Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tit 1, 5 You might appoint presbyters in every town

(Tit 1, 5) You might appoint presbyters in every town
[5] For this reason I left you in Crete so that you might set right what remains to be done and appoint presbyters in every town, as I directed you,
(CCC 1546) Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church "a kingdom, priests for his God and Father" (Rev 1:6; cf. Rev 5:9-10; 1 Pet 2:5, 9). The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ's mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are "consecrated to be… a holy priesthood" (LG 10 § 1). (CCC 1545) The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Hebr 8, 4). (CCC 1547) The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, "each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ." While being "ordered one to another," they differ essentially (LG 10 § 2). In what sense? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace -a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit-, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians. The ministerial priesthood is a means by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.

Tit 1, 4 Titus, my true child in our common faith

(Tit 1, 4) Titus, my true child in our common faith
[4] to Titus, my true child in our common faith: grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our savior.
(CCC 147) The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. The Letter to the Hebrews proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of the ancestors who "received divine approval" (Heb 11:2, 39). Yet "God had foreseen something better for us": the grace of believing in his Son Jesus, "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith" (Heb 11:40; 12:2). (CCC 181) "Believing" is an ecclesial act. The Church's faith precedes, engenders, supports and nourishes our faith. The Church is the mother of all believers. "No one can have God as Father who does not have the Church as Mother" (St. Cyprian, De unit. 6: PL 4, 519). (CCC 182) We believe all "that which is contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church proposes for belief as divinely revealed" (Paul VI, CPG § 20). (CCC 185) Whoever says "I believe" says "I pledge myself to what we believe." Communion in faith needs a common language of faith, normative for all and uniting all in the same confession of faith. (CCC 188) The Greek word symbolon meant half of a broken object, for example, a seal presented as a token of recognition. The broken parts were placed together to verify the bearer's identity. The symbol of faith, then, is a sign of recognition and communion between believers. Symbolon also means a gathering, collection or summary. A symbol of faith is a summary of the principal truths of the faith and therefore serves as the first and fundamental point of reference for catechesis.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tit 1, 3 The proclamation with which I was entrusted

(Tit 1, 3) The proclamation with which I was entrusted
[3] who indeed at the proper time revealed his word in the proclamation with which I was entrusted by the command of God our savior,
(CCC 1555) "Amongst those various offices which have been exercised in the Church from the earliest times the chief place, according to the witness of tradition, is held by the function of those who, through their appointment to the dignity and responsibility of bishop, and in virtue consequently of the unbroken succession going back to the beginning, are regarded as transmitters of the apostolic line" (LG 20). (CCC 1554) "The divinely instituted ecclesiastical ministry is exercised in different degrees by those who even from ancient times have been called bishops, priests, and deacons" (LG 28). Catholic doctrine, expressed in the liturgy, the Magisterium, and the constant practice of the Church, recognizes that there are two degrees of ministerial participation in the priesthood of Christ: the episcopacy and the presbyterate. The diaconate is intended to help and serve them. For this reason the term sacerdos in current usage denotes bishops and priests but not deacons. Yet Catholic doctrine teaches that the degrees of priestly participation (episcopate and presbyterate) and the degree of service (diaconate) are all three conferred by a sacramental act called "ordination," that is, by the sacrament of Holy Orders: Let everyone revere the deacons as Jesus Christ, the bishop as the image of the Father, and the presbyters as the senate of God and the assembly of the apostles. For without them one cannot speak of the Church (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Trall. 3,1: SCh 10, 96). (CCC 91) All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them (Cf. 1 Jn 2:20, 27) and guides them into all truth (Cf. Jn 16:13). (CCC 92) "The whole body of the faithful… cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals" (LG 12; cf. St. Augustine, De praed. sanct. 14, 27: PL 44, 980). (CCC 93) "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),… receives… the faith, once for all delivered to the saints…. The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life" (LG 12; cf. Jude 3).

