Category Archives: Holy Scripture

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.”

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Is the Bible Catholic?

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 →

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‘Lead Us Not Into Temptation’ — What Does This Mean?

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 →

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Is President Obama the Anti-Christ?

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 →


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Reflections in Anticipation of Easter

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 →

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Sermon of St. John Chrysostom on the Baptism of Christ

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 →

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The Seven Churches of the Apocalypse

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 →


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On Being Violent

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 →


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What Does It Mean When We Say the Bible is ‘Supernatural’?

Someone wrote me to ask that question. I thought the answer might be of more general interest. To answer your questions regarding Holy Scripture and the use of the word “supernatural,” let me first address what nature and supernature are. First, everything that is comes from God. God is called “the author of the natural and the supernatural.” From the point of view of God, … More →


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Pope Francis Speaks About End Times ‘Desecration’ ‘Abomination’

CNA: In his daily homily Pope Francis reflected on the end times, saying that faith will be increasingly pushed out of the public square and that persecution of Christians is a “prophecy” of what is to come. The Pope directed his comments to those gathered in the chapel of the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse for his daily Mass on Nov. 28. Reflecting on the day’s … More →

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God Loves Mountains

Years ago, on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord, a priest who was visiting Saint Benedict Center began his sermon on the feast with the words “God loves mountains!” He then preached a tour de force on the place of mountains in salvation history, elucidating the spiritual life in mountainous terms as he generously employed the allegorical and tropological senses of Holy Scripture. … More →


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Twelve Apparitions of Christ Between His Resurrection and Ascension

Perusing through some old files of mine I came across a list of Catholic twelves, and there are many: Twelve Apostles; twelve articles of the Apostles Creed; twelve days of Christmas; twelve fruits of the Holy Ghost; twelve tribes of Israel; twelve loaves of proposition in the temple sanctuary; twelve chiefs of Ismael; Jesus was twelve-years-old when He was first teaching in the temple; twelve … More →

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Pope Francis: Biblical Studies Must Be ‘Within the Faith of the Church’

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 →


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Ghirlandaio: Baptism of Christ

The Baptism of Jesus: What Happened and Why?

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 →


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Thank God There Was No Room in the Inn

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 →

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Saint James the Just (the Less)

The Brother of the Lord

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 →


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