Bishop Barron Speaks at Google HQ

Since Bishop Barron’s name came up in our last gathering, I thought it would be worthwhile to post this very interesting speech he delivered to Google employees at the company headquarters. It is being widely circulated on the internet. Like St. Paul at the Aeropagus maybe. The Q&A section is also interesting. His answer to the last question is found in 1 Peter 3:15-16.

 

Meribah, Massah, and Absence

Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness, when at Meribah and Massah they challenged me and provoked me, although they had seen all of my good works. Psalm 95:8-9

Every time we pray that line at Wednesday Morning Prayer, I wonder about Meribah and Massah. I did a search using the link at our MPG website to see how many times and where they are mentioned in the Bible.

Here are the mentions of Meribah.

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 8.12.49 AM

And here, with some overlap, are the mentions of Massah.

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 8.13.16 AM

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 8.41.23 AMI searched Google Maps and found no Meribah, but there is a Massah, Libya. I doubt the wilderness-wandering Jews went that far out of their way on their journey from Egypt to The Promised Land. At least this is a handy map of Bible lands, all the way from Jerusalem to Rome.

Below is the Catholic Study Bible footnote for Exodus 17:7. Apparently the Israelites named some place in the wilderness based on what happened to them and what they had done there.

Screen Shot 2018-05-19 at 8.16.22 AM

I guess the lesson for us is that we should avoid growing stubborn, quarreling, hardening our hearts, putting the Lord to the test, rebelling against his directions, etc.

If you would like to read some speculative comments, more than we actually know about these names, just Google them. Lots of commentary will pop up.

Absence

I will be absent Wednesday May 23rd helping celebrate HS graduation of our eldest granddaughter. If any of you send me notes about what is discussed, I will post them giving credit and blame as appropriate. Seriously, I would like to post at least the major topics discussed.

 

May 16, 2018 – Pentecost, Holy Spirit, and Change

There is a pretty common joke in Lutheran circles that goes something like this:

Question: How many Lutherans does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: CHANGE! WHO SAID ANYTHING ABOUT CHANGE?

Given Father Linsky’s opening comments, maybe the joke can ring a bell with Catholics also. Maybe with all human organizations. I suppose it is only human to get into ruts and have trouble thinking of new ways to approach our responsibilities. After all, we are created in the image of an unchangeable God.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Malachi 3:6-7 –  For I, the Lord, do not change, and you, sons of Jacob, do not cease to be. Since the days of your ancestors you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them.

1 Peter 1:24-25 –  “All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of the field; the grass withers, and the flower wilts; but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

So, God IS, the great I AM, unchanging and perfect, His Word remaining forever, and we, in our imperfections, with weak excuses for resisting improvement, wither and fade and wilt and turn aside from the commandments. So, we need to change, and The Holy Spirit inspires us to do so and will help us do so.

So, knowing that inspiration comes from The Holy Spirit, we can pray:

ACTIONES NOSTRAS

Father,
may everything we do
begin with your inspiration
and continue with your saving help
Let our work always find its origin in you
And through you reach completion.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. 

And we may find new and better ways to serve even as the Apostles and Disciples were changed at Pentecost by the Holy Spirit.

Here is a quick summary from The Catechism of things the Holy Spirit does and doesn’t do:

The Holy Spirit

  • comprehends the thoughts of God
  • reveals God
  • makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance
  • does not speak of himself
  • makes us hear the Father’s Word, not hear the Spirit himself
  • reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith
  • “unveils” Christ
  • will not speak on his own.”8Such properly divine self-effacement explains why
  • “the world cannot receive (him), because it neither sees him nor knows him,” while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them.9
  • The Church is the place where we know the Holy Spirit:
    – in the Scriptures he inspired;
    – in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;
    – in the Church’s Magisterium, which he assists;
    – in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts us into communion with Christ;
    – in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;
    – in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;
    – in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;
    – in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work of salvation.