Tit 1, 2 In the hope of eternal life that God promised

(Tit 1, 2) In the hope of eternal life that God promised
[2] in the hope of eternal life that God, who does not lie, promised before time began,
(CCC 2657) The Holy Spirit, who instructs us to celebrate the liturgy in expectation of Christ's return, teaches us - to pray in hope. Conversely, the prayer of the Church and personal prayer nourish hope in us. The psalms especially, with their concrete and varied language, teach us to fix our hope in God: "I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry" (Ps 40:2). As St. Paul prayed: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope" (Rom 15:13). (CCC 1404) The Church knows that the Lord comes even now in his Eucharist and that he is there in our midst. However, his presence is veiled. Therefore we celebrate the Eucharist "awaiting the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ" (Roman Missal 126, embolism after the Our Father: expectantes beatam spem et adventum Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi; cf. Titus 2:13), asking "to share in your glory when every tear will be wiped away. On that day we shall see you, our God, as you are. We shall become like you and praise you for ever through Christ our Lord" (EP III 116: prayer for the dead). (CCC 1402) In an ancient prayer the Church acclaims the mystery of the Eucharist: "O sacred banquet in which Christ is received as food, the memory of his Passion is renewed, the soul is filled with grace and a pledge of the life to come is given to us." If the Eucharist is the memorial of the Passover of the Lord Jesus, if by our communion at the altar we are filled "with every heavenly blessing and grace" (Roman Missal, EP I (Roman Canon) 96: Supplices te rogamus), then the Eucharist is also an anticipation of the heavenly glory. (CCC 1405) There is no surer pledge or dearer sign of this great hope in the new heavens and new earth "in which righteousness dwells" (2 Pet 3:13), than the Eucharist. Every time this mystery is celebrated, "the work of our redemption is carried on" and we "break the one bread that provides the medicine of immortality, the antidote for death, and the food that makes us live for ever in Jesus Christ" (LG 3; St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Eph. 20, 2: SCh 10, 76).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Tit 1, 1 Apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith

Letter to Titus
Titus 1
(Tit 1, 1) Apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith
[1] Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of the faith of God's chosen ones and the recognition of religious truth,
(CCC 1539) The chosen people was constituted by God as "a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Ex 19:6; cf. Isa 61:6). But within the people of Israel, God chose one of the twelve tribes, that of Levi, and set it apart for liturgical service; God himself is its inheritance (Cf. Num 1:48-53; Josh 13:33). A special rite consecrated the beginnings of the priesthood of the Old Covenant. The priests are "appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins." (Heb 5:1; cf. Ex 29:1-30; Lev 8). (CCC 1540) Instituted to proclaim the Word of God and to restore communion with God by sacrifices and prayer (Cf. Mal 2:7-9), this priesthood nevertheless remains powerless to bring about salvation, needing to repeat its sacrifices ceaselessly and being unable to achieve a definitive sanctification, which only the sacrifice of Christ would accomplish (Cf. Heb 5:3; 7:27; 10:1-4). (CCC 1541) The liturgy of the Church, however, sees in the priesthood of Aaron and the service of the Levites, as in the institution of the seventy elders (Cf. Num 11:24-25), a prefiguring of the ordained ministry of the New Covenant. Thus in the Latin Rite the Church prays in the consecratory preface of the ordination of bishops: God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,… by your gracious word you have established the plan of your Church. From the beginning, you chose the descendants of Abraham to be your holy nation. You established rulers and priests and did not leave your sanctuary without ministers to serve you.... (Roman Pontifical, Ordination of Bishops 26, Prayer of Consecration). (CCC 1542) At the ordination of priests, the Church prays: Lord, holy Father,… when you had appointed high priests to rule your people, you chose other men next to them in rank and dignity to be with them and to help them in their task.... you extended the spirit of Moses to seventy wise men.... You shared among the sons of Aaron the fullness of their father's power (Roman Pontifical, Ordination of Priests 22, Prayer of Consecration). (CCC 1543) In the consecratory prayer for ordination of deacons, the Church confesses: Almighty God…, You make the Church, Christ's body, grow to its full stature as a new and greater temple. You enrich it with every kind of grace and perfect it with a diversity of members to serve the whole body in a wonderful pattern of unity. You established a threefold ministry of worship and service, for the glory of your name. As ministers of your tabernacle you chose the sons of Levi and gave them your blessing as their everlasting inheritance (Roman Pontifical, Ordination of Deacons 21, Prayer of Consecration).

