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
The second Gospel was written by Saint Mark, who, in the New Testament, is sometimes called John Mark. Both he and his mother, Mary, were highly esteemed in the early Church, and his mother's house in Jerusalem served as a meeting place for Christians there. He was associated with Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas (who was Mark's cousin) on their missinalry journey through the island of Cyprus. Later he accompanied St. Barnabas alone. We know also that he was in Rome with Saint Peter and with Saint Paul. Tradition ascribes to him the founding of the Church in Alexandria. His feast falls on April 25.
It is historically certain that St. Mark wrote the second Gospel, that he wrote it in Rome sometime before the year 60 A.D., that he wrote it in Greek for the Gentile converts to Christianity. Tradition tells us that St. Mark was requessted by the Romans to set down the teachings of St. Peter. This seems to be confirmed by the position which St. Peter has in this Gospel. In this way, the second Gospel is a record of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of the Prince of the Apostles.
St. Mark's purpose is to show to the Romans that Jesus is the Savior, and that He is Divine. To this end he attends more to the miracles of Our Lord than to His sermons, giving only a few of the parables at length. The author, however, gives in some detail the events he narrates, and leaves the impression of an eyewitness. His language is simple, and yet earnest and full of charm.
Tomorrow: The Gospel of Saint Luke
January 5, 2000 |
volume 10, no. 3
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
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