You can read it all straight from the Catechism at the Vatican Website HERE.

In the New Testament, NAB Version, the phrase Holy Spirit shows up 89 times, almost half of those in Acts. (I am surprised holy is not capitalized like Spirit). He was/is busy. Here they all are. Here are a chart showing the locations of the 89 instances and all the verses.

NAB Matthew 1:18 Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit.

NAB Matthew 1:20 Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her.

NAB Matthew 3:11 I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I.I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire.

NAB Matthew 12:32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

NAB Matthew 28:19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,

NAB Mark 1:8 I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the holy Spirit.”

NAB Mark 3:29 But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”

NAB Mark 12:36 David himself, inspired by the holy Spirit, said: ‘The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.”‘

NAB Mark 13:11 When they lead you away and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say. But say whatever will be given to you at that hour. For it will not be you who are speaking but the holy Spirit.

NAB Luke 1:15, 35, 41, 67 for he will be great in the sight of (the) Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb,
35 And the angel said to her in reply, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.
41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the holy Spirit,
67 Then Zechariah his father, filled with the holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:

NAB Luke 2:25, 26 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him.
26 It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord.

NAB Luke 3:16, 22 John answered them all, saying, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the holy Spirit and fire
22 and the holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

NAB Luke 4:1 Filled with the holy Spirit, Jesus returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the desert

NAB Luke 10:21 At that very moment he rejoiced (in) the holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.

NAB Luke 11:13 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

NAB Luke 12:10, 12 “Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
12 For the holy Spirit will teach you at that moment what you should say.”

NAB John 1:33 I did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain, he is the one who will baptize with the holy Spirit.’

NAB John 14:26 The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name– he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.

NAB John 20:22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the holy Spirit.

NAB Acts 1:2, 5, 8, 16 until the day he was taken up, after giving instructions through the holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen.
5 for John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.”
8 But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
16 “My brothers, the scripture had to be fulfilled which the holy Spirit spoke beforehand through the mouth of David, concerning Judas, who was the guide for those who arrested Jesus.

NAB Acts 2:4, 33, 38 And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim
33 Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you (both) see and hear.
38 Peter (said) to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.

NAB Acts 4:8, 25, 31 Then Peter, filled with the holy Spirit, answered them, “Leaders of the people and elders:
25 you said by the holy Spirit through the mouth of our father David, your servant: ‘Why did the Gentiles rage and the peoples entertain folly?
31 As they prayed, the place where they were gathered shook, and they were all filled with the holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.

NAB Acts 5:3, 32 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart so that you lied to the holy Spirit and retained part of the price of the land?
32 We are witnesses of these things, as is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.”

NAB Acts 6:5 The proposal was acceptable to the whole community, so they chose Stephen, a man filled with faith and the holy Spirit, also Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicholas of Antioch, a convert to Judaism.

NAB Acts 7:51, 55 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors
55 But he, filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,

NAB Acts 8:15, 17, 19 who went down and prayed for them, that they might receive the holy Spirit,
17 Then they laid hands on them and they received the holy Spirit.
19 and said, “Give me this power too, so that anyone upon whom I lay my hands may receive the holy Spirit.”

NAB Acts 9:17, 31 So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit.”
31 The church throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria was at peace. It was being built up and walked in the fear of the Lord, and with the consolation of the holy Spirit it grew in numbers.

NAB Acts 10:38, 44, 45, 47 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy Spirit and power. He went about doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
44 While Peter was still speaking these things, the holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the word.
45 The circumcised believers who had accompanied Peter were astounded that the gift of the holy Spirit should have been poured out on the Gentiles also,
47 “Can anyone withhold the water for baptizing these people, who have received the holy Spirit even as we have?”

NAB Acts 11:15, 16, 24 As I began to speak, the holy Spirit fell upon them as it had upon us at the beginning,
16 and I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water but you will be baptized with the holy Spirit.’
24 for he was a good man, filled with the holy Spirit and faith. And a large number of people was added to the Lord.