2Tim 4, 18-22 The Lord will bring me safe to his kingdom

(2Tim 4, 18-22) The Lord will bring me safe to his kingdom
[18] The Lord will rescue me from every evil threat and will bring me safe to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory forever and ever. Amen. [19] Greet Prisca and Aquila and the family of Onesiphorus. [20] Erastus remained in Corinth, while I left Trophimus sick at Miletus. [21] Try to get here before winter. Eubulus, Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers send greetings. [22] The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with all of you.
(CCC 1023) Those who die in God's grace and friendship and are perfectly purified live for ever with Christ. They are like God for ever, for they "see him as he is," face to face (1 Jn 3:2; cf. 1 Cor 13:12; Rev 22:4): By virtue of our apostolic authority, we define the following: According to the general disposition of God, the souls of all the saints… And other faithful who died after receiving Christ's holy Baptism (provided they were not in need of purification when they died,… or, if they then did need or will need some purification, when they have been purified after death,…) already before they take up their bodies again and before the general judgment - and this since the Ascension of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into heaven - have been, are and will be in heaven, in the heavenly Kingdom and celestial paradise with Christ, joined to the company of the holy angels. Since the Passion and death of our Lord Jesus Christ, these souls have seen and do see the divine essence with an intuitive vision, and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature (Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus (1336): DS 1000; cf. LG 49.). (CCC 1024) This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called "heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness. (CCC 1064) Thus the Creed's final "Amen" repeats and confirms its first words: "I believe." To believe is to say "Amen" to God's words, promises and commandments; to entrust oneself completely to him who is the "Amen" of infinite love and perfect faithfulness. The Christian's everyday life will then be the "Amen" to the "I believe" of our baptismal profession of faith: May your Creed be for you as a mirror. Look at yourself in it, to see if you believe everything you say you believe. And rejoice in your faith each day (St. Augustine, Sermo 58, 11, 13: PL 38, 399).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2Tim 4, 9-17 The Lord stood by me, gave me strength

(2Tim 4, 9-17) The Lord stood by me, gave me strength
[9] Try to join me soon, [10] for Demas, enamored of the present world, deserted me and went to Thessalonica, Crescens to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. [11] Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is helpful to me in the ministry. [12] I have sent Tychicus to Ephesus. [13] When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments. [14] Alexander the coppersmith did me a great deal of harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. [15] You too be on guard against him, for he has strongly resisted our preaching. [16] At my first defense no one appeared on my behalf, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them! [17] But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the proclamation might be completed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was rescued from the lion's mouth.
(CCC 1154) The liturgy of the Word is an integral part of sacramental celebrations. To nourish the faith of believers, the signs which accompany the Word of God should be emphasized: the book of the Word (a lectionary or a book of the Gospels), its veneration (procession, incense, candles), the place of its proclamation (lectern or ambo), its audible and intelligible reading, the minister's homily which extends its proclamation, and the responses of the assembly (acclamations, meditation psalms, litanies, and profession of faith). (CCC 1155) The liturgical word and action are inseparable both insofar as they are signs and instruction and insofar as they accomplish what they signify. When the Holy Spirit awakens faith, he not only gives an understanding of the Word of God, but through the sacraments also makes present the "wonders" of God which it proclaims. The Spirit makes present and communicates the Father's work, fulfilled by the beloved Son.

