MONDAY
April 3, 2000
volume 11, no. 66

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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 144:
Our Lord Jesus Christ part two

        As our Faith teaches, Jesus Christ is both God and man; He has both Divine and human powers; He has knowledge, can will and act as God and as man. For example, with His human nature Jesus worked, ate, spoke, felt pain. But it was His divine nature that enabled Him to become transfigured, walk on the waters, raise the dead.

        These two natures were united in a Divine Person Jesus Christ, the God-Man. They were intimately united, but they remained distinct. Neither was absorbed by the other. The union of the divine and human natures in Christ is called the hypostatic union. Christ is true God and true man; this is why we call Him God-Man. Beings obtain their nature from their origin; for this reason a child has a human nature, from its human parents. Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, has His origin from God the Father, and hence He has a divine nature; moreover, as man He was born of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and thus His human nature. This is why Christ often referred to Himself indiscriminately as "Son of God" or "Son of Man."

        As a consequence of these two natures, Christ had also two wills. We can see this very clearly in His prayer in the Garden of Olives before His Passion. He said: "Nevertheless, not My will, but Thine be done." He was referring to His human will, for His divine will was surely the same as His Father's.

        The name Jesus means Saviour or Redeemer and Our Lord is called Jesus because He came to save men from sin, and to open the doors of Heaven to them. Before the birth of Our Lord, an angel appeared to Saint Joseph and said: "Thou shalt call His name Jesus" (Matthew 1:21). At the Annunication the angel Gabriel had spoken the same words to Mary.

        We shouldsay the name of Our Lord with great reverence. We should bow our head every time we utter it. "In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Philippians 2:10). The symbol HIS is composed of the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek. The name Christ means "The Anointed One." "Christ" is a Greek word, with the same meaning as "messiah." In the Old Law it was the custom to anoint with oil prophets, high priests, and kings. Our Lord is the greatest of Prophets. He is the High Priest Who offers Himself for all mankind. He is the King of angels and men. Therefore it is fitting that we should call Him Christ. He truly is the Anointed One.

        We are called Christians because we are disciples of Christ. We believe in His teachings, and obey His commandments. The followers of Christ were first called Christians at Antioch.

        Jesus Christ was announced to the world through many types. By "types" we mean persons or actions which strongly suggested or foreshadowed Christ. "Types" are to the reality what a photograph is to the actual person; but for lack of the reality, types are a good substitute, to give an idea of the substance foreshadowed. Some of the types of Jesus Christ were: the gentle and just Abel, who was murdered by his brother; Noah, who alone persevered and saved the human race from extinction by his justice;Isaac, who willingly carried the wood on which he was to have been sacrificed; Joseph, who was sold for a few pieces of silver, but later saved his brethren from death; Moses, who freed the Jews from slavery and led them to the Promised Land; David, who was born poor, did great deeds for his people, and became king.

    Tomorrow: The Incarnation part one

          

April 3, 2000
volume 11, no. 66
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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