Posts Tagged ‘Scripture’

Our Lady in Scripture and Tradition

In 15 Audio on 2013/10/03 at 12:00 AM

Our Lady In Scripture And Tradition Back to Series List


Program Name Audio File Name – Click to download
1. Episode #1
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
2. Episode #2
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
3. Episode #3
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
4. Episode #4
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
5. Episode #5
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
6. Episode #6
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
7. Episode #7
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
8. Episode #8
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
9. Episode #9
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
10. Episode #10
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
11. Episode #11
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
12. Episode #12
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.
13. Episode #13
Host – Fr. Andrew Apostoli, CFR.


Catholic Teachers

In 03 Archbishop Charles Chaput on 2013/08/16 at 12:00 AM

Who we are is what we give to others

All adult Catholics are teachers. That’s one of our mandates as believers. And like never before in history, we need to be people rooted in the Church and faithful to her teachings. In an age of confusion, the Church is our only reliable guide. Through her, it’s our job to form our children and ourselves in the truth that will make us genuinely free.

Most of us know C.S. Lewis as the author of “The Chronicles of Narnia” or “The Screwtape Letters.” But he was a teacher as well as a writer—and in his lectures, he often described God as a sculptor. For Lewis, the suffering in a person’s life has a special meaning, which is echoed again and again in Scripture.

Proverbs tells us, “Do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” (3:11-12). And the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that in suffering, “God is treating you as sons, for what son is there whom a father does not discipline?” (12:7).

Suffering is a tool. God uses it to shape each of us into the saints he wants us to be. God sees the shape of our holiness in the marble of our humanity. Then He cuts away the stone of sin to free us.

It’s a great metaphor. Anyone who has seen Michelangelo’s sculpture of the Pieta knows exactly what Lewis meant. The figures of Jesus and Mary have a living humanity. The smoothness of the skin, the elegance of the limbs, the sorrow on Mary’s face—these things are so real that we can forget they came from a slab of marble. The sculptor saw the beauty in the stone … and he set it free with a hammer and a chisel. Nobody remembers the hammer blow; that was over in an instant. They’re too moved by the beauty of the results. The beauty lasts forever.

Now, people aren’t blocks of stone. They’re living tissue, with the freedom and dignity of children of God. And teachers aren’t chisels and hammers. Or at least they shouldn’t be. They are active, cooperating agents in God’s plan, not merely his instruments. But we can still draw some lessons from the sculptor and his work.

First, the great sculptor is motivated by love, not merely technical skill. The sculptor loves the beauty and the truth he sees locked in the stone. In the same way, the great teacher loves the possibilities for beauty and truth—the hint of the image of God—she sees in the face of her students.

Next, the great sculptor has a passion for his work and a confidence in his vision. In like manner, no Catholic catechist, teacher or parent can form another person in the faith without a passion for the Gospel, a personal zeal for Jesus Christ, and an absolute confidence in the truth of the Church and her teaching. No teacher can give what she doesn’t have herself. If you yourself don’t believe, then you can only communicate unbelief. If I’m not faithful myself, then I will only communicate infidelity. Who we are, is part of the formation we give to others.

Remember: Who we are, is part of the formation we give to others. In deepening our own faith, the more effectively we can share it with others. That’s something we all need. So you can be sure I’ll be there. I hope you will be too.

Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M., Cap. WAS  the Archbishop of Denver AND IS NOW ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA. To read more from Archbishop Chaput, click here.

“Love is shown with deeds”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/12/28 at 9:11 AM
Make your way to Bethlehem, go up to the Child, rock him in your arms, say warm and tender things to him, press him close to your heart… I am not talking childish nonsense, I am speaking of love! And love is shown with deeds. In the intimacy of your soul, you can indeed hug him tight. (The Forge, 345)

You must look at the Child in the manger. He is our Love. Look at him, realizing that the whole thing is a mystery. We need to accept this mystery on faith and use our faith to explore it very deeply. To do this, we must have the humble attitude of a christian soul. Let us not try to reduce the greatness of God to our own poor ideas and human explanations. Let us try to understand that this mystery, for all its darkness, is a light to guide men’s lives.

Whenever I preach beside the crib, I try to see Christ our Lord as a child wrapped in swaddling clothes lying on straw in a manger. Even though he is only a child, unable to speak, I see him as a master and a teacher. I need to look at him in this way, because I must learn from him. And to learn from him, you must try to know his life — reading the Gospel and meditating on the scenes of the new testament — in order to understand the divine meaning of his life on earth.