2Tim 4, 6-8 I am already being poured out like a libation

(2Tim 4, 6-8) I am already being poured out like a libation
[6] For I am already being poured out like a libation, and the time of my departure is at hand. [7] I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. [8] From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me, which the Lord, the just judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but to all who have longed for his appearance.
(CCC 2473) Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude. "Let me become the food of the beasts, through whom it will be given me to reach God" (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom. 4, 1: SCh 10, 110). (CCC 2474) The Church has painstakingly collected the records of those who persevered to the end in witnessing to their faith. These are the acts of the Martyrs. They form the archives of truth written in letters of blood: “Neither the pleasures of the world nor the kingdoms of this age will be of any use to me. It is better for me to die [in order to unite myself] to Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth. I seek him who died for us; I desire him who rose for us. My birth is approaching…” (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom. 6, 1-2: SCh 10, 114). “I bless you for having judged me worthy from this day and this hour to be counted among your martyrs.... You have kept your promise, God of faithfulness and truth. For this reason and for everything, I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you through the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, your beloved Son. Through him, who is with you and the Holy Spirit, may glory be given to you, now and in the ages to come. Amen.” (Martyrium Polycarpi 14, 2-3: PG 5, 1040; SCh 10, 228).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2Tim 4, 5 But you perform the work of an evangelist

(2Tim 4, 5) But you perform the work of an evangelist
[5] But you, be self-possessed in all circumstances; put up with hardship; perform the work of an evangelist; fulfill your ministry.
(CCC 889) In order to preserve the Church in the purity of the faith handed on by the apostles, Christ who is the Truth willed to confer on her a share in his own infallibility. By a "supernatural sense of faith" the People of God, under the guidance of the Church's living Magisterium, "unfailingly adheres to this faith" (LG 12; cf. DV 10). (CCC 891) "The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful - who confirms his brethren in the faith - he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.... The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter's successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium," above all in an Ecumenical Council (LG 25; cf. Vatican Council I: DS 3074). When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine "for belief as being divinely revealed" (DV 10 § 2), and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions "must be adhered to with the obedience of faith" (LG 25 § 2). This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself (Cf. LG 25). (CCC 892) Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a "definitive manner," they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful "are to adhere to it with religious assent" (LG 25) which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.

2Tim 4, 1-4 Proclaim the word be persistent

2Timothy 4
(2Tim 4, 1-4) Proclaim the word be persistent
[1] I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power: [2] proclaim the word; be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient; convince, reprimand, encourage through all patience and teaching. [3] For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers [4] and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths.
(CCC 703) The Word of God and his Breath are at the origin of the being and life of every creature (Cf. Pss 33:6; 104:30; Gen 1:2; 2:7; Eccl 3:20-21; Ezek 37:10): It belongs to the Holy Spirit to rule, sanctify, and animate creation, for he is God, consubstantial with the Father and the Son.... Power over life pertains to the Spirit, for being God he preserves creation in the Father through the Son (Byzantine liturgy, Sundays of the second mode, Troparion of Morning Prayer). (CCC 704) "God fashioned man with his own hands [that is, the Son and the Holy Spirit] and impressed his own form on the flesh he had fashioned, in such a way that even what was visible might bear the divine form" (St. Irenaeus, Dem ap. 11: SCh 62, 48-49). (CCC 935) To proclaim the faith and to plant his reign, Christ sends his apostles and their successors. He gives them a share in his own mission. From him they receive the power to act in his person. (CCC 936) The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is "head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth" (CIC, can. 331). (CCC 937) The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, "supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" (CD 2). (CCC 938) The Bishops, established by the Holy Spirit, succeed the apostles. They are "the visible source and foundation of unity in their own particular Churches" (LG 23). (CCC 939) Helped by the priests, their co-workers, and by the deacons, the bishops have the duty of authentically teaching the faith, celebrating divine worship, above all the Eucharist, and guiding their Churches as true pastors. Their responsibility also includes concern for all the Churches, with and under the Pope.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2Tim 3, 16-17 All scripture is inspired by God

