Eye

In 06 Conclusion on 2016/04/17 at 12:00 AM

St. Bonaventure posited that we were meant to have triple vision. Here follow his thoughts as distilled from his writings by Sr. Ilia Delio, OFM:

“In paradise the human person was endowed with a ‘triple’ eye: the eye of the flesh, of reason and of contemplation. . . . [The] eye of flesh, to see things outside creation; the eye of reason, to see the things within; the eye of contemplation, to see things above.

. . . Every aspect of creation is like a reflecting pool of the divine…..Sin distorted the triple eye of the human person . . . strange blindness . . . blinded . . . unless grace with justice come . . . through Jesus Christ. It is Christ alone who restores the true light of knowledge so that the beauty of creation may be seen in proper relation to God and, indeed, may lead us to God.

Since the created world is finite, one must enter within the human soul created in the image of God which has the capacity for the infinite God. It is here that one finds a ground of loving relationship with God. . . . God dwells deep within the center of the soul. The degree to which one enters into this relationship depends on how open one is to knowing God and to knowing oneself in God.

Bonaventure believed that there is a light within the human soul that enables one to know things with certainty: it is a divine light which illuminates the truth of things and allows one to judge the certitude of things . . . a light which shines within the soul and penetrates one’ whole being . . . because of this light humans have knowledge of things they have never experienced.

Bonaventure held that within the human soul are eternal reasons that enable the human person to know the truth of God, and the truth of the things of God. It is an inner light “from above: that shines on the human soul and illumines it. . . . It is the light of truth that regulates and motivates human reason and enable one to know things as true and certain.

Through transformation in Christ the triple eye of the human person is restored. One sees the truth of all reality, and in seeing rightly one loves rightly . . . deeper love of God, neighbor . . .”

Delio, Ilia SIMPLY BONAVENTURE New City Press.

http://www.newcitypress.com/simply-bonaventure.html

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Real Truth

In 06 Conclusion on 2014/08/17 at 12:00 AM

St. Thomas Aquinas defined truth as the conformity of the mind to reality. Today, the world’s plight can be directly connected to the failure to recognize truth. We grow in knowledge of practical truth, but we become blind towards truth itself. Thus, we lose sight of who we are and who we are meant to be. Man becomes true to himself as he grows closer to Him who is the Truth, the Way and the Life.

Some Valuable Faith Resources

In 06 Conclusion on 2013/01/08 at 9:00 AM

Please click on the links (which are also found in the Index)

6 CONCLUSIONS  

Some Valuable Faith Resources

“He made Himself food, He became Bread”

Transmission of Faith Handed Down by Apostles

Evangelistic Prophets

Scriptural Exegisis

“Will you also go away?”

He made Himself Food, He Became Bread

Timeless Persecutions

Our Task Today

Family Ties

Anchored in Christ

7 OBSERVATIONS  

Jesus, Our Contemporary

Psalm 136, ” a great hymn of praise…..”

“You too go into my vineyard”

Transformation in Christ

Consubstantial

Three persepectives

Sir, we would see Jesus”

Who Is Right?

Newman: Memorandum, Part III

Newman: Memorandum, Part II

Newman: Memorarndum, Part I

 Newman: Memorandum On the Immaculate Conception (Introduction)

Newman, the Anglican re Mary, Mother of Christ

Newman: On the Immaculate Conception 

Newman: Jesus, Son of Mary

Mount of Olive Psalms

Christ Lives In Us

Transformation in Christ

Truth

What Came First, Gospel or Church?

Do You Know Jesus?

What Has the Catholic Church Ever Done For Me?

New Passover

Same Ketchup Bottle; New Label

“Sweet nails, sweet tree, where life begins”

Psalm 35 in the Light of the Sacrifice of Christ

Came and Went Before; Now Appears and Vanishes

First Easter

Peter or Judas

Reading the Gospels

Ascension: Go and Come?

Who Was?

Christian and Historian

Eucharistic Church

Knowledge Enhanced

Compatibility of Skepticism and Faith

The Risen One, the New Temple

Inductive/Deductive

Divine Love Affair

Spiritual Reading Advice

8 BOOK CORNER  

Theologian/Historian

Real Hope

Evangelistic Prophets

Importance of a Preposition

Incisive reading methodology

Francis Thompson Hound of Heaven 

Daughter of Zion

Summary of Beliefs: Catechism of the Catholic Church

Books by Christopher Dawson 

Development of Doctrine

Past, Present, Future

Revelation: Consoling Early Christians

Willing Martyrs

Reception/Transmission

Historicity of Resurrection

New Worship

God is Near You

Synagogue Elements in the Mass

Parables Unravelled?

