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
Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans is given the position of honor at the head of all the New Testament Epistles. It was written at Corinth during the winter 57-58 A.D. at the close of St. Paul's third missionary journey, prior to his voyage to Jerusalem, where at the instigation of his bitter Jewish adversaries he was to be arrested and afterwards held prisoner for several years. This date for the composition of the Epistle is arrived at by comparing the circumstances and persons to which it alludes with those at Corinth during St. Paul's sojourn there at the close of his third missonary journey.
St. Paul during this period of his missionary activity had rather thoroughly covered the territory in the eastern world, and was looking for new fields to evangelize in the West. He intended, accordingly, after visiting Jerusalem, to journey to Spain, stopping en route at Rome. In this letter he wished to inform the Romans of his intended visit and to set before them the fruits of his meditations on the great religious question of the day, justification by faith and the relation of this new system of salvation to the Mosaic religion.
Although he had previously dealt briefly with the question in the Epistle to the Galatians, St. Paul had not thus far had the apportunity of fully developing in writing his doctrine on this point. But now wishing to introduce himself to the Romans, he seized the opportunity of setting forth a lengthy statemtnt and defense of his doctrine, not only for the Romans but also for the various Christian communities throughout the world.
Tomorrow: First Corinthians
January 11, 2000 |
volume 11, no. 7
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
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