In our own life we must reproduce Christ’s life. We need to come to know him by reading and meditating on Scripture, and by praying, as we are doing now in front of the crib. We must learn the lessons which Jesus teaches us, even when he is just a newly born child, from the very moment he opens his eyes on this blessed land of men. The fact that Jesus grew up and lived just like us shows us that human existence and all the ordinary activity of men have a divine meaning. (Christ is passing by, 13-14)

The Semantics of Easter

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2012/04/07 at 9:11 AM

Beginning in the 1960’s, a concerted effort was launched by influential clergy in the Vatican and their American allies to make radical changes in the Church. According to some, the changes have not enhanced the Church or the religious experience of the Catholic people.

The  most obvious was the complete overhaul of the Mass under the guidance of Archbishop Bugnini who worked in the Vatican. It was later discovered that he had been a secret member of the Masons, a group not well-disposed toward the Church. Bugnini’s goal, in his own words, was the make the Mass more acceptable to Protestants which is odd because Protestants do not even believe in the Mass in any form. The new Mass has been a subject of controversy ever since.

Another source of negative change were the  new Bible translations which too often actually altered the meaning of the original texts. One notable example concerns what used to be a familiar verse:”What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and suffers (allows) the loss of his SOUL.” This is a warning from Christ Himself that the salvation of the soul is one’s most important need and goal. The contemporary wording is: “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, but loses his LIFE?” Major difference. The idea that to become very wealthy and then die has no spiritual implications at all. To use a slang term…it’s a “tough break”, but little else. After all, everyone will “lose his life” at some time. The tragedy is not dying: it not being ready to die spiritually.

Another change for the worse is in the verse “My Father’s house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.” The new reading is “My house is a house of prayer, but you have made it a place of business”. In the time of Christ, the Jews had to convert their Roman coins to Jewish coins for Temple use. Money-changing was, in itself, legitimate. However, the men were gouging the  Temple attendees by giving far less vale in Jewish money than for the Roman money they took in. Christ was not objecting to the business aspects, but to the almost extortionary exchange rates over which the people had no control.

An even more serious change occurs in the Easter narrative. It concerns to change from the active to the passive voice (Normally translations would not change the voice of verbs.) The active voice in grammar means that the subject of the sentence is doing something himself. Ex. The man opened he door. The passive voice means that the subject is being acted upon by someone/something else. The door was opened by the man. The door did not open itself. In my younger years, the Easter narrative always read: “Christ rose from the dead.”, “He is risen: which are in the active voice and means that Christ brought Himself back to life.

Nowadays the words are in the passive voice. Christ was raised from the dead.”God raised Him up.” The problem is that some might conclude that Christ did not raise Himself and had to be resurrected by some other power like Lazarus and widow’s son were raised by Christ.

If we begin to doubt the reality of the Resurrection, it will damage our faith and lead to doubt about other aspects of doctrine, especially ones we may not be much in favor of. Thus, it is very important that we understand that Christ as God brought Himself back to life. He did not need any help.

Is all this re-translation an effort to deny or denigrate the Person of Christ. I don’t know, but the history of the Church in U.S. Certainly suggests I might be so. If the faith of a Catholic is weakened or lost, there is no alternative. In the words of St. Peter, “Where shall we go, Lord, you have the words of eternal life.”

The Resurrection of Christ is the singular event in the history of mankind and of the Church. No has done it before or since. The Resurrection is a truly a historical event as any historical event you can name. It really happened and can be proved.

St. Paul tells us that if Christ did not rise from the dead, we are wasting our time with Christianity because, without the Resurrection, Christ is just another teacher of doctrine and morals, but no more significant than any other teacher.

In the Easter season, the Church often speaks of the “joy of Easter”. This joy is not a physical or emotional joy as it was at the first Easter. It is the happiness that arises in the mind because we KNOW that Christ rose from the dead as He said He would. It is the joy of confirmation that all that He said is true. It is the satisfaction of certitude that we are followers of the true God and our faith is not misplaced. It is the assurance that our efforts to lead a moral life amid a grossly immoral culture are not in vain.  It is the hope that the blessed eternity that Christ promised to those who are faithful will actually come to pas in due course.It is the consolation of knowing that our God who took on human flesh is still alive and always available to us.

Live accordingly.

“Resurrexit sicut dixit.”

“He has risen as He said.”