(2Tim 3, 16-17) All scripture is inspired by God
[16] All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, [17] so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
(CCC 111) But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle of correct interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripture must be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written" (DV 12 § 3). The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordance with the Spirit who inspired it (Cf. DV 12 § 4). (CCC 112) 1. Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as the books which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of God's plan, of which Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover (Cf. Lk 24:25-27, 44-46). The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known his heart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture has been opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it, consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted (St. Thomas Aquinas, Expos. in Ps. 21, 11; cf. Ps 22:14). (CCC 113) 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to a saying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Church's heart rather than in documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial of God's Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of the Scripture ("according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church", Origen, Hom. in Lev. 5, 5: PG 12, 454D). (CCC 114) 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith (Cf. Rom 12:6). By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence of the truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.

2Tim 3, 14-15 Remain faithful to what you have learned

(2Tim 3, 14-15) Remain faithful to what you have learned
[14] But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, [15] and that from infancy you have known (the) sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
(CCC 105) God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit" (DV 11); "For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their author, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself" (DV 11; cf. Jn 20:31; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pt 1:19-21; 3:15-16). (CCC 106) God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more" (DV 11). (CCC 100) The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him. (CCC 138) The Church accepts and venerates as inspired the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New. (CCC 140) The unity of the two Testaments proceeds from the unity of God's plan and his Revelation. The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfils the Old; the two shed light on each other; both are true Word of God.

Monday, January 19, 2009

2Tim 3, 10-13 The Lord delivered me

(2Tim 3, 10-13) The Lord delivered me
[10] You have followed my teaching, way of life, purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, [11] persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra, persecutions that I endured. Yet from all these things the Lord delivered me. [12] In fact, all who want to live religiously in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. [13] But wicked people and charlatans will go from bad to worse, deceivers and deceived.
(CCC 2847) The Holy Spirit makes us discern between trials, which are necessary for the growth of the inner man (Cf. Lk. 8:13-15; Acts 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; 2 Tim 3:12), and temptation, which leads to sin and death (Cf. Jas 1:14-15). We must also discern between being tempted and consenting to temptation. Finally, discernment unmasks the lie of temptation, whose object appears to be good, a "delight to the eyes" and desirable (Cf. Gen 3:6), when in reality its fruit is death. God does not want to impose the good, but wants free beings.... There is a certain usefulness to temptation. No one but God knows what our soul has received from him, not even we ourselves. But temptation reveals it in order to teach us to know ourselves, and in this way we discover our evil inclinations and are obliged to give thanks for the goods that temptation has revealed to us (Origen, De orat. 29 PG 11, 544CD).

2Tim 3, 6-9 So they also oppose the truth

(2Tim 3, 6-9) So they also oppose the truth
[6] For some of these slip into homes and make captives of women weighed down by sins, led by various desires, [7] always trying to learn but never able to reach a knowledge of the truth. [8] Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so they also oppose the truth - people of depraved mind, unqualified in the faith. [9] But they will not make further progress, for their foolishness will be plain to all, as it was with those two.
(CCC 2089) Incredulity is the neglect of revealed truth or the willful refusal to assent to it. "Heresy is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (CIC, can. 751: emphasis added).

