MONDAY
April 17, 2000
volume 11, no. 76

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APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH Series         INTRODUCTION

    Every day we present a short point that helps bring into focus the treasures of the Roman Catholic Church that comprise the great Deposit of Faith.

    It is no secret that over the past thirty years fewer and fewer know their Faith and it shows with the declining number of vocations, parish participation and attendance at Holy Mass. We have the new Catechism of the Catholic Church but for the common man, the one brought up on sound bites and instant gratification, it is more of a text book and that in itself prompts them to shy away from such a tome. So what's a loyal Catholic to do in evangelizing to fellow Catholics and understand their Faith? Our answer: go back to basics - to the great Deposit of Faith. We have the Baltimore Catechism which, for unknown and ridiculous reasons, was shelved after Vatican II. We have the Holy Bible but there are so many newer versions that the Douay-Rheims and Confraternity Latin Vulgate in English versions, the ones used for so long as the official Scriptural text authorized by the Church, seem lost in a maze of new interpretations that water down the Word. This is further complicated by the fact there are so few Douay-Rheims editions in circulation though it is available on the net at DOUAY-RHEIMS BIBLE. We have so many Vatican documents available at the Vatican web site and other excellent Catholic resource sites that detail Doctrine, Dogma and Canon Law. We have the traditions, and the means of grace but how do we consolidate all these sources into one where it is succinct and easy to understand? We have the perfect vehicle. It is called "My Catholic Faith", now out of print, that was compiled by Bishop Louis Laravoire Morrow and published by My Mission House. This work ties in Scriptural references, the Sacraments, Dogmas, Doctrines, Traditions, Church documents, Encyclical and Papal decrees to clearly illustrate the Faith in simple, solid and concise terms that all can understand and put into practice. We will quote from this work while adding in more recent events and persons when applicable since the book was written in the late forties during the pontificate of Pope Pius XII. We also quote from the Catholic Almanac published by Our Sunday Visitor for the Roman Curial offices and from Old Testament Confraternity Edition and New Testament Confraternity Edition of the Saint Joseph New Catholic Edition of the Holy Bible.

    Nothing in Holy Mother Church's teaching has changed and therefore we feel confident that these daily "points of enlightenment" will help more Catholics better understand their faith, especially those who were not blessed with early formation of the faith in the home and their parish school. Regardless of where any Catholic is in his or her journey toward salvation, he or she has to recognize that the Faith they were initiated into at the Sacrament of Baptism is the most precious gift they have been given in life. For points covered thus far, click on APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH


installment 154:
The Passion of Our Lord part two

        From the Last Supper, Christ went with His Apostles to the Garden of Olives to pray. There He was overwhelmed with sorrow and agony so that He sweated blood.

        Our Lord looked forwward to His agony, saying to His Apostles, "That the world may know that I love the Father, and that I do as the Father has commanded Me. Arise, let us go from here" (John 14:31). In the Garden, Jesus felt so sad at the sins of men and at what would befall Him that He said, "My soul is sad even unto death" (Matt. 26:38). To His Father, He cried out in pain, "Father, if Thou art willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Thine, be done" (Luke 22:42). In agony, "His sweat became as drops of blood, running down upon the ground" (Luke 22:44).

        Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas, seized by soldiers, led before the high priest, and condemned to death. The Sanhedrin, the council of the Jews, headed by Caiphas the high priest, condemned Jesus to death for the crime of blasphemy, because He claimed to be Christ the Son of God. "Then the high priest, standing up, said to Him, 'Dost thou make no answer to the things that these men prefer against Thee?' But Jesus kept silence. And the high priest said to Him, 'I adjure thee by the living God that Thou tell us whether Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.' Jesus said to Him, 'Thou hast said it.' Then the high priest tore His garment saying, 'He has blasphemed: what further need have we of witnesses? Behold, now you have heard the blasphemy. What do you think? And they answered and said, 'He is liable to death'" (Matthew 26: 62-66).

        Jesus Christ was led to Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea, to have His sentence confirmed. Ast the time the Jews were forbidden by their Roman masters from putting anyone to death without the confirmation of the Governor. Pilate questioned Christ time and again, but had to say to His accusers: "I find no guilt in Him."

        The Jewish Priests and Pharisees hated and persecuted Jesus because they expected the Messiah to be an earthly king. They were so wicked that in spite of the proofs of Christ's divinity, they would not believe a poor man could be the Messiah. They hated Jesus; He had rebuked them for their sins.

        But Pilate wished to please the Jews, and had Jesus scourged. Jesus was bound to a pillar, His clothes torn off; strong men with whips, cords, and straps with iron spikes scourged Him, and the whole body of Our Lord was one great wound. "And the soldiers, plaiting a crown of thorns, put it upon His head, and arrayed Him in a purple cloak. And, they kept coming to Him and saying, ''Hail, King of the Jews!''and striking Him. Pilate therefore again went outside and said to them, 'Behold, I bring Him out to you, that you may know that I find no guilt in Him.' Jesus therefore came forth, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple cloak. And he said to them, 'Behold the man!' "

        At last, fearing that if he did not permit Jesus to be put to death the Jews would accuse him before Caesar, Pilate gave in to the insistence of the Jews and delivered Him to them to be crucified. Christ was made to carry His cross through the streets of Jerusalem to Mount Calvary. He was nailed to the cross about noon, dying three hours afterwards, crucified between two thieves.

    Tomorrow: The Calvary part one

          

April 17, 2000
volume 11, no. 76
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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