Fr. Mitch Pacwa – In the Footsteps of St. Paul

In 15 Audio on 2012/02/16 at 9:11 AM

Please click on this link to access programshttp://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6101&T1=Pacwa

In the Footsteps of St. Paul…This is a twelve part series by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.

Note: Fr. Mitchell “Mitch” Pacwa , S.J., is bi-ritual; he can celebrate liturgy in both the Roman and  Maronite rites.

Fr. Pacwa earned his Ph.D. in Old Testament from  Vanderbuilt University.  His Master of Divinity and S.T.B are from the School of Theology at Loyola University. A master linguist, Fr. Pawca speaks the ancient languages of  Latin, Koine Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic and Ugaritic.   He is fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, German, Polish, Spanish, Italian, French,

Validity of Gospels

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2011/11/03 at 1:11 AM

Vatican Council II: Dogmatic Constitution on Revelation “ Dei Verbum ”, # 18-19

Among all the Scriptures, even those of the New Testament, the Gospels have a special pre-eminence, and rightly so, for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our savior. The Church has always and everywhere held and continues to hold that the four Gospels are of apostolic origin. For what the Apostles preached in fulfillment of the commission of Christ, afterwards they themselves and apostolic men, under the inspiration of the divine Spirit, handed on to us in writing: the foundation of faith, namely, the fourfold Gospel, according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Holy Mother Church has firmly and with absolute constancy held, and continues to hold, that the four Gospels just named, whose historical character the Church unhesitatingly asserts, faithfully hand on what Jesus Christ, while living among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation until the day He was taken up into heaven (Acts 1,1-2). Indeed, after the Ascension of the Lord the Apostles handed on to their hearers what He had said and done. This they did with that clearer understanding which they enjoyed after they had been instructed by the glorious events of Christ’s life and taught by the light of the Spirit of truth (Jn 14,26).

The sacred authors wrote the four Gospels, selecting some things from the many which had been handed on by word of mouth or in writing, reducing some of them to a synthesis, explaining some things in view of the situation of their churches and preserving the form of proclamation but always in such fashion that they told us the honest truth about Jesus. For their intention in writing was that either from their own memory and recollections, or from the witness of those who “themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word” we might know “the truth concerning those matters about which we have been instructed” (Lk 1, 1-4).

Guardini, Romano THE LORD

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/04/04 at 12:48 AM

Guardini, Romano THE LORD.  Regnery Publishing, Inc.  1996.

In the introduction by Cardinal Ratzinger,  now Pope Benedict XVI states: “Romano Guardini’s book THE LORD has helped more than one generation of Christians to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ.  When the book first appeared, it offered a new approach to the spiritual interpretation of Scripture for which young people in particular longed: a longing, I might add, which is being felt again in our own day.”

The author of this blog adds: In a sense, Msgr. Guardini’s writings are like meditations. Each will leave the reader with a life-altering perspective.  All  also are replete with verbal imagery in elegant spiritual prose.  One beautiful example: “Jesus looms like a rescuing cliff above the tides of human suffering.” Another: “Christ dissolves man’s own injustice in the divine solvent of genuine pardon.”

I read the book when it first came out in 1954, have re-read it twice since  and will read it again.


Parables Unravelled?

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2011/04/04 at 12:32 AM

Following the custom of the Orient, Jesus often employed parables, that favorite form of speech among people who think figuratively.  The parable stimulates the imagination, which in turns illumines the sense behind the suggested image.  However, that sense is not necessarily univocal, as is the abstract teaching, but complexly interwoven into life and the situation of the moment.  Vital truth speaks here in a homophony of many voices, theme, and accompaniment.  In this for it is flexible, now stressing one note, now another.  Thus the parable is a fluctuating, mobile thing and difficult to pin down.  In a barren hour it remains dumb; indeed, it may even be an obstacle to understanding, serving that dark mystery touched upon in Matt.13: “Hearing you will hear, but not understand; and seeing you will see, but not perceive.”

We have heard most of the parables of the New Testament many times, usually so enveloped in the Lord’s authority that unconsciously we accept them without giving much thought to our personal reaction….Only in the clash of thesis and antithesis, is its full clarity released.  (The author, Romano Guardini, goes on to a fascinating analysis of the Prodigal Son and the Last Hour Laborers.)

In a sense, Msgr. Guardini’s writings are meditations.  They are replete with verbal imagery in elegant spiritual prose.  One beautiful example: Jesus looms like a rescuing cliff above the tides of human suffering.

This excerpt is from Romano Guardini’s  THE LORD.