NAB Acts 13:2, 4, 9, 52 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
4 So they, sent forth by the holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and from there sailed to Cyprus.
9 But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the holy Spirit, looked intently at him
52 The disciples were filled with joy and the holy Spirit.

NAB Acts 15:8, 28 And God, who knows the heart, bore witness by granting them the holy Spirit just as he did us.
28 ‘It is the decision of the holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden beyond these necessities,

NAB Acts 16:6 They traveled through the Phrygian and Galatian territory because they had been prevented by the holy Spirit from preaching the message in the province of Asia.

NAB Acts 19:2, 6 He said to them, “Did you receive the holy Spirit when you became believers?” They answered him, “We have never even heard that there is a holy Spirit.”
6 And when Paul laid (his) hands on them, the holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.

NAB Acts 20:23, 28 except that in one city after another the holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me.
28 Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock of which the holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, in which you tend the church of God that he acquired with his own blood.

NAB Acts 21:11 He came up to us, took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands with it, and said, “Thus says the holy Spirit: This is the way the Jews will bind the owner of this belt in Jerusalem, and they will hand him over to the Gentiles.”

NAB Acts 28:25 Without reaching any agreement among themselves they began to leave; then Paul made one final statement. “Well did the holy Spirit speak to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah, saying:

NAB Romans 5:5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.

NAB Romans 9:1 I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the holy Spirit in bearing me witness

NAB Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit;

NAB Romans 15:13, 16 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the holy Spirit.
16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in performing the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering up of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the holy Spirit.

NAB 1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

NAB 1 Corinthians 12:3 Therefore, I tell you that nobody speaking by the spirit of God says, “Jesus be accursed.” And no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the holy Spirit.

NAB 2 Corinthians 6:6 by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, in a holy spirit, in unfeigned love,

NAB 2 Corinthians 13:13 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you.

NAB Ephesians 1:13 In him you also, who have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised holy Spirit,

NAB Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the holy Spirit of God, with which you were sealed for the day of redemption.

NAB 1 Thessalonians 1:5, 6 For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the holy Spirit and (with) much conviction. You know what sort of people we were (among) you for your sake.
6 And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, receiving the word in great affliction, with joy from the holy Spirit,

NAB 1 Thessalonians 4:8 Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who (also) gives his holy Spirit to you.

NAB 2 Timothy 1:14 Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us.

NAB Titus 3:5 not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the holy Spirit,

NAB Hebrews 2:4 God added his testimony by signs, wonders, various acts of power, and distribution of the gifts of the holy Spirit according to his will.

NAB Hebrews 3:7 Therefore, as the holy Spirit says: “Oh, that today you would hear his voice,

NAB Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible in the case of those who have once been enlightened and tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the holy Spirit

NAB Hebrews 9:8 In this way the holy Spirit shows that the way into the sanctuary had not yet been revealed while the outer tabernacle still had its place.

NAB Hebrews 10:15 The holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying:

NAB 1 Peter 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you with regard to the things that have now been announced to you by those who preached the good news to you (through) the holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels longed to look.

NAB 2 Peter 1:21 for no prophecy ever came through human will; but rather human beings moved by the holy Spirit spoke under the influence of God.

NAB Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the holy Spirit.

We also talked about these OT/NT connections in Sacred Scripture, the Holy Spirit as Wind.

So, shall we listen and be open to change?

New Index of Topics in this Blog

With about fifty posts and around 120 separate “topics” addressed, it seemed that an index to the topics mentioned in this blog would be helpful. I have created one, a work in progress, and you will find it at the top of the blog home page.

In most posts, I have covered the primary topic of the Morning Prayer discussion and added some links to provide more information. Sometimes I have injected personal opinions and comments. I hope I have not gone too far astray.