Sunday, January 18, 2009

2Tim 3, 1-5 There will be terrifying times in the last days

2Timothy 3
(2Tim 3, 1-5) There will be terrifying times in the last days
[1] But understand this: there will be terrifying times in the last days. [2] People will be self-centered and lovers of money, proud, haughty, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, irreligious, [3] callous, implacable, slanderous, licentious, brutal, hating what is good, [4] traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, [5] as they make a pretense of religion but deny its power. Reject them.
(CCC 2817) This petition is "Marana tha," the cry of the Spirit and the Bride: "Come, Lord Jesus." Even if it had not been prescribed to pray for the coming of the kingdom, we would willingly have brought forth this speech, eager to embrace our hope. In indignation the souls of the martyrs under the altar cry out to the Lord: "O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?" For their retribution is ordained for the end of the world. Indeed as soon as possible, Lord, may your kingdom come! (Tertullian, De orat. 5: PL 1, 1159A; cf. Heb 4:11; Rev 6:9; 22:20). (CCC 1852) There are a great many kinds of sins. Scripture provides several lists of them. The Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit: "Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God" (Gal 5:19-21; cf. Rom 1:28-32; 1 Cor 9-10; Eph 5:3-5; Col 3:5-8; 1 Tim 9-10; 2 Tim 2-5). (CCC 867) The Church is holy: the Most Holy God is her author; Christ, her bridegroom, gave himself up to make her holy; the Spirit of holiness gives her life. Since she still includes sinners, she is "the sinless one made up of sinners." Her holiness shines in the saints; in Mary she is already all-holy.

2Tim 2, 23-26 Correcting opponents with kindness

(2Tim 2, 23-26) Correcting opponents with kindness
[23] Avoid foolish and ignorant debates, for you know that they breed quarrels. [24] A slave of the Lord should not quarrel, but should be gentle with everyone, able to teach, tolerant, [25] correcting opponents with kindness. It may be that God will grant them repentance that leads to knowledge of the truth, [26] and that they may return to their senses out of the devil's snare, where they are entrapped by him, for his will.
(CCC 1877) The vocation of humanity is to show forth the image of God and to be transformed into the image of the Father's only Son. This vocation takes a personal form since each of us is called to enter into the divine beatitude; it also concerns the human community as a whole. (CCC 1878) All men are called to the same end: God himself. There is a certain resemblance between the union of the divine persons and the fraternity that men are to establish among themselves in truth and love (Cf. GS 24 § 3). Love of neighbor is inseparable from love for God. (CCC 716) The People of the "poor" (Cf. Zeph 2:3; Pss 22:27; 34:3; Isa 49:13; 61:1; etc.) - those who, humble and meek, rely solely on their God's mysterious plans, who await the justice, not of men but of the Messiah - are in the end the great achievement of the Holy Spirit's hidden mission during the time of the promises that prepare for Christ's coming. It is this quality of heart, purified and enlightened by the Spirit, which is expressed in the Psalms. In these poor, the Spirit is making ready "a people prepared for the Lord" (Lk 1:17).

2Tim 2, 20-22 Pursue righteousness faith love and peace

(2Tim 2, 20-22) Pursue righteousness faith love and peace
[20] In a large household there are vessels not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for lofty and others for humble use. [21] If anyone cleanses himself of these things, he will be a vessel for lofty use, dedicated, beneficial to the master of the house, ready for every good work. [22] So turn from youthful desires and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord with purity of heart.
(CCC 2531) Purity of heart will enable us to see God: it enables us even now to see things according to God. (CCC 2532) Purification of the heart demands prayer, the practice of chastity, purity of intention and of vision. (CCC 2533) Purity of heart requires the modesty which is patience, decency, and discretion. Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. (CCC 2516) Because man is a composite being, spirit and body, there already exists a certain tension in him; a certain struggle of tendencies between "spirit" and "flesh" develops. But in fact this struggle belongs to the heritage of sin. It is a consequence of sin and at the same time a confirmation of it. It is part of the daily experience of the spiritual battle: For the Apostle it is not a matter of despising and condemning the body which with the spiritual soul constitutes man's nature and personal subjectivity. Rather, he is concerned with the morally good or bad works, or better, the permanent dispositions - virtues and vices - which are the fruit of submission (in the first case) or of resistance (in the second case) to the saving action of the Holy Spirit. For this reason the Apostle writes: "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit" (John Paul II, DeV 55; cf. Gal 5:25).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

