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Catholic Commentary

August 26, 2013 by  
Filed under Catholic Commentary


Pope Francis: Christianity is a way of life, not a label


By Kerri Lenartowick


Vatican City, Aug 25, 2013 / 09:38 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his Sunday Angelus audience, Pope Francis emphasized the importance of truly living a Christian life rather than letting it become a superficial label.


“In the gospel, Jesus tells us that to be a Christian is not to have a ‘label’ but to live and testify to faith in prayer, in works of charity, in the promotion of justice, in doing good,” Pope Francis told the audience gathered in St. Peter’s Square Aug. 25.
Jesus himself is the way to a truly lived faith, explained the Pope.
Sunday’s gospel reading includes the story of a man who asks Jesus if there are few that will be saved.
“Jesus doesn’t respond directly to the question: it is not important to know how many will be saved, but above all it is important to know the way of salvation,” Pope Francis recounted. “Jesus tells us that there is a door to enter into the family of God. This door is Jesus.”

Jesus offers himself as the way of salvation to all.

“Everyone is invited to enter this door, to go through the door of faith, to enter into His life, and to allow Jesus into their lives, so that he may transform them, renew them, and give them full and lasting joy.”
The Pope went on to say that today there are many doors “inviting us to enter, promising instant happiness, which is an end in itself and has no future.”
But Jesus “shines a light in our lives that never goes out. It is more than just a flash.”
We must not be afraid to enter the door of faith in Jesus, encouraged Pope Francis. We must not be afraid “to let him enter more and more into our lives, to get out of our selfishness, our being closed off, our indifference towards others.”
This way of Jesus is “narrow” because “he asks us to open our heart to him, to recognize ourselves as sinners in need of his salvation, his forgiveness, his love, and to have the humility to accept his mercy and let us be renewed by him.”
The Pope led the crowds in the Angelus prayer. He then spoke of his concern for the continuing situation of violence in Syria.
“From the depths of my heart, I wish to express my closeness in prayer and solidarity to all the victims of this conflict, to all those who suffer, especially the children,” he said

“Let us pray together, ‘Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us’.”




August 23, 2013 by  
Filed under Catholic Catechesis

Where the Bible came from and why some non-Catholic Christians think that Catholics don’t read the Bible?

The Bible was compiled in the 3rd Century AD and has two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The 46 Books of the Old Testament  consist of the writings of the ancient Israelites and tell the story of salvation history and the coming of the Messiah. Father John A. Hardon defined salvation history in the Workbook for his Basic Catholic Catechism Course: “The history of the salvation of the human race, beginning with God’s promise of a Redeemer (Genesis 3) and continuing to the end of the apostolic age, or the death of the Apostle St. John.”
The New Testament is a collection of the 27 books on the life of Jesus (the Gospels) along with the writings and teachings of the disciples as they carried out their mission to spread the good news. While the authority of these writings were accepted in the first century, they were formally authorized in the 300’s as the inspired writings that were to be included in the Canon of the Bible. Of course, at that time there was only one church, the Catholic Church. So you are correct in surmising that the Catholic church compiled the Bible.

Non-Catholic Christians and others who think that Catholics don’t read the bible are very mistaken. Of course, Catholics read the bible and hopefully, they study and meditate on the bible. Most importantly, Catholics read and listen to bible passages from the Old & New Testament every time we celebrate Mass. Each Sunday, we hear a reading and Psalm from the Old Testament and a reading and Gospel message from the New Testament proclaimed from the ambo as a part of the Mass. All of these readings are related to one another and the celebrant or deacon bases his homily on the theme of those readings.

But it doesn’t stop there!

Not only do Catholics listen to the word of God but Catholics pray the word of God because the entire Mass is based on scripture.

More from the Catechism of the Catholic Church….

CCC 103  For this reason, the Church has always venerated the Scriptures as she venerates the Lord’s Body. She never ceases to present to the faithful the bread of life, taken from the one table of God’s Word and Christ’s Body.

CCC 104  In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God.” “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with them.”

CCC 105  God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”
“For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author and have been handed on as such to the Church herself.”

CCC 107 The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred