January 18, 2000
volume 11, no. 12

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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

installment 90:    The Epistle of Saint Paul the Apostle to the Philippians

    The church of Philippi was Saint Paul's first foundation on European soil. The vision of a man, of Macedonia calling for aid brought the Apostle, Saint Timothy and their comrades from Asia into Europe. In Acts 16, 11-40 Saint Luke narrates the conversions at Philippi, the cure of a girl possessed by a demon, the Apostle's imprisonment, his release and departure from that city.

    On at least two other occasions Philippi had the joy of welcoming its beloved Apostle. The people were deeply attached to St. Paul, helping him by alms in his missionary work; and Paul's special affection for them manifests itself in the Epistle. He hopes to be able to visit them soon.

    The occasion of its composition can be gathered from the Epistle. Learning that St. Paul had been cast into prison, the church at Philippi, in order to assist him, sent Epaphroditus with a sum of money and with instructions to remain beside the Apostle as his companion and servant. While thus employed, Epaphroditius fell sick and nearly died. Upon his recovery, St. Paul decided to send him back to Philippi. The Epistle expresses gratidude to the church for its gift and commends the service rendered by Epaphroditius.

    At the same time Paul takes the opportunity of exhorting the faithful to compose their disse4nsions, and he warns them against Jewish converts who wished to make Old Testament practices obligatory for Christians.

    No one but St. Paul could have composed such a letter. It was written from Rome in the year 63 A.D.

Tomorrow: Colossians


January 18, 2000
volume 11, no. 12

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