(First published in “Spirituality,” July/August 2013. Dublin: Dominican Publications.)
Since the Second Vatican Council, Catholics have come to a better appreciation of the full humanity of Jesus, which was always a part of Church dogma. The sixteenth century Counter-Reformation led Catholics to emphasize Jesus’ divinity, along with devotion to Mary as the Mother of God, in response to those reformers who questioned his full divinity. With the Vatican Council in the 1960s came less polemics, and the recovery of something lost during the Counter-Reformation, an appreciation of Jesus’ full humanity. This was aided by a return to scriptural sources, that gave a breath of new life to Catholic theology.read more
1. Understand the audience: Grasping the original audience’s perspective helps us understand the setting to which the inspired authors communicated their message.
2. Understand how the text communicates: A text is ideas linked by threads of writing. Each phrase and each word communicates by the ideas and thoughts that they will trigger in the reader or hearer.read more
When Catholics and Protestants have discussions about what divides us, Protestants often pepper their Catholic friends with the question, “Where is that in the Bible?” But seldom do they stop to apply the standard of sola scriptura to their own beliefs. If they did, they would find that some of them don’t come from the Bible at all but from a theological tradition they received from a parent or pastor.
Let’s look at three examples of extrabiblical Protestant traditions.read more
“It is not enough for us, then, to be content with his first coming; we must wait in hope of his second coming.”– St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Matthew 25:1-13: ‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this: Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were sensible: the foolish ones did take their lamps, but they brought no oil, whereas the sensible ones took flasks of oil as well as their lamps. The bridegroom was late, and they all grew drowsy and fell asleep. But at midnight there was a cry, The bridegroom is here! Go out and meet him. At this, all those bridesmaids woke up and trimmed their lamps, and the foolish ones said to the sensible ones, Give us some of your oil: our lamps are going out. But they replied, There may not be enough for us and for you; you had better go to those who sell it and buy some for yourselves. They had gone off to buy it when the bridegroom arrived. Those who were ready went in with him to the wedding hall and the door was closed. The other bridesmaids arrived later. Lord, Lord, they said open the door for us. But he replied, I tell you solemnly, I do not know you. So stay awake, because you do not know either the day or the hour.’read more
Fra Bartolomeo, “The Annunciation”, 1497
BLOGS | AUG. 24, 2017
The Veneration of Angels and Men is Biblical
“The veneration of sacred images is based on the mystery of the Incarnation of the Word of God. It is not contrary to the first commandment.” (CCC 2141)
By Dave Armstrong
I’d like to examine several relevant biblical texts in support of this practice which is fully embedded within Catholic tradition, but strongly contested by our Protestant brethren.
Genesis 18:1-2, 22 (RSV) And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day.  He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men stood in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth, . . .  So the men turned from there, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham still stood before the LORD.read more
The Church forcefully and specially exhorts all the Christian faithful to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Let them remember, however, that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that a dialogue takes place between God and man. For we speak to him when we pray; we listen to him when we read the divine oracles.
How to Allow God to Speak with You and Guide Your Life Daily Through Prayer using Scripture
Pope Leo XIII said, “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet His children and talks with them.” St. Ambrose says, “We have been given Sacred Scripture so that God and man may talk together; for we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying.”read more
There were at least 26 German translations of the Bible available in Germany before Luther’s version
By Timothy Lang
The “Legend of Martin Luther” claims that he translated the Bible into German so that the German people would have the Holy Scriptures in their native language. This 10-week effort is often portrayed as his finest achievement. The “Legend” would also have us believe that he was an incredibly brilliant scholar and theologian, and that he was gifted in Greek, Hebrew, the Classics, the writings of the Early Church Fathers, etc., etc. However, the facts are that there were at least 26 German translations available in Germany before Luther’s. That these other German Bibles were already available is not part of the Luther Legend.read more
On this first Sunday after Pentecost, the Church calls us to remember the Most Holy Trinity. Why is this perfect timing?
Gospel (Read Jn 3:16-18)
Today’s Gospel is different from any we have seen during the long seasons of Lent and Easter. On Sunday after Sunday, the Gospels have reported actions of Jesus. They have been passages full of conversations and events that moved His story along, culminating in His Ascension into Heaven and His promise to send the Holy Spirit. Today, however, St. John gives us a kind of summary of this. It is simple, but what a sweep it has! Read the first verse carefully so as not to miss its impact through familiarity: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” If we understand the scope of this statement, we will know why it is perfectly fitting that today is Trinity Sunday.read more
This notion contradicts the words of St. Paul, St. John and Christ Himself
By Peter Holm
Sola Scriptura, the protestant claim that each man alone may interpret Scripture for himself, isn’t in the Bible (which wasn’t assembled by the Church until 393). The notion of “Scripture Alone” presumes that the Holy Scripture alone, less context, carries the full truth of God to the hearts of the Christian faithful. Worse, this philosophy directly contradicts the words of St. Paul, St. John and even Christ Jesus Himself.read more
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