Guardini’s The Lord

Resurrection of Jesus

Correct Viewpoint

Real Hope

Importance of a Preposition

Thucydides for Today

New Gnostcism to Replace Reality

Theologian/Historian

Haunting Question

Teachings of Church Fathers

9 Faith Journeys

Letter on Finding the Faith by Karen Kerley

Are Catholics Christians?

Becoming a Catholic: Winning New Converts

Fr. Conrad L. Kimbrough – Part I Methodist

Fr. Conrad L. Kimbrough – Part II Episcopalian

Fr. Conrad L. Kimbrough – Part III Catholic

Conversion – What Is the Key?

Fr. John McCloskey – Fisher of Men

Mass in Hebrew

A Question You Need to Answer

Tony Snow and Fr. John McCloskey

Convert From Judaism

Jews and Catholics: Dialogue, Reconciliation, and Cooperation

Edith Stein

Evangelization

Famous People Write About the Pope

Conversion by Fr. Timothy Reid

Reflections from recent converts: My first year as a Catholic

Conversion Insights – Part I by Kathleen Prevost

Conversion Insights – Part II by Kathleen Prevost

Conversion Insights – Part III by Kathleen Prevost

Complete Sharing – John Mann’s Faith Journey

Pat LaRose’s Faith Journey

The Miraculous Journey Home of Gail Buckley 

The Road Is Not Always Smooth – Mary Paul Forsyth’s Faith Journey

The Importance of the Eucharist – Andrea Montgomery’s Faith Journey

The Power of Example: Lynn Efird’s Faith Journey

The Faith Journey of Paul Mitchell

“He made Himself food, He became Bread”

In 06 Conclusion on 2012/07/03 at 11:09 AM
 He was the greatest madman of all times. What greater madness could there be than to give oneself as he did, and for such people? It would have been mad enough to have chosen to become a helpless Child. But even then, many wicked men might have been softened, and would not have dared to harm him. So this was not enough for him. He wanted to make himself even less, to give himself more lavishly. He made himself food, he became Bread. Divine Madman! How do men treat you? How do I treat you? (The Forge, 824)

Think of the human experience of two people who love each other, and yet are forced to part. They would like to stay together forever, but duty — in one form or another — forces them to separate. They are unable to fulfil their desire of remaining close to each other, so man’s love — which, great as it may be, is limited — seeks a symbolic gesture. People who make their farewells exchange gifts or perhaps a photograph with a dedication so ardent that it seems almost enough to burn that piece of paper. They can do no more, because a creature’s power is not so great as its desire.

What we cannot do, our Lord is able to do. Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect man, leaves us, not a symbol, but a reality. He himself stays with us. He will go to the Father, but he will also remain among men. He will leave us, not simply a gift that will make us remember him, not an image that becomes blurred with time, like a photograph that soon fades and yellows, and has no meaning except for those who were contemporaries. Under the appearances of bread and wine, he is really present, with his body and blood, with his soul and divinity. (Christ is passing by, 83)

Transmission of Faith Handed Down by Apostles

In 06 Conclusion on 2012/06/05 at 11:11 AM

This is an excerpt from John Paul II address to the Canadian bishops in 1999.

” Perhaps there is nothing more urgent in your pastoral ministry, nothing for which you are more responsible before the Lord, than to ensure the transmission of the faith handed down to us by the Apostles.

6. To teach the faith and to evangelize is to speak an absolute and universal truth to the world; but it is our duty to speak in appropriate and meaningful ways which make people receptive to that truth. In considering what this entails, Paul VI specified four qualities, which he calls perspicuitas, lenitas, fiducia, prudentia – clarity, humanity, confidence and prudence (Ecclesiam suam, n. 81).
To speak with clarity means that we must explain comprehensibly the truth of Revelation and the Church’s teachings. We should not simply repeat but explain. In other words, we need a new apologetic, geared to the needs of today, which keeps in mind that our task is not just to win arguments but to win souls, to engage not in ideological bickering but to vindicate and promote the Gospel. Such an apologetic will need to find a common “grammar” with those who see things differently and do not share our assumptions, lest we end up speaking different languages even though we may be using the same tongue.

This new apologetic will also need to breathe a spirit of humanity, that compassionate humility which understands people’s anxieties and questions and which is not quick to presume in them ill will or bad faith. At the same time, it will not yield to a sentimental sense of the love and compassion of Christ sundered from the truth, but will insist instead that true love and compassion can make radical demands, precisely because they are inseparable from the truth which alone sets us free (cf. Jn 8: 32).

