FRI-SAT-SUN
February 4-6, 2000
volume 11, no. 25

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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 103:
THE BOOK OF APOCALYPSE/REVELATION

    The Apocalypse is a revelation of things that were, are, and will be. We are actually witnessing some of the events foretold in this book, but many still lie in the future. It is Christ who commands John to write to the seven churches, opens the seven seals, reveals the sufferings of the saints, opens the little book, overcomes the beast, reigns during the period of the first resurrection, judges the dead, both great and small, according to their works at His Second Coming, rules over all things from the beginning, presides over all the changing scenes of earth's history, and is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

    The book presents Christ as the Coming One; it reveals the dealings of Him Who came, and Who is to come. It opens with the solemn hope that the Coming One will come soon, and closes with the impressive prediction that the Coming One will come quickly.

    The book is one of hope, but also one of warning; its aim is to assure the Church of the advent of her Lord in victory. The precise time of this victory lies hidden with God, but it is certain, although the crown will not be won without a struggle. Heaven will be stormed and carried away through suffering and conflict. And all who keep the words of this book will take part in the conflict and share in the victory.

    The conflict is presented under the form of symbols. It is not easy to give a full interpretation of all the types, but the general symbols are not difficult to understand. Jerusalem stands as the type of the good cause, and this is the Church of Christ. Babylon appears as the type of the evil cause, and this is the world power. The heavenly Jerusalem has the assistance of divine power. The earthly Babylon has the help of evil powers, the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. The scense in the great conflict arrange themselves around these types of good and of evil. The numbers, the seals, the trumpets and the bowls are phases in the development and consummation of the conflict.

    John has arranged the scenes in a sevenfold structure; even in the subordinate visions he keeps to this arrangement. Commentators, however, are not agreed in marking off the limits of each structure.

    The book was written in Greek by St. John the Evangelist, on the island of Patmos, about the year 96 A.D.

Monday: Divine Tradition part one

          

February 4-6, 2000
volume 11, no. 25
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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