FRI-SAT-SUN
January 28-30, 2000
volume 11, no. 20

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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 98:    THE SECOND EPISTLE OF ST. PETER THE APOSTLE

    In this Second Epistle, St. Peter refers to his previous letter and to the doctrine contained in it (3, 1f). It was most likely addressed to the same Christian communities of Asia Minor as the former Epistle, and was occasioned by the appearance among the Christians of false teachers (2, 1), heretics and deceivers (3, 3), who promised them freedom (2, 19), corrutping their good morals (2, 18) and denying the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world (3, 4ff). Its purpose, therefore, was to encourage the Christians to persevere in the faith, and to protect them against the dangers of the false teachers.

    The contents of this Epistle, especially Chapter 2, bear such a striking resemblance to the Epistle of St. Jude that it seems probably St. Peter was familiar with the Epistle of his fellow-Apostle and made use of some of its thoughts.

    The author calls himself "Simon Peter, a servant and Apostle of Jesus Christ" (1, 1). This statement of authorship is confirmed by the Epistle itself, the author of which described himself as an eyewitness of our Lord's Transfiguration (1, 16-18), and calls Paul his "dear brother" (3, 15).

    The time and place of its composition are deduced from 1, 13-15. The Apostle knows that his death is close at hand. As St. Peter died a martyr in Rome, we may conclude that the Epistle was written from Rome during his imprisonment 66-67 A.D.

Monday: The First Epistle of St. John the Apostle

          

January 28-30, 2000
volume 11, no. 20
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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