To speak with confidence will mean that, however much others may deny us any specific competence or reproach us for the failings of the Church’s members, we must never lose sight of the fact that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the truth for which all people long, no matter how distant, resistant or hostile they may seem.”

http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/speeches/1999/october/documents/hf_jp-ii_spe_30101999_ad-limina-west-canada_en.html

Evangelistic Prophets

In 06 Conclusion on 2012/03/18 at 11:47 AM
 If one acts as a historian or Biblical scholar and views the Old Testament prophets analytically, one can conclude that all the prophets spoke, in a way, as evangelists.  Three powerful examples:ISAIAH 53: 1 Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. 4 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God,and afflicted .5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, and with his stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth .8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people? 9 And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it was the will of the LORD to bruise him; he has put him to grief; when he makes himself an offering for sin, he shall see his offspring, he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand; 11 he shall see the fruit of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he poured out his soul to death, and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Psalm 22: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer; and by night, but find no rest. 3 Yet thou art holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In thee our fathers trusted; they trusted, and thou didst deliver them .5 To thee they cried, and were saved; in thee they trusted, and were not disappointed. 6 But I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people. 7 All who see me mock at me, they make mouths at me, they wag their heads; 8 “He committed his cause to the LORD; let him deliver him, let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” 9 Yet thou art he who took me from the womb; thou didst keep me safe upon my mother’s breasts. 10 Upon thee was I cast from my birth, and since my mother bore me thou hast been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near and there is none to help. 12 Many bulls encompass me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax, it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; thou dost lay me in the dust of death .16 Yea, dogs are round about me; a company of evildoers encircle me; they have pierced my hands and feet –17 I can count all my bones — they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my raiment they cast lots . 19 But thou, O LORD, be not far off! O thou my help, hasten to my aid! 20 Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog! 21 Save me from the mouth of the lion, my afflicted soul from the horns of the wild oxen! 22 I will tell of thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee: 23 You who fear the LORD, praise him! all you sons of Jacob, glorify him, and stand in awe of him, all you sons of Israel! 24 For he has not despised or abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; and he has not hid his face from him, but has heard, when he cried to him. 25 From thee comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will pay before those who fear him. 26 The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live for ever! 27 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD; and all the families of the nations shall worship before him. 28 For dominion belongs to the LORD, and he rules over the nations. 29 Yea, to him shall all the proud of the earth bow down; before him shall bow all who go down to the dust, and he who cannot keep himself alive. 30 Posterity shall serve him; men shall tell of the Lord to the coming generation…

Psalm 69:1 Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck.2 I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me. 3 I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. 4 More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause; mighty are those who would destroy me, those who attack me with lies. What I did not steal must I now restore? 5 O God, thou knowest my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from thee. 6 Let not those who hope in thee be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek thee be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. 7 For it is for thy sake that I have borne reproach, that shame has covered my face. 8 I have become a stranger to my brethren, an alien to my mother’s sons. 9 For zeal for thy house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult thee have fallen on me.10 When I humbled my soul with fasting, it became my reproach. 11 When I made sackcloth my clothing, I became a byword to them. 12 I am the talk of those who sit in the gate, and the drunkards make songs about me. 13 But as for me, my prayer is to thee, O LORD. At an acceptable time, O God, in the abundance of thy steadfast love answer me. With thy faithful help 14 rescue me from sinking in the mire; let me be delivered from my enemies and from the deep waters. 15 Let not the flood sweep over me, or the deep swallow me up, or the pit close its mouth over me. 16 Answer me, O LORD, for thy steadfast love is good; according to thy abundant mercy, turn to me.  17 Hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in distress, make haste to answer me. 18 Draw near to me, redeem me, set me free because of my enemies! 19 Thou knowest my reproach, and my shame and my dishonor; my foes are all known to thee. 20 Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair. I looked for pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. 21 They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. 22 Let their own table before them become a snare; let their sacrificial feasts be a trap. 23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see; and make their loins tremble continually. 24 Pour out thy indignation upon them, and let thy burning anger overtake them.  25 May their camp be a desolation, let no one dwell in their tents. 26 For they persecute him whom thou hast smitten, and him whom thou hast wounded, they afflict still more. 27 Add to them punishment upon punishment; may they have no acquittal from thee. 28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; let them not be enrolled among the righteous. 29 But I am afflicted and in pain; let thy salvation, O God, set me on high! 30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 31 This will please the LORD more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs. 32 Let the oppressed see it and be glad; you who seek God, let your hearts revive. 33 For the LORD hears the needy, and does not despise his own that are in bonds. 34 Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and everything that moves therein. 35 For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; and his servants shall dwell there and possess it; 36 the children of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall dwell in it.