2Tim 2, 18-19 They have deviated from the truth

(2Tim 2, 18-19) They have deviated from the truth
[18] who have deviated from the truth by saying that (the) resurrection has already taken place and are upsetting the faith of some. [19] Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands, bearing this inscription, "The Lord knows those who are his"; and, "Let everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord avoid evil."
(CCC 996) From the beginning, Christian faith in the resurrection has met with incomprehension and opposition (Cf. Acts 17:32; 12Cor 15:12-13). "On no point does the Christian faith encounter more opposition than on the resurrection of the body" (St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 88, 5: PL 37, 1134). It is very commonly accepted that the life of the human person continues in a spiritual fashion after death. But how can we believe that this body, so clearly mortal, could rise to everlasting life? (CCC 1001) When? Definitively "at the last day," "at the end of the world" (Jn 6: 39-40, 44, 54; 11:24; LG 48 § 3). Indeed, the resurrection of the dead is closely associated with Christ's Parousia: For the Lord himself will descend from heaven, with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thess 4:16).

2Tim 2, 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene

(2Tim 2, 17) Their teaching will spread like gangrene
[17] and their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,
(CCC 482) Christ, being true God and true man, has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit. (CCC 468) After the Council of Chalcedon, some made of Christ's human nature a kind of personal subject. Against them, the fifth ecumenical council, at Constantinople in 553, confessed that "there is but one hypostasis [or person], which is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Trinity" (Council of Constantinople II (553): DS 424). Thus everything in Christ's human nature is to be attributed to his divine person as its proper subject, not only his miracles but also his sufferings and even his death: "He who was crucified in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, is true God, Lord of glory, and one of the Holy Trinity" (Council of Constantinople II (553): DS 432; cf. DS 424; Council of Ephesus, DS 255). (CCC 483) The Incarnation is therefore the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word.

Friday, January 16, 2009

2Tim 2, 16 Avoid profane, idle talk

(2Tim 2, 16) Avoid profane, idle talk
[16] Avoid profane, idle talk, for such people will become more and more godless,
(CCC 467) The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature had ceased to exist as such in Christ when the divine person of God's Son assumed it. Faced with this heresy, the fourth ecumenical council, at Chalcedon in 451, confessed: Following the holy Fathers, we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the same truly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with the Father as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; "like us in all things but sin". He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of the virgin Mary, the Mother of God (Council of Chalcedon (451): DS 301; cf. Heb 4:15). We confess that one and the same Christ, Lord, and only-begotten Son, is to be acknowledged in two natures without confusion, change, division or separation. The distinction between the natures was never abolished by their union, but rather the character proper to each of the two natures was preserved as they came together in one person (prosopon) and one hypostasis (Council of Chalcedon: DS 302). (CCC 481) Jesus Christ possesses two natures, one divine and the other human, not confused, but united in the one person of God's Son.

2Tim 2, 15 Imparting the word of truth without deviation

(2Tim 2, 15) Imparting the word of truth without deviation
[15] Be eager to present yourself as acceptable to God, a workman who causes no disgrace, imparting the word of truth without deviation.
(CCC 480) Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in the unity of his divine person; for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and men. (CCC 466) The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person of God's Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council, at Ephesus in 431, confessed "that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animated by a rational soul, became man" (Council of Ephesus (431): DS 250). Christ's humanity has no other subject than the divine person of the Son of God, who assumed it and made it his own, from his conception. For this reason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of God by the human conception of the Son of God in her womb: "Mother of God, not that the nature of the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, but that, since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united to himself according to the hypostasis, was born from her, the Word is said to be born according to the flesh" (Council of Ephesus: DS 251).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2Tim 2, 14 Stop disputing about words

