MONDAY
January 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 16

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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 94:
THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE TO TITUS

    Saint Titus was born of Greek parents. He accompanied Saints Paul and Barnabas to the Council of Jerusalem (Gal. 2, 1. 3). He was uncircumcised, and although at the Council of Judaizers insisted that he submit to this rite, St. Paul refused to permit it. Titus is addressed in this Epistle as "beloved son" (1, 4), probably because he was converted to the faith by the Apostle. He was sent by the latter on several important missions during the third missionary journey (2 Cor, 2, 13; 7. 6; 8, 6, 16; 12, 18). We lose sight of him after this, as he is not mentioned in the Epistle of the Captivity. From this Epistle we learn that St. Paul entrusted him with the organization of the Church in Crete (1, 5). Afterwards he was summoned by the Apostle to Nicopolis in Epirus (3, 12), and during St. Paul's final Roman imprisonment he was sent on a mission to Dalmatia (2 Tim, 4, 10). According to tradition he returned to Crete to exercise his spiscopal office, and died there.

    The journey of St. Paul to the island of Crete (1, 5), cannot be inserted anywhere in the life of the Apostle before the first Roman imprisonment. Hence the visit, as well as the composition of this Epistle, took place between St. Paul's liberation from this first imprisonment and his death. Catholic authors commonly hold that the Epistle was written shortly after the writing of 1 Timothy, in either 65 or 66 A.D.

    The religious situatin in Crete and the mission of Titus correspond to what confronted Timothy at Ephesus (compare 3, 9 with 1 Tim. 1, 4). Because of the character of the inhabitants and the spreaad of erroneous doctrines (1, 10f. 14; 3, 9-11). Titus' task was a difficult one. Before leaving Titus at Crete St. Paul had instructed him how to organize and rule the churches. In this Epistle the Apostle gives him counsels and instructions to guide him to his episcopal o

Tomorrow: The Epistle of St. Paul to Philemon and the Hebrews

          

January 24, 2000
volume 11, no. 16
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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