The topics are organized in major categories such as Bible, Theology, Current Issues, Saints, etc.

If you see mistakes or omissions, please let me know and I will make adjustments.

Index of Topics

May 9, 2018 – Intersection of Theology, Cosmology, Simple Truth, and Divine Mystery

Sacred Scripture About the Ascension

John 6:62  – What if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?

John 7:33  – So Jesus said, “I will be with you only a little while longer, and then I will go to the one who sent me.

John 14:2  – In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?

John 14:12  – Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.

John 14:28  – You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I.

John 16:7  – But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

John 20:17  – Jesus said to her, “Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am going to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'”

Mark 16:19  – So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God.

Luke 24:51  – As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven.

Acts 1:9  – When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight.

Romans 8:34  – Who will condemn? It is Christ (Jesus) who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.

Hebrews 9:24  – For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands, a copy of the true one, but heaven itself, that he might now appear before God on our behalf.

1 Peter 3:21-22  – …through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers subject to him.

And, from the Nicene Creed

On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

Celebration of The Ascension 

Father Linsky led a discussion of Ascension Sunday (or Thursday, 40 days after Easter) focused on the meaning of Christ’s return to the father. It is a wonderful thing to celebrate the theological truth of that event signifying the end of Christ’s earthly ministry, the accomplishment of his mission, His submission to the Father, His death and resurrection, His establishment of the Church, the “Body of Christ,” to continue His work, guided and led by the Holy Spirit. What a privilege and responsibility we bear as members of that Body to love and to obey His commandments.

Here is an excellent and well documented discussion of the history of celebration of Ascension Sunday covering these key points:

  • Commemoration of the Ascension dates from apostolic times
  • Initially part of the Feast of Pentecost
  • Established as separate feast by 341 A.D.
  • Universally celebrated in the Roman Church by 400 A.D.
  • Associated vigil established in 7th century; no longer included in Canon Law
  • Involved processions and elaborate ceremonies, including “hoisting a statue of the Risen Christ aloft until it disappeared through an opening in the ceiling of the church” a few hundred years ago but now focuses on extinguishing of the Paschal Candle
  • There have been strange practices from time to time but now abandoned

Cosmology

The Ascension is a beautiful thing for which we give thanks and which we celebrate, but if we try too hard to figure out exactly where Jesus “ascended” to, where Heaven and those “many mansions” are, we get into trouble and find ourselves wandering in the weeds pretty quickly.

I admit that “cosmology” is a word I have never used and had to look up. It is the study of the origin and development of the universe which we, of course, believe is a creation of God…not just Heaven and Earth but “all things, visible and invisible,” the whole universe, which, even to us in the 21st century, seems to be infinite already and still expanding.

The ancient Hebrews, under divine inspiration, developed and wrote an excellent understanding of the theology of creation, but their understanding of the science was limited by their inability to see beyond the lands they occupied and the sky they could see with the naked eye. Sacred Scripture contains many descriptions of the world as they understood it and helps us understand what that view was and how it affected their explanations of theology.

Using words of Sacred Scripture about the creation process and the result of it, many simple diagrams of the ancient understandings of the universe have been created. The first one of these I ever saw was hand drawn about fifteen years ago by Dr. Ted Swanson, Professor of OT and Hebrew. It was a primitive version of the diagram below from  the stpeterslist.com website.

Read the Genesis account of creation below while looking at the diagram. As a help, here is information about the Hebrew word translated as “dome” or “firmament.”

