FRI-SAT-SUN
February 11-13, 2000
volume 11, no. 30

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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 108:
ONE GOD IN THREE PERSONS part one

    There is only one God. "I am the first, and I am the last, and besides Me there is no God" (Isaiah 44:6). There can be only one God, because only one can be supreme, all-powerful, and independent of all. In God there are three Divine Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

    In speaking of the "persons" in God, we do not use the term in exactly the same was we use it when speaking of people. We use it only for lack of a word to show our meaning better. In speaking of a man as a "person," we mean that he is an intelligent being, acting individually for himself. The acts he performs belong to him and he is responsible for them-he himself, not his tongue, nor his mind, nor his whole body even, but the whole of himself.

    We speak of three "Persons" in God because to each belongs something we cannot attribute to any other: His distinct origin. From all eternity the Father begets the Son, and the Son proceeds from the Father. From all eternity the Father and Son breathe forth the Holy Ghost, and He proceeds from Them, as from one Source. By the Blessed Trinity we mean one and the same God in three divine Persons.

    The Father is God and the First Person of the Blessed Trinity. Omnipotence, and especially the work of creation, is attributed to God the Father.

    God the Father could have created millions of beings instead of you yourself; but He chose you out of a love wholly underserved, saying, "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). Let us then cry in thanksgiving, "Abba, Father!" (Romans 8:15). Let us show our gratitude by avoiding all that could displease God the Father, by trying to please Him with virtue, by trying for greater perfection, in obedience to that injunction of Our Lord's: "You therefore are to be perfect, even as your Heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).

    The Son is God and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. To God the Son we ow our redemption from sin and eternal death; by His death He gave us life. For us God the Son debased Himself, taking the form of a servant,"becoming obedient to death, even to death on a cross" (Philippians 2:8). In Holy Communion we are united with Him, for He Himself said: "He who eats My flesh, and drinks My blood, abides in Me and I in him" (John 6:57). In return we should be "other Christs," and, as the Apostle urged, "walk even as He walked."

    The Holy Ghost is God and the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. He manifests Himself in us particularly in our santification. The word "Ghost" applied to the Third Person means "Spirit."

    At our Baptism God the Holy Ghost purifies us from all sin and fills our souls with divine grace, so that we become truly children of God, sons and heirs, and co-heirs with Jesus Christ. By Baptism we become living temples of the Holy Ghost: "Or do you not know that your members are the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you?" (1 Corinthians 6:19).

    In return for such benefits we should make our body the instrument for the glory of God, keeping it from all stain of sin, adorning it with virtues. "Glorify God and bear Him in your body" (1 Corinthians 6:20). Let us keep our souls a sanctuary for the Holy Spirit, that God may be happy to dwell in us.

Monday: One God in Three Persons part two

          

February 11-13, 2000
volume 11, no. 30
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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