February 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 22

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    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

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    The direct external evidence that John's Second Epistle as well as the Third Epistle was written by the beloved Apostle is not extensive. Yet sufficient references to both Epistles are found in early patristic literature to prove their authorship and authenticity. Besides, we have a number of indirect testimonies in the citation of passages obviously derived from either the Second or the Third Epistle. Again, the vocabulary throughout is precisely that which is found in the Gospel and in the First Epistle.

    The ideas and expressions of the Second Epistle are the same as those of the First; hence its composition must have been prompted by the same or similar occasions. It was probably written towards the end of the first century.

    The recipient of the Second Epistle is addressed as "Elect Lady." The meaning of the title is obscure. Many have thought that an individual is meant, one whose name was Kuria or Elect, or simply "an elect lady." Others have seen in the title a mere symbol, either of the universal Church, or of some particular church in Asia Minor.

    The Apostle commends the recipients of the letter for their steadfastness in the true Faith, and exhorts them to persevere, lest they lose the reward of their labors. He exhorts them to love one another, but warns them to have no fellowship with heretics, and not even to greet them.

Tomorrow: The Third Epistle of St. John


February 1, 2000
volume 11, no. 22

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