 

“Will you also go away?”

In 06 Conclusion on 2012/02/05 at 9:11 AM

At Cana, Jesus turned water into quality wine; later, he multiplied the loaves and fishes. Both miracles showing his divine power over matter.

Jesus explicitly revealed the great mystery of the Eucharist. The realism about His works cannot be interpreted in a figurative way.  The discourse found in chapter 6 of John makes no sense at all if Christ is not really present under the species of bread and wine.

Christʼs hearers understood perfectly that He said what He meant and meant what he was saying. meant exactly what He was saying.  The did not view it as His speaking metaphorically, figuratively or symbolically.  Jesus reaffirmed and confirmed what they had understood clearly: that is was necessary for them to receive Him in order to share in His divine life.

Jesus required His disciple to accept His words because it is He who has spoken them. “And who do you say that I am?”  The power that enabled Him to perform such an action is the same power by which Almighty God created everything out of nothing.  With the assistance of grace, we are inspired to believe: we make a spiritual act of faith and believe what he reveals as true because as God He has the authority to reveal.

Christ came to teach the Truth; He is THE Truth, THE way, and THE life.  His whole life was that of a teacher who not only continually teaches but whose teachings save, sanctify, guides, additionally moving and forgiving.  He did not invent anything.  His teaching is divine. The Father has revealed it to Him and because He is true God and true man, He speaks with authority.  Augustine tells us: “Listen to the Son Himself: ‘I and the Father are one.’ Jesus revealed that He and the Father are one in substance.  Christ, the Word Incarnate, is one with the Father.  He reflects the glory of God. (Heb)

Many, but not all of his hearers rejected Christ revelation of the mystery of the Incarnate God, refusing to examine the proof Jesus offered them.  What about you?   Will you walk away or will you assent believing on the Word of His revealing; He can neither deceive nor be deceived?

Creeds

In 06 Conclusion on 2011/12/13 at 3:19 AM

St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians 15: (Resurrection) 

1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.

2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

5and that he appeared to Peter,[b] and then to the Twelve.

6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

11Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day, He rose again.
He ascended to Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.

Nicean Creed

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Athanasian Creed

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith;

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. And the catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity;

4. Neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance.

5. For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

6. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit is all one, the glory equal, the majesty coeternal.

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

8. The Father uncreated, the Son uncreated, and the Holy Spirit uncreated.

9. The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

10. The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

11. And yet they are not three eternals but one eternal.

12. As also there are not three uncreated nor three incomprehensible, but one uncreated and one incomprehensible.

13. So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Spirit almighty.

14. And yet they are not three almighties, but one almighty.

15. So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God;

16. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

17. So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord;

18. And yet they are not three Lords but one Lord.

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord;

20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say; There are three Gods or three Lords.

21. The Father is made of none, neither created nor begotten.

22. The Son is of the Father alone; not made nor created, but begotten.

23. The Holy Spirit is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

24. So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.

25. And in this Trinity none is afore or after another; none is greater or less than another.

26. But the whole three persons are coeternal, and coequal.

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

28. He therefore that will be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

29. Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation that he also believe rightly the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

30. For the right faith is that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and man.

31. God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man of substance of His mother, born in the world.

32. Perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting.

33. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.

34. Who, although He is God and man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.

35. One, not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of that manhood into God.

36. One altogether, not by confusion of substance, but by unity of person.

37. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and man is one Christ;

38. Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead;

39. He ascended into heaven, He sits on the right hand of the Father, God, Almighty;

40. From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

41. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies;

42. and shall give account of their own works.

43. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.

This is the catholic faith, which except a man believe faithfully he cannot be saved.

 

Scriptural Exegisis

In 06 Conclusion on 2011/09/19 at 10:48 AM

Scripture requires exegesis, and it requires the context of the community in which it came to birth and in which it is lived.  This is where its unity is to be found, and here too its unifying meaning is opened up.  To put it yet another way: there are dimensions of meaning in the word and in words which only come to light within the living community of this history-generating word.  Through the growing realization of the different layers of meaning, the word is not devalued, but in fact appears in its full grandeur and dignity.

