FRI-SAT-SUN
March 31 - April 2, 2000
volume 11, no. 65

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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 143:
Our Lord Jesus Christ part one

        As was proved in the last installment,Our Lord Jesus Christ is true God and true Man. As God, He is equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit: He is infinite, almighty, eternal. As man He has a body and soul like ours. Jesus Christ has two natures which cannot be separated, but which are distinct: the human, and the divine. But He is only one Person-The Divine Person. Jesus Christ is not a human Person. No, Jesus Christ is only one Person; and that Person is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity. Throughout the Gospels we can read about Jesus Christ as only one Person,--eating, sleeping, talking, and dying, as only one Person.

        A "person" is a being that is intelligent and free, and responsible for his actions. We attribute to him whatever good or evil he does in the use of his human powers, because he owns or controls those powers. We are human person, and everything we do are done by shuman person. But Christ is a Divine Person, since He is God. Whatever Jesus Christ did while He was on earth was of infinite dignity, since it was the work of a Divine Person.

        Jesus Christ is Our Lord, the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, true God and true Man. We call Him "Our Lord" because as God He is Lord and Master of all, and as our Savior He redeemed us with His Blood. Christ is our Creator, Redeemer, Lawgiver, Teacher, and Judge. All these we mean when we say Our Lord. St. Paul says: "He is the Blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords...to Whom be honor and everlasting dominion. Amen" (1 Timothy 6:15, 16).

        There is only one Person, the Divine Person, in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is not a human person. Everything in Him even as Man is divine and worthy of adoration. When we adore the Sacred Heart, or the Precious Blood, we do not adore mere flesh, but the flesh united to the divinity. In Christ the human and the divine are inseparable.

        Jesus Christ has two natures: the nature of God and the nature of man. A "nature" is a substance that is complete in itself as a source of activity. It differs from "person" in that while "person" determines what an individual is, "nature" determines what an individual can do. In Jesus Christ Our Lord there are two natures: His divine and His human nature. Therefore He could and did act as God; He could and did act as man, while all the time He was God the Son.

        Because of His Divine nature, Christ is truly God; because of His human nature, He is truly man. In His Divine nature He is the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, God the Son, the Eternal Word. He took His human nature from His Mother Mary. It was to the Blessed Virgin that the Archangel Gabriel announced: "And behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High." (Luke 1:32).

    Monday: Our Lord Jesus Christ part two

          

March 31 - April 2, 2000
volume 11, no. 65
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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