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.”
And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain, for you are yet in your sins. (1 Corinthians 15:14). Cardinal Kung emphasized the resurrection in one of his sermons just before his arrest in 1955: If we renounce our faith, we will disappear and there will not be a resurrection. If we are faithful, we will still disappear, but there will be a … More →
Sunday we celebrated the feast of the marriage at Cana. Saint John tells us that “the mother of Jesus was there” and that Jesus and His disciples were invited as well. Despite the varying opinions of several fathers, I think Cardinal Baronius (who edited the Martyrlogy in the sixteenth century) offers the best answer as to whose wedding this was. It was not that of … More →
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7). What are swaddling clothes and what is their significance? There are many comments offered on various websites about this. Some are purely allegorical but others are drawn from Jewish custom at the time and … More →
Frank Rega, for his blog, The Shield of Faith, brings us his own translation of the sublime reflections of this great saint. Anything from Saint Pio is priority on my list, especially when it has to do with Our Lady and Bethlehem. This meditation reminded me of Father Feeney’s indignation as to how the proud big shots in Boston were snubbing the Christ Child with … More →
I am continuing here from my previous column, “I Go a Fishing,” with the rest of chapter 21 of Saint John. After the Apostles had caught so many fish, they tied the net and moored the boat. Meanwhile, as I wrote in my last column, Jesus had been waiting on the shore roasting the one fish. Then, Peter left Him to return to the boat. … More →
The Saint Augustine Institute of Wisdom* (SAI) is the educational division of Saint Benedict Center. The Institute provides well-rounded and conveniently simple courses of instruction in Catholic thought. The classes available through SAI are a continuation of the studies which have been offered at Saint Benedict Center since 1942. Our teachers are the Popes, the Councils, the Saints, the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, … More →
Taylor Marshall: One of the very unfortunate results of the New Lectionary is that verses that might be deemed offensive have been removed from our liturgical celebrations. Full report is here. Share, Bookmark, Like: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
And the hail and fire mixed with it drove on together: and it was of so great bigness, as never before was seen in the whole land of Egypt since that nation was founded. (Exodus 9:24) But snow and ice endured the force of fire, and melted not: that they might know that fire burning in the hail and flashing in the rain destroyed the … More →
A logical, lucid, and brief article below by Jeff Mirus for Catholic Culture. Well worth sharing with Bible-thumpers, or any Protestant, who is open to the truth. You may also want to read Father Arnold Damen’s, The Church or the Bible, on our website. It is a great work of simple, and humorous, apologetics. Catholic Culture: The other day I referred to Dave Armstrong’s fine collection of essays, Proving the … More →
And lead us not into temptation… Have you ever wondered about this petition in the Lord’s Prayer? What exactly are we asking of God our Father? This petition of the Our Father must be taken in conjunction with the next, which is, “Deliver us from evil,” then the meaning is more clearly understood. God does not “lead” us Himself into the temptation of sin such … More →
One of our tertiaries sent me a link this morning with a video provocatively entitled, “Did Jesus Give us the Name of the Antichrist?” He asked my opinion on it, and this is my reply (which will not make sense unless you see the 4 minute video, which I could not imbed in this posting for technical reasons) … Dear Sam, This is typical hysterical nonsense … More →
Now that Lent has begun I offer a few brief considerations from Our Savior’s passion, death, and burial, that anticipate Easter. First, consider the two disciples on their heavy walk from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a neighboring city. Their hearts are so despondent, maybe even in despair, after leaving the holy city following upon the death of their Lord and Master. They had, it seems, lost … More →
I discovered this sermon of the great eastern doctor of the Church in my quest to find the meaning of the words, twice repeated, by Saint John the Baptist regarding the public manifestation of Jesus at his baptism near the Jordan River: “And I knew Him not”. Saint John gives an excellent explanation of what appears at first sight to be a problematic text. How … More →
One dominant feature that is pervasive in holy scripture, testifying to its divine inspiration, is that there is no exaggerating the good nor whitewashing the evil in God’s people. Beginning with Adam and Eve actually trying to hide themselves from God “amidst the trees” after their sin, and on through the Bible, the triumphs and failures of the principal characters in the history of the … More →
And from the days of John the Baptist until now, the Kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away. (St. Matthew 11:12) I love it that nothing of the words of our Blessed Lord has the mark of mediocrity. It’s never just a truism – something that Confucius could have said. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. [Somebody once said, … More →