Creation

Genesis 1:6-18 Then God said, “Let there be a dome in the middle of the waters, to separate one body of water from the other.” And so it happened: God made the dome, and it separated the water above the dome from the water below it. God called the dome “the sky.” Evening came, and morning followed– the second day. Then God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into a single basin, so that the dry land may appear.” And so it happened: the water under the sky was gathered into its basin, and the dry land appeared. God called the dry land “the earth,” and the basin of the water he called “the sea.” God saw how good it was. Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth vegetation: every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it.” And so it happened: the earth brought forth every kind of plant that bears seed and every kind of fruit tree on earth that bears fruit with its seed in it. God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed– the third day. Then God said: “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky, to separate day from night. Let them mark the fixed times, the days and the years, and serve as luminaries in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth.” And so it happened: God made the two great lights, the greater one to govern the day, and the lesser one to govern the night; and he made the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky, to shed light upon the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. God saw how good it was.

Other Scriptural Descriptions of Heaven and Earth

2 Samuel 22:8 “The earth swayed and quaked; the foundations of the heavens trembled and shook when his wrath flared up.

2 Samuel 22:16 Then the wellsprings of the sea appeared, the foundations of the earth were laid bare, At the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of the wind of his wrath.

Isaiah 40:22 He sits enthroned above the vault of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; He stretches out the heavens like a veil, spreads them out like a tent to dwell in.

1 Samuel 2:8 For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, and he has set the world upon them.

Ecclesiastes 1:5-7 The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where it rises. Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds. All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going.

So…

To get back to the important issue, it is best that we meditate on the fact of the ascension and its meaning to us and leave the rest to God. We will know soon enough what we need to know about the physical details and, I expect, will be completely astonished. I expect the whole truth will be as different from our understanding as our understanding is from that of the ancient Hebrews.

Word on Fire

I’ll give Bishop Barron the final word: “He has gone to a dimension that transcends but impinges upon our universe.

 

May 2, 2018 – Athanasius, Orthodoxy, and Councils

St. Athanasius

Fr. Linsky gave an interesting summary of the life and ministry of St. Athanasius. You can read the whole story HERE.

St. Athanasius is famous for having written the earliest extant listing of the NT Canon. For the source of this clip below from 367 AD, more than 250 years after the writing of the NT books, go here.

Catholic Orthodoxy
(Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Built on four pillars:

  1. The baptismal profession of faith (The Creed)
  2. The sacraments of faith (Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Holy Orders, Matrimony, Penance, Anointing of the Sick)
  3. The life of faith (The Commandments)
  4. The prayer of the believer (The Our Father)

It seems simple, but, from that, we get 688 pages of very interesting and challenging reading with clear explanations and lots of references to Sacred Scripture and other Church documents. It is worth having on hand to look up things and is even worth complete reading just for better understanding.

Catholic Church Councils (Since Jerusalem)
More Details at this LINK.

1. FIRST COUNCIL OF NICAEA 325 – Nicene Creed against Arianism
2. FIRST COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE – 381 – Divinity of the Holy Spirit
3. COUNCIL OF EPHESUS – 431 – Declared Mary the Mother of God
4. COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON – 451 – Defined the two natures of Christ
5. SECOND COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE – 553 – Condemned errors of Origen
6. THIRD COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE – 680-681 – Divine and human will in Christ
7. SECOND COUNCIL OF NICAEA – 787 – Veneration of holy images
8. FOURTH COUNCIL OF CONSTANTINOPLE – 869 – Photian Schism
9. FIRST LATERAN COUNCIL – 1123 – Holy Land recovery from infidels
10. SECOND LATERAN COUNCIL – 1139 – Dealt with errors of Arnold of Brescia
11. THIRD LATERAN COUNCIL – 1179 – Condemned Albigenses and Waldenses
12. FOURTH LATERAN COUNCIL – 1215 – Condemned errors of Abbot Joachim
13. FIRST COUNCIL OF LYONS – 1245 – Excommunicated Frederick II; directed a crusade
14. SECOND COUNCIL OF LYONS – 1274 – Added “and from the Son” to the creed.
15. COUNCIL OF VIENNE – 1311-1313 – Dealt with crimes and errors, reforms, a crusade
16. COUNCIL OF CONSTANCE – 1414-1418 – Dealt with schism
17. COUNCIL OF BASLE/FERRARA/FLORENCE – 1431-1439 – Moveable council – three cities
18. FIFTH LATERAN COUNCIL – 1512-1517 – Crusade planned but stopped due to Luther
19. COUNCIL OF TRENT – 1545-1563 – Addressed the reformers and reformed the church
20. FIRST VATICAN COUNCIL – 1869-1870 – decreed the infallibility of the Pope when speaking ex cathedra, i.e. when as shepherd and teacher of all Christians, he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church.
21. SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL – 1962-1965 – Pope John XXIII convoked the council in which 2860 leaders participatedThe main business of the council was to explore and make explicit the Church’s role in the world, ecumenism, the renewal of religious life, the life and ministry of priests and the role of lay apostles (everyday Christians) as important contributors to the evangelization of the world. Improvements to the liturgy were explored. Vatican II also suggested the Mass be established in the language of its environment. So the Mass is now in many languages instead of just Latin.

