Recent Blog Posts
Catholic Interpretation of Scripture
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.
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
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
Psalms 22:8-9, 17-20, 23-24
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
Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 14-15
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.
Inspiration and the Relationship of Divine and Human Authorship
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.
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
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.
Spiritual Sacrifices: Reflections on the Third Sunday of Lent
1 Corinthians 1:22-25
Jesus does not come to destroy the temple, but to fulfill it (see Matthew 5:17) - to reveal its true purpose in God’s saving plan.
He is the Lord the prophets said would come - to purify the temple, banish the merchants, and make it a house of prayer for all peoples (see Zechariah 14:21; Malachi 3:1-5; Isaiah 56:7).
Inspiration of Scripture in the Catholic Tradition
This is part of a series of posts on the fundamental doctrine of Scripture within the Catholic Church.
The fundamental conviction of the Church, relying on the faith of the Apostles, is that the Scriptures, in all their parts, are “inspired” or “breathed” by God, in such a way that God can truly be said to be their author.
2 Tim. 3:16 - All scripture is inspired by...
Bonds Loosed: Reflections on the 2nd Sunday of Lent
Genesis 22:1-2, 9-13, 15-18
Psalm 116:10, 15-19
The Lenten season continues with another story of testing. Last Sunday, we heard the trial of Jesus in the desert. In this week’s First Reading, we hear of how Abraham was put to the test.
The Church has always read this story as a sign of God’s love for the world in giving His only begotten...
Intro to Lent III: Almsgiving
Third in a series of three posts.
Of the three marks of Lent — prayer, fasting and almsgiving — almsgiving is surely the most neglected.
And yet, in the only place where the Bible brings all three together, the inspired author puts the emphasis firmly on the last: “Prayer and fasting are good, but better than either is almsgiving accompanied by righteousness … It is better to give alms than to store up gold;...