Category Archives: Holy Scripture
It was said of at least two of the saints that they knew the Old and New Testaments by heart. One of these was Saint Lawrence of Brindisi and the other was Saint Mark the Ascetic. It is recorded the biography of the former that a fellow friar once asked him what would happen if the Protestants took over Christendom and burned every Catholic Bible. To which he replied that he could write the whole Bible from his memory. Saint Mark, who had the same gift, was a disciple of Saint John Chrysostom.
Well, our own Brother Francis knew the four Gospels by heart — three of them in Latin and one in Greek. He achieved this by reading the scriptures every day, even as he performed manual chores. After his duties were over, he would take a walk in the woods and repeat what he had memorized earlier. It was surely the Providence of God that Brother’s principal duty in the religious community was to do the laundry.
It is a praiseworthy thing to read the scriptures, but there is no canonical indulgence for just reading, the indulgence is given to those who meditate on the scriptures, even for fifteen minutes at a time.
In order to understand the scriptures, one needs a good Catholic teacher, who was himself taught by another Catholic teacher. Teacher to student, generation after generation, cultivating the word of God in the soil of the intellect. Pope Benedict XVI is such a teacher. His insights into the scriptures, which he shares with the Church on a regular basis, are doctrinally profound and, at the same time, clear and digestible. Brother Francis was certainly such a teacher. His expositions of so many books of the Bible are as fecund as they are erudite.
Another way to understand the sacred text is to read the commentaries of the saints, especially the doctors of the Church. Saint Jerome’s admonition still reverberates sixteen centuries after he uttered it: “Ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
Two paragraphs exerpted from Pope Francis’ Address to the Pontifical Biblical Commission: As we know, the Holy Scriptures are the testimony in written form of God’s Word, the canonical memorial that attests to the event of Revelation. The Word of God, therefore, precedes and exceeds the Bible. It is for this reason that the center of our faith is not only a book, but a … More →
I have been reading a few good articles about Our Lord’s baptism on Catholic websites, one by Carl Olson for the Catholic World Report, another by Monsignor Charles Pope for the Archdiocese of Washington website, and lastly the Sunday sermon of Pope Benedict XVI. Carl Olson cites a number of the fathers of the Church commenting on the mystery of the baptism of the sinless … More →
Thanks to the guiding wisdom of my teacher, Brother Francis, I have a strong disdain for modern biblical criticism. Initiated by eighteenth century Protestant rationalists, such as Eichorn and Schleiermacher, this school of skeptics for two centuries now have been on a mission to reduce the Bible to a discontinuous collection of moral aphorisms, historical fabrications, and myths. Pope Leo XIII condemned secular biblical scholarship … More →
Just imagine this. The religious Jews were in expectation of the prophesied coming of the Messiah. The scepter had passed from Juda and the seventy weeks of Daniel were at an end, when “the Saint of saints” was to appear. Imagine discovering, as a middle-aged man, that your cousin, Jesus, son of your uncle Joseph, was He. That was the experience of James and his … More →
The Book of Acts of the Apostles contains many great speeches or sermons, numbering from seventeen to thirty-something, depending on your chosen method of reckoning. The Epistle for today’s Mass is taken, in part, from Saint Stephen’s speech to the Sanhedrin (Acts 7:2-53). As with all of the speeches of Acts, which the skeptics use against the inerrancy of the book, Saint Stephen’s speech is … More →
…something other than sodomy, according to the latest is homoerotic scriptural exegesis. In fact, it was a failure to show hospitality. Not, so, says Monsignor Pope. Late last week on the blog the I made mention of the sins that “cry to heaven for vengeance.” The traditional list, is summarized in the Catechism which states The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are “sins that … More →
In these days of widespread heterodoxy and profound confusion on religious matters, many people take it as a sign of “hate” that a Catholic would seek to draw into the Church any and all non-Catholics. On the contrary, true zeal for the conversion of one’s neighbor is a sign of love for God and for man. Given the thorny nature of the questions raised in … More →
Superintendent of Schools Margaret Lyons told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the new program, developed under Bishop Richard G. Lennon, was “Gospel-centered” and “very orthodox.” Under the new program, she explained, “students read and are guided through Church documents. They are taught the role and importance of the Magisterium in guarding and passing on the faith, as well as being a sure guide to positive … More →
Catholic Culture: Writing in the International Geology Review, three scientists who have examined seismic data say that they believe that the date of Jesus’ crucifixion was Friday, April 3, in the year 33. Read more here with links.
In his weekly column for the Washington DC Archdiocesan website, Monsignor Charles Pope raises the question of the meaning of the word used by Saints Matthew and Luke in the petition for “our daily bread” in the Our Father prayer.
Yesterday, Thursday, April 12, 2012, a notice was posted on the Vatican Information Service (VIS) blog, announcing that the Pontifical Biblical Commission is soon to take up the subject “Inspiration and Truth in the Bible.” Here is the full text of the notice: ANNUAL PLENARY OF THE PONTIFICAL BIBLICAL COMMISSION Vatican City, 12 April 2012 (VIS) – The annual plenary session of the Pontifical Biblical … More →
The divinity of Our Lord and Savior is manifestly evident in every page of the four Gospels and most especially so in that of Saint John: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). From the word of God given to Mary by the holy angel at the Annunciation, from Our Lord’s public life … More →