Therefore the Catechism of the Catholic Church can rightly say that Christianity does not simply represent a religion of the book in the classical sense. It perceives in the words the Word, the Logos itself, which spreads its mystery through this multiplicity and the reality of a human history.  This particular structure of the Bible issues a constantly new challenge to every generation.  It excludes by its nature everything that today is known as fundamentalism.  In effect, the word of God can never simply be equated with the letter of the text.  To attain to it involves a transcending and a process of understanding, led by the inner movement of the whole and hence it also has to become a process of living.  Only within the dynamic unity of the whole are the many books one book.  The Word of God and his action in the world are revealed only in the word and history of human beings.

The whole drama of this topic is illuminated in the writings of Saint Paul.  What is meant by the transcending of the letter and understanding it solely from the perspective of the whole, he forcefully expressed as follows:  “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6).   And he continues: “Where the Spirit is … there is freedom (cf. 2 Cor 3:17).  But one can only understand the greatness and breadth of this vision of the biblical word if one listens closely to Paul and then discovers that this liberating Spirit has a name, and hence that freedom has an inner criterion:  “The Lord is the Spirit.  Where the Spirit is … there is freedom” (2 Cor 3:17).  The liberating Spirit is not simply the exegete’s own idea, the exegete’s own vision.  The Spirit is Christ, and Christ is the Lord who shows us the way.  With the word of Spirit and of freedom, a further horizon opens up, but at the same time a clear limit is placed upon arbitrariness and subjectivity, which unequivocally binds both the individual and the community and brings about a new, higher obligation than that of the letter: namely, the obligation of insight and love.  This tension between obligation and freedom, which extends far beyond the literary problem of scriptural exegesis, has also determined the thinking and acting of monasticism and has deeply marked Western culture.  This tension presents itself anew as a challenge for our own generation as we face two poles: on the one hand, subjective arbitrariness, and on the other, fundamentalist fanaticism.  It would be a disaster if today’s European culture could only conceive freedom as absence of obligation, which would inevitably play into the hands of fanaticism and arbitrariness.  Absence of obligation and arbitrariness do not signify freedom, but its destruction.

Pope Pope Benedict2008  http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2008/september/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20080912_parigi-cultura_en.html

 

Timless Persecutions

In 06 Conclusion on 2011/08/13 at 1:23 PM

Jesus had told his disciples: “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you.”   Persecution provides Christians with an opportunity to bear witness to Christ.  St. Ignatius of Antioch on his way to martyrdom said: “The harder the struggle, the greater the prize.”  By the time St. Paul arrived in Rome, the early Christians were being discriminated against for their religious beliefs; everywhere they were being spoken against.  St. Justin Martyr wrote:  “In our case you use the mere name as proof against us.”

The people to whom the epistle to the Hebrews was written were Christian of Jewish background.  They were being invited to leave behind the Jewish religion which was considered a lawful religion by the Roman Empire and not to fear the problems, risks and persecutions that they would encounter from both Jews and Gentiles for following Christ.    Hebrews 1:3-13 appears as a quotation in Clement of Rome’s letter to the Corinthians (36: 2-5) which appears to have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.  The Apostle John and many others had then dispersed throughout the Roman Empire.

Augustine would later speak of how Jesus foretold the good things which his followers would attain and of the many bad experiences they would undergo in this life.  He wished to assure us that we would reach the good things which will come at the end of time in spite of preceding difficulties and evils.

Throughout the centuries there have been countless Christians whose lives, reputations and property have been attacked out of hatred of the Gospel.  In them are fulfilled the words of Jesus: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for  righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Supported by Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit, which we see so often fulfilled in the lives of the martyrs and other confessors, we should never be afraid, regardless of what evils beset us.  Such circumstances are permitted by God so that we can achieve good results.  Every generation of Christians needs to redeem and sanctify its own time.  We need to confess, spread and defend the faith and in doing so we fulfill our apostolic obligation in our own environment.

Our modern times continue to be difficult ones for Christians.

Pope John XXIII wrote in 1961: “In this task of evangelization we have reckon with  a completely new and disconcerting phenomenon, namely, the existence of a militant atheism, which has already invaded entire peoples:” an atheism which exhorts men to turn their backs on God, or at least to forget about Him.  We are faced with ideologies which use powerful means of diffusion, like television, newspapers, the cinema, the theater, in the fact of which many christians feel themselves defenseless and lacking in the necessary formation to be able to cope with them.”

The author of Hebrews 13: 8-9 admonishes: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. 9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; not be led away by diverse and strange teachings.”

For Christians, this admonition reminds us to be wary of the lure of new perspectives, new doctrine, “diverse” teachings, meaning contradictory and changeable teachings.  Truth, the Truth of Christ, is objective and unchangeable, for He is the same yesterday, today and forever.