Recent Blog Posts


The Day the Lord Made: Reflections for Divine Mercy Sunday

Posted on April 13, 2012

Readings: 
Acts 4:32-35 
Psalms 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24 
1 John 5:1-6 
John 20:19-31

Three times in today’s Psalm we cry out a victory shout: “His mercy endures forever.”

Truly we’ve known the everlasting love of God, who has come to us as our Savior. By the blood and water that flowed from Jesus’ pierced side (see John 19:34), we&rsquo...


Catholic Exegesis: A Streamlined Overview

Posted on April 12, 2012

This is part of a continued series of posts on fundamental issues in Catholic doctrine of Scripture. Building on previous discussions of Catholic inspiration and interpretation, we propose here a six-step streamlined overview of the process of Catholic exegesis.  Comments are welcome below.

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The points made above about the interpretation of the literal and spiritual senses of Scripture may be integrated into a six-step process representing an idealized picture of the method of Catholic...


Aquinas' Five Reasons Christ Rose from the Dead

Posted on April 10, 2012

Aquinas pores over the New Testament and comes up with five reasons it was fitting for Christ to rise from the dead (ST IIIa, q. 53, art. 1). Here they are.

1. It reveals God’s justice.

Because Christ humbled himself and died on the cross out of love and obedience to the Father, God lifted him up by a glorious resurrection.

2. It was necessary for the confirmation of our faith in Christ.


Eighth Day Dawning

Posted on April 05, 2012

April began with Palm Sunday this year, and Easter Sunday falls on the eighth day. In so many ways, this brings us Christians back to our roots.

The early Church Fathers marked every Sunday as the “eighth day.” Creation was complete in six days, and God rested on the Sabbath—but at the Resurrection He began something new

The first-century Epistle of Barnabas presents the matter in a prophetic oracle. With the...


Catholic Interpretation of Scripture

Posted on April 03, 2012

This is part of an on-going series discussing the fundamentals of Catholic doctrine of Scripture.  The topic for this post is interpretation.  Click here to read the previous post.

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Self-conscious reflection on the proper methods of interpretation of Scripture began already with the early Church Fathers. One of the most definitive patristic statements on interpretation is St. Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana, “On Christian Doctrine.” While its title might lead the modern reader to...


No Place Like Rome

Posted on April 02, 2012

Teaching is like fatherhood. In fact, in the ancient world, it was considered a form of fatherhood. In the Oath of Hippocrates, medical students promised to take care of their aging teachers who had “fathered” them in the healing arts. In early Judaism, the rabbis were considered “fathers” to their disciples. And, of course, the Church came to look upon its first teachers as “the Fathers.”

A teacher gives away a part of himself to his students,...


Darkness at Noon: Reflections on Passion Sunday

Posted on March 30, 2012

Readings:
Isaiah 50:4-7
Psalms 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
Philippians 2:6-11
Mark 14:1-15:47

Crowned with thorns, our Lord is lifted up on the cross, where He dies as “King of the Jews.” Notice how many times He is called “king” in today’s Gospel - mostly in scorn and mockery.

As we hear the long accounts of His passion, at every turn we must remind ourselves - He...


The "Hour" Come: Reflections on the Fifth Sunday of Lent

Posted on March 22, 2012

Readings:
Jeremiah 31:31-34
Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
Hebrews 5:7-9
John 12:20-33

Our readings today are filled with anticipation. The days are coming, Jeremiah prophesies in today’s First Reading. The hour has come, Jesus says in the Gospel. The new covenant that God promised to Jeremiah is made in the “hour” of Jesus - in His death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father’s right hand.

The...


Inspiration and the Relationship of Divine and Human Authorship

Posted on March 20, 2012

This is part of a continuing series of posts on the fundamental Catholic doctrines of Scripture.  It picks up from my last post in inspiration, only dealing now with the relationship between human and divine in the composition of Scripture. 

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Divine and Human Authorship

The Catholic doctrine of inspiration is commonly understood to entail that God is the primary author of Scripture, and the sacred writer is the secondary author. Phrased...


BREAKING!: New Document Promotes Priority of Scripture in Theology

Posted on March 12, 2012

Today[March 8th 2012] has been an extremely exciting day!

The International Theological Commission has a new document out, Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria. This is an incredibly helpful guide to doing Catholic theology.

To be sure, this is not a magisterial document—an official document from the Church’s teaching office. Nonetheless, this is important reading for Catholics interested in theology. Even non-Catholics I think will find it illuminating.

It...