TUESDAY
April 25, 2000
volume 11, no. 81

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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 158:
The Resurrection part two

        Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon of spring; the feast therefore is moveable, and can fall between March 22 and April 25. This year it is at the far end of that spectrum. The Paschal season lasts until Trinity Sunday; till then the joyous alleluia resounds.

        Jesus Christ rose from the dead to show that He is true God, and to teach us that we, too, shall rise from the dead. The Resurrection is the most important of Christ's miracles. He Himself chose it as the most conclusive proof of His divine mission; the Apostles appealed to it to confirm their teachings. The fact of the Resurrection, by itself alone, proves Christ God.

        Christ said repeatedly that He is the Son of God; He said He would rise again from the grave. He did rise, unaided, by His own almighty power; therefore He is as He said, the Son of God. If He were an imposter, God would not have permitted Him to rise again. "But take courage; I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

        Christ bore on His body the marks of the five wounds. The qualities of His risen body were:

    • (a) Agility. It could go with the quickness of thought to all places.
    • (b) Subtility or spirituality. It was free from hunger, thirst, fatigue and other needs. It could penetrate material substances.
    • (c) Clarity or brightness. It shone with splendor.
    • (d) Impassibility. It was immune to pain, disease, and death.

        3. We are fortunate in having today for veneration a number of relics of the Passion. The tablet with the inscription "I.N.R.I." is in the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Rome. One nail is said to have been thrown by Saint Helena into the Adriatic to calm a storm; another is in the iron crown of the Lombards. Vernoica's veil is in Rome. Part of the pillar of the scourging is at Rome, part in Jerusalem. The winding group of sheets or shroud is in Turin, Italy and will be on display once again in August of this Jubilee year. Of the crown of thorns, part is in Paris, part in Toulouse. All these remind us of the time when "they entreated Him to let them touch but the tassel of His cloak" (Matthew 14:36).

        All men will rise from the dead, but only those who have been faithful to Christ will share in His glory. Like Christ, we, too, shall rise from the dead on the Last Day, and our bodies will be reunited with our souls. "He Who raised up Jesus will raise us up also with Jesus" (2 Corinthians 4:14). "As Christ has arisen from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also may walk in newness of life" (Romans 6:4).

        Those who have been faithful to Christ will be rewarded with the glory of Heaven; those that have been unfaithful will be punished in the depths of hell. "If you have risen with Christ, seek the things that are above - not the things that are on earth." The rewads are given only to the faithful.

    Tomorrow: The Ascension part one

          

April 25, 2000
volume 11, no. 81
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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