MONDAY
February 21, 2000
volume 11, no. 36

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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 114:
REVELATION AND SCIENCE part one

    Revelation and Science do not, and cannot, contradict each other, for both are of God. There may at times be an apparent conflict between faith and science; but this is only apparent, and never real. God cannot contradict Himself. He cannot lead us into error.

    True Science is the handmaid of Religion. Science and the scientific method are means of arriving at the truth, and Religion is Truth. The greatest scientists have been Christians; a majority of outstanding leaders in science were Catholics, and many were priests. Only the shallow dabblers in science absurdly pretend that there is a conflict. The apparent conflicts arise from false interpretations, as when one takes for scientific truth what is false or not proved, or accepts as doctrine of faith something not taught by the Church.

    There can never be a real conflict between Revelation and Science, because they deal with entirely different spheres. Revelation is concerned with Faith and spiritual things; physical Science is concerned only with material things.

    The Bible's purpose is to teach salvation; but people make the mistake of considering it a treatise on Science. St. Thomas and St. Augustine taught that when the Bible describes some phenomenon of nature, it sets it down in terms of its appearances.

    No scientific experiment or theory can dispense with the necessity of a Creator. Unless His existence is accepted, we can never explain: (a) the origin of matter, even the most elementary; (b) the origin of motion; (c) the origin of the very first living organism, and of the spiritual soul of man; and (d) the origin of the order and law so apparent in the universe.

    The only difficulties found by some scientists in the Biblical account of the Creation are connected with the order or sequence of events followed in the Book of Genesis.

    If we study the proper nterpretation, even these difficulties will be found not to exist. The account in the Book of Genesis is in logical, not chronological, order. The writer groups together similar works of creation, for the easier understanding of a primitive people.

    Catholics are free to accept the interpretation that they prefer, so long as they also accept the fact taught: that God created the whole universe and everything in it.

    Neither Revelation nor Science gives a definite answer to the question concerning the age of the world. Geologists assert that long periods of time were necessary for the formation of the various strat of the earth'' surface. Astronomers assert that some stars are millions of light-years away from the earth.

    A Catholic is free to hold on this point whatever he believes is a sound and scientific conclusion. The estimates of scientists vary. Tomorrow we will list some of the more notable Catholic scientists throughout history.

Tomorrow: Revelation and Science part two

          

February 21, 2000
volume 11, no. 36
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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