MONDAY
March 6, 2000
volume 11, no. 46

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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 124:
Evolution and the Bible part two

    Even if the theory of evolution could be scientifically proved, even if a "missing link" should be discovered, the theory would not be opposed to Catholic doctrine, which merely requires belief in the immediate creatiion of Adam's soul, in the image of God. Any "evolution" was surely begun by an Intelligent Cause: God.

    We therefore take literally the Book of Genesis, which tells of the peculiar creation of man, of the formation of the first woman from the first man, of the original happiness of our First Parents in the state of justice, of their integrity and immortality, of the test to which God put them, of their transgression of the divine command at the instigation of the devil in some form, of the loss of the original innocence, and of the promise of the Redeemer.

    God directly creates every human soul out of nothing. From the very beginning, God has created every human soul out of nothing. Thus He created the soul of Adam, when after forming his body, He "breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7). Every human soul is created at the same moment that one comes to life, at conception.

    Man's soul is not produced from some other soul or matter. It is spiritual and simple. It did not exist before the person lived. It did not come to exist after he was already alive. Man's life is due to his soul. As soon as the soul leaves the body, life ceases. The investigations of scientists have discovered a singular universality and sameness in ideas of right and wrong, a moral code, in all races and peoples, however primitive. These are universally looked upon as wrong: the wanton murder of one not an enemy, stealing from one's own group, maltreatment of children, irreverence, incest, adultery. If this attitude resulted from fear of reprisal, why is not murder considered wrong when against an enemy? Why has incest always been regarded as wrong, when primitive men surely could have no idea of the evils of inbreeding? One must conclude that this universal conscience comes from One Source.

    Man's soul is not derived from his parents. Only his body is derived from them. There is no possible "evolution" of the soul, for it is a spiritual substance, not subject to the laws of physical nature, and could not possibly be developed from a lower or material form of life.

    Manifestations of the soul, like cleverness, talent, traits of character, etc., by which children resemble their parents, are due to the attributes of the body that they derived from their parents, or to training in the family. If one holds a colored glass to the light the reflection willhave the color of the glass. But the glass did not make the sun whoe reflection is cast. Is even the mind a product of evolution? The most primitive man is capable of abstract reasoning. The most intelligent beasts cannot think in concepts.

    How many centuries were there from Adam to Christ? The Church has bever given a decision; this question will perhaps never be answered. It is generally admitted that the Bible teaches nothing definite on the matter. The line of patriarchs, which it gives, with their ages, probably contains many gaps. A man is said to be a son of another, whereas he may only be a remote descendant. In the same way the Bible speaks of Our Lord as the Son of David, although David preceeded Him 1000 years.

    Some Catholic theologians state that the age of man may be stretched to ten, or one hundred thousand years or even longer. Neither scientists nor theologians have come to a definite solution.

Tomorrow: Original Sin part one

          

March 6, 2000
volume 11, no. 46
APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH

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