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 John "the disciple whom Jesus loved," was the last to write his Gospel. He was a young man when first called to the apostolate and lived to an advanced old age. At Ephesus, where he lived till about the year 100 A.D., he wrote the Gospel at the request of the Elders.
John and James were the sons of Aebedee, of the town of Bethsaida. They were fishermen by trade. They had attached themselves as disciples to John the Baptist, and from him learned that Jesus was the Messiah. They were among the first whom Jesus invited to follow Him, and later were called to be with Him permanently. They wre among the chosen Twelve. With Peter, they were permitted to share some of the more hidden experiences of their Master.
John was particularly intimate with Jesus, as his title of "beloved disciple" and his positin at the Last Supper clearly show. To him Our Lord entrusted the care of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We do not wonder, therefore, that he was able to reach such spiritual heights in his Gospel, or that tradition has assigned to him the symbol of the eagle.
The purpose of the Gospel is stated in 20, 31: "...that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name." To establish this truth, the evangelist recounts certain of Our Lord's miracles, and the teachings which were associated with them. He assumes that his readers know the Synoptic Gospels, and in some points completes their narrative. But all other possible motives of the Gospel are subordinate to his main theme, which he unfolds with convincing force.
Tomorrow: Acts of the Apostles
January 7-9, 2000 |
volume 10, no. 5
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
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