Sunday 1st February 2015

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The Characteristics Of Faith

January 10, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Part 2 In last week’s installment, we began an examination of the characteristics of faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) first pointed toward the all-important truth that faith is a grace (see CCC, n. 153). Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, using the classic formulation of St. Thomas Aquinas, expresses it as follows: “Divine faith is an act of the intellect, assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God through grace” (The Faith, p. 36). The Catechism then asserts that believing is “an authentically human act…[by which] the human intellect and will cooperate with divine grace” (CCC, nn. 154-155). Next, we discussed motives of credibility — actions by which God “bore…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

January 9, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Editor’s Note: In a column two months ago, we summarized the Church’s condemnation of slavery by several Popes from the 15th to the 19th centuries and by the Catechism of the Catholic Church (n. 2414). Now Fr. Brian Harrison of Missouri has informed us that our response about magisterial statements on slavery “glosses over (unwittingly, I am sure) one such statement that I am afraid poses a rather embarrassing apologetic problem: the June 20, 1866 Instruction of the Holy Office on this subject.” He said that this Instruction, which was approved by Blessed Pope Pius IX, “was sent as a response to a missionary bishop in East Africa (in what is now either Sudan or Ethiopia) who submitted a dubium…Continue Reading

Union With The Lord In Our Hearts

January 8, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Second Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19 1 Cor. 6:13c-15a, 17-20 John 1:35-42 In the Gospel reading today St. John the Baptist points out our Lord to John and Andrew. These two disciples come to our Lord and ask Him where He is staying. The Greek word that is used in this passage can be translated as stay, remain, or abide. It is my humble (or, perhaps, arrogant) opinion that they got this one wrong. As I often point out to people, if you had an opportunity to ask Jesus one question, would you ask Him what house He is living in? The same word is used three times in a…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Basil The Great

January 6, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 While there are more than 30 doctors of the Catholic Church, only a handful have the honor of being called “Great.” Among these are St. Leo the Great (died 461), St. Albert the Great, who taught St. Thomas Aquinas (died 1280), and St. Gregory the Great, father of the medieval papacy (died 604). Many people are referring to Pope St. John Paul II as great. A man, brilliant but humble, who fought the Arian heresy in the early days of the Church, St. Basil is also called “the Great.” Basil grew up surrounded by saints. His grandmother, St. Macrina the elder, and his grandfather, who was martyred for the faith, lost all of their wealth…Continue Reading

The Christmas Season: Celebrating The “Birthday of Life”

January 5, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church celebrates the birth of Christ every December 25, but continues thereafter to extend the joy in the period of time known as the Christmas Season. The Breviarium Romanum is a treasury of Scripture and Tradition, used primarily by priests and religious from the Pope all the way down to the newest postulant or seminarian, in order to pray together daily as one Church, the Body of Christ, in obedience to her Lord who commanded “Pray always.” The day is divided according to Scripture and tradition in seven parts. The readings by the fathers and doctors included in Matins are especially propitious for meditation, preaching, and teaching. On Christmas Day the readings from St.…Continue Reading

Mary’s Perpetual Virginity . . . Did Joseph Know Her As A Husband Knows His Wife?

January 4, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 “And he [Joseph] did not know her till she brought forth her firstborn son. And he called his name Jesus” — Matt. 1:25. It seems pretty evident for those non-Catholic Christians who disagree with Luther and Zwingli on the issue of Mary’s perpetual virginity that, after the birth of Jesus, Mary would have had other children in due course. Again, the argument is fallacious and inconclusive. And it is very simple to demonstrate it. The great Bible scholar St. Jerome (fourth century), who translated the whole Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, was the first to answer it. The words till, and until, reflect a manner of speaking, usual among the Hebrews,…Continue Reading

The Characteristics Of Faith

January 3, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

By DON FIER Faith, or the obedience of faith, was characterized in last week’s installment on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) as man’s most fitting and proper response to God’s self-revelation. Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, concisely defines this assent to all God has revealed as “the free submission to God’s Word because its truth is guaranteed by God, Who is Truth itself” (The Faith, p. 35). Our previous column appropriately closed with a brief reflection on the human person whom the Church sets before us as the “most perfect embodiment” (CCC, n. 144) of the obedience of faith — the Blessed Virgin Mary. Is it possible to conceive of a more apt expression to describe “our mother…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

January 2, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Q. I noticed in the Gospel readings just before Christmas that Zechariah and the Virgin Mary both seemed to have the same doubts about the announcement by the Angel Gabriel. However, Zechariah was struck dumb, but Mary was not. Why were they treated differently? — M.K., Florida. A. Zechariah was punished because he doubted the power of God to give his elderly wife a child (“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”). Mary, on the other hand, did not doubt the power of God, but only wanted to know the manner in which she would conceive a child since she had taken a vow of virginity (“How can this…Continue Reading

Pope Francis’ Message For 2015 World Day Of The Sick

January 1, 2015 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

(VATICAN RADIO) — The theme of Pope Francis’s message for the World Day of Sick being celebrated on February 11, 2015 is “I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame,” taken from the Book of Job (Job 29:15). Dear Brothers and Sisters, On this, the twenty-third World Day of the Sick, begun by St. John Paul II, I turn to all of you who are burdened by illness and are united in various ways to the flesh of the suffering Christ, as well as to you, professionals and volunteers in the field of health care. This year’s theme invites us to reflect on a phrase from the Book of Job: “I was eyes to the blind, and…Continue Reading

Christmas Epistle of His Beatitude Sviatoslav

December 31, 2014 Our Catholic Faith Comments Off

Archbishops and Metropolitans, God-loving bishops, dear brothers and sisters in Ukraine and in settlements around the world. Fear not, for I bring you great joy today in the City of David was born the Savior — Christ the Lord (Luke 2:10-11) Christ is Born! With these words of the good messenger from heaven, Christ’s Church pronounces the salvation news. Today a Savior was born to us: God descended to earth and appeared in a human body in the city of Bethlehem. Heaven and earth rejoices in this; all humans rejoice in the fact that our Creator did not abandon His creation, but came, in order to take on its fate. He became a person in order to share with them…Continue Reading