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Is Mary The Mother Of God . . . Or Only The Mother Of Jesus?

December 6, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 2 Responding to a common misconception among separated brethren and ill-informed Catholics: On the day of the Annunciation and the Incarnation, the Archangel St. Gabriel, “who stands in the presence of God” (Luke 1:19), inspired by the Holy Spirit, said to the Blessed Virgin Mary: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. 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. . . . The Holy One who shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God” — Luke 1:30, 35). Interesting: the…Continue Reading

Sacred Scripture And Sacred Tradition

December 5, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Over the past three weeks, our primary focus has been on God’s supernatural divine Revelation. We’ve examined how “by love God has revealed Himself and given Himself to man [and]…thus provided the definitive, superabundant answer to the questions that man asks himself about the meaning and purpose of his life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 66). We’ve seen that in the fullness of time God established an everlasting covenant with mankind by sending His Son as the “Father’s definitive Word, so there will be no further Revelation after Him” (CCC, n. 73). The stage is now set for us to look at God’s master plan for transmitting His Revelation to mankind throughout the ages. In other words, how…Continue Reading

Follow The Example Of The Prophets

December 5, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By Fr. ROBERT ALTIER The Third Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 35:1-6a, 10 James 5:7-10 Matt. 11:2-11 In the second reading St. James instructs us to be patient while awaiting the coming of the Lord. In the first century context this kind of encouragement was necessary. However, we might be tempted to think that it does not apply to us because after 2,000 years it is pretty evident that we have to be patient. While this is true we need also to consider the other points St. James makes. He tells us to make our hearts firm, to refrain from complaining about one another, and to follow the example of the prophets in the areas of hardship and…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Pope Francis “Brings From His Storehouse Old And New”

December 1, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK This month we celebrated the memorial of St. Albertus Magnus, Albert the Great. The Gospel selected by the Church for this occasion describes the role of scribe, a disciple who reads, writes, and studies according to the vocation of learning. St. Albert was one such, who became so learned himself and taught others so effectively what he had himself learned that he is now deemed a “doctor” of the Church. Albert was also a bishop, the “head of a household,” the household of the faith which is every local Church. Our Holy Father Francis has asked that bishops imitate Albert and in their pastoral zeal avoid an ideology which can end by alienating some while…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

November 30, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. In St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, he talks about Christ appearing to many people after the Resurrection and “last of all, as to one born abnormally, he appeared to me” (15:8). What does he mean by being born “abnormally”? — P.R., Massachusetts. A. Other translations make the meaning of this clearer when they have Paul saying that he was “one born out of due time” (Douay-Rheims) or that he was “one untimely born” (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition). Paul means that because he was not with Jesus from the beginning, as were the Twelve, he is “the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God” (1 Cor.…Continue Reading

Is Mary The Mother Of God… Or Only The Mother Of Jesus?

November 29, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 1 Responding to a common misconception among separated brethren and ill-informed Catholics: For two years in Perth, Western Australia, my wife and I hosted the only talk-radio show run by lay Catholics. It was a great opportunity to share the faith in public and to answer questions about the Church. One day we received a letter from a non-Catholic listener. It read: “Last week you broadcast a musical recording of Placido Domingo singing a classical version of the Ave Maria. I realize that the first part may have been somewhat inspired in the Gospel of Luke. The second part, however, is an R.C. invention: It is inappropriate to call Mary the ‘Mother of God.’…Continue Reading

Public Revelation Vs. Private Revelation

November 28, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Our previous installment ended by citing a pair of remarkable verses from the Letter to the Hebrews, verses that concisely summarize God’s divine pedagogy, His master plan of divine Revelation: “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by a Son, Whom He appointed the heir of all things, through Whom also He created the world” (Heb. 1:1-2). As expounded last week, God’s Old Testament revelation, mediated to mankind through the patriarchs and prophets, was gradual and partial — it was revealed in stages and progressively supplemented throughout successive epochs and ages of salvation history. But its culmination in the…Continue Reading

Recognizing Our Sinfulness

November 26, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday Of Advent (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 1:1-10 Romans 15:4-9 Matt. 3:1-12 In the second reading today St. Paul tells us that what was written previously was written for our instruction that we might have hope through the encouragement of the Scriptures. He goes on to pray that God will grant the grace to think in harmony with one another in keeping with Christ. We need, first of all, to address the point of thinking in harmony with one another. St. Paul is not suggesting that he wants us all to be alike in our personalities and powers. In other words, he would not say that an engineer and an artist should think the same…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Pope Francis Seeks “Pastoral, Not Ideological” Bishops

November 24, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK (Editor’s Note: When space permits, Fr. Cusick will conclude his column with a Catechism reflection to go with the Sunday readings.) +    +    + Pope Francis by now is well known for short-round staccato bursts of teaching that can be as hard to parse as they are quick to say. One recent example is, “Sinners yes, corrupt no.” Without explanation someone might think he is approving of sin. In fact, Pope Francis is saying that we are all sinners and must seek forgiveness through the mercy of Christ while at the same time shunning all corruption, that is, appearing to be Christian while lacking the humility of repentance. His teaching in this area can be…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

November 23, 2013 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. During the upcoming Christmas season, we are almost certain to have homilies describing the Blessed Virgin Mary as an unwed mother. What is the best way of describing Mary’s marital status, her relationship with Joseph, and her perpetual virginity? — J.D.H., California. A. The best way is to read carefully chapter 1 of Matthew’s Gospel, particularly where he says that when “Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly” (Matt. 1:18-19). Notice that Matthew calls Joseph Mary’s “husband” and says that Joseph had decided to “divorce her…Continue Reading