Sunday, October 28, 2012

Reading the Catechism (Week 2)

I may be a week late, but I thought I might post some snippets of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that I've read during the week. Any additional thoughts provided depend on how much time I've had during the week to supplement the cutting and pasting.  I'm loving reading these paragraphs daily, usually in the morning.  Even if I haven't learned anything new yet, which I'm sure I will, I have seen some things from a slightly different perspective.

I post this section today because this was an important revelation for me when I was a Protestant questioning the Catholic Church.  The Holy Bible that we (as Protestants) think of as the answer to all questions theological didn't always exist, at all, least of all in it's current form.  Teaching by word of mouth and Tradition was the norm for the first few hundred years of Christianity.

My emphases are in bold italics.

Article2:The Transmission of Divine Revelation (74 - 100)
One common source...
80     "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, and communicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal." Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promised to remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".
... two distinct modes of transmission
81     "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit."
"And [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound and spread it abroad by their preaching."
82     As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence."

Apostolic Tradition and ecclesial traditions
83     The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

The Magisterium of the Church
85     "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.
86     "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."
....moving down to the next section:

108     Still, the Christian faith is not a "religion of the book." Christianity is the religion of the "Word" of God, a word which is "not a written and mute word, but the Word which is incarnate and living". If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, "open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures."

 It's not too late to subscribe to read the Catechism during this Year of Faith.

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