 

April 25th, 2018 – Humility vs. Pride

First Reading for Wednesday April 25th, 2018

1 Peter 5:5-7 And all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: “God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.” So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you.

Pride vs. Humility in Modern Culture

It is interesting that, in modern US language and culture, “pride” has become a virtue rather than a sin and “humility” tends to be scorned. We are proud of our children, our students, our schools, our churches, our communities, our race, and our sexual orientation. We are even proud of things with which we had nothing to do. Some of us are proud of our president. I haven’t heard anyone express pride in Congress recently.

I believe the rise of “pride” movements and associated popularity of the word are quite reasonable reactions to the scorn and criticism heaped on various minorities by the establishment in past decades, those in power and in the majorities and even in the Church often more interested in condemning and claiming prideful superiority than in loving and expressing humility. We reap what we sow.

Searching the Catechism – Pride

A quick search of the Catholic Catechism at the Vatican Website shows “pride” occurs 11 times and “humility” 22 times in the Catechism. That two to one margin seems to support the importance of humility as part of our expression of Christian faith. (You can have some fun searching any word in the Catechism at this link🙂

Here is the most pertinent use of “pride” from Paragraph 1866 (4th item in the list below).

1866 – Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called “capital” because they engender other sins, other vices. They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia. (Interesting article about acedia)

Searching the Catechism – Humility

And, this example of the use of “humility,’ No. 8 in the list below. By the way, the word “humble” shows up 39 times in the Catechism.

1450 “Penance requires . . . the sinner to endure all things willingly, be contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and fruitful satisfaction.”

Humility is scorned in much of modern society as we are advised to “lean forward,” negotiate better compensation, invest aggressively to become wealthy, keep loaded guns to protect what is ours, look our for our own interests, etc. But that scorn is a result of a misunderstanding of humility. Dr. Neglia shared this insight: Humility does not mean thinking less of oneself; Humility means thinking of oneself less.” So, we can be confident and effective and still be humble.

Jesus set the perfect example of humility (even though he did once storm into the temple turning over tables and raising a ruckus.) St. Paul summarized the ministry of Jesus in his letter to the Philippians.

Philippians 2:3-9   Do nothing out of selfishness or out of vainglory; rather, humbly regard others as more important than yourselves, each looking out not for his own interests, but (also) everyone for those of others. Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped.  Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Virtue Chart (Humility and Thankfulness Missing)

I knew “pride” occupied a prominent place on this chart of virtues, gifts, fruits, and sins but was surprised that “humility” does not. It does seem that most of the Fruits of the Holy Spirit, Gentleness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Goodness, Kindness, Patience, Modesty, and Self Control are excellent descriptors of humble persons and perhaps even synonyms for humility. “Thanksgiving” doesn’t show up explicitly either, but we can be confident that, in place of expressing pride, we are always safe to express thanksgiving.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

And we especially give thanks for the presence of JT and for his encouraging words supporting humility and thanksgiving.