(2Tim 2, 14) Stop disputing about words
[14] Remind people of these things and charge them before God to stop disputing about words. This serves no useful purpose since it harms those who listen.
(CCC 817) In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame" (UR 3 § 1). The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism (Cf. CIC, can. 751) - do not occur without human sin: Where there are sins, there are also divisions, schisms, heresies, and disputes. Where there is virtue, however, there also are harmony and unity, from which arise the one heart and one soul of all believers (Origen, Hom. in Ezech. 9, 1: PG 13, 732). (CCC 465) The first heresies denied not so much Christ's divinity as his true humanity (Gnostic Docetism). From apostolic times the Christian faith has insisted on the true incarnation of God's Son "come in the flesh". (Cf. 1 Jn 4:2-3; 2 Jn 7). But already in the third century, the Church in a council at Antioch had to affirm against Paul of Samosata that Jesus Christ is Son of God by nature and not by adoption. The first ecumenical council of Nicaea in 325 confessed in its Creed that the Son of God is "begotten, not made, of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father", and condemned Arius, who had affirmed that the Son of God "came to be from things that were not" and that he was "from another substance" than that of the Father. (Council of Nicaea I (325): DS 130, 126).

2Tim 2, 11-13 If we persevere we shall also reign

(2Tim 2, 11-13) If we persevere we shall also reign
[11] This saying is trustworthy: If we have died with him we shall also live with him; [12] if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. [13] If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.
(CCC 479) At the time appointed by God, the only Son of the Father, the eternal Word, that is, the Word and substantial Image of the Father, became incarnate; without losing his divine nature he has assumed human nature. (CCC 480) Jesus Christ is true God and true man, in the unity of his divine person; for this reason he is the one and only mediator between God and men. (CCC 481) Jesus Christ possesses two natures, one divine and the other human, not confused, but united in the one person of God's Son. (CCC 482) Christ, being true God and true man, has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit. (CCC 483) The Incarnation is therefore the mystery of the wonderful union of the divine and human natures in the one person of the Word. (CCC 1010) Because of Christ, Christian death has a positive meaning: "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Phil 1:21). "The saying is sure: if we have died with him, we will also live with him (2 Tim 2:11). What is essentially new about Christian death is this: through Baptism, the Christian has already "died with Christ" sacramentally, in order to live a new life; and if we die in Christ's grace, physical death completes this "dying with Christ" and so completes our incorporation into him in his redeeming act: It is better for me to die in (eis) Christ Jesus than to reign over the ends of the earth. Him it is I seek - who died for us. Him it is I desire - who rose for us. I am on the point of giving birth.... Let me receive pure light; when I shall have arrived there, then shall I be a man (St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Rom., 6, 1-2: Apostolic Fathers, II/2, 217-220).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2Tim 2, 7-10 The salvation that is in Christ Jesus

(2Tim 2, 7-10) The salvation that is in Christ Jesus
[7] Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. [8] Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David: such is my gospel, [9] for which I am suffering, even to the point of chains, like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. [10] Therefore, I bear with everything for the sake of those who are chosen, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, together with eternal glory.
(CCC 438) Jesus' messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, "for the name 'Christ' implies 'he who anointed', 'he who was anointed' and 'the very anointing with which he was anointed'. The one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointed with the Spirit who is the anointing'" (St. Irenaeus, Adv. haeres. 3, 18, 3: PG 7/1, 934). His eternal messianic consecration was revealed during the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power," "that he might be revealed to Israel" (Acts 10:38; Jn 1:31) as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as "the Holy One of God" (Mk 1:24; Jn 6:69; Acts 3:14). (CCC 452) The name Jesus means "God saves". The child born of the Virgin Mary is called Jesus, "for he will save his people from their sins" (Mt 1:21): "there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). (CCC 453) The title "Christ" means "Anointed One" (Messiah). Jesus is the Christ, for "God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power" (Acts 10:38). He was the one "who is to come" (Lk 7:19), the object of "the hope of Israel" (Acts 28:20). (CCC 454) The title "Son of God" signifies the unique and eternal relationship of Jesus Christ to God his Father: he is the only Son of the Father (cf. Jn 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18); he is God himself (cf. Jn 1:1). To be a Christian, one must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (cf. Acts 8:37; 1 Jn 2:23). (CCC 455) The title "Lord" indicates divine sovereignty. To confess or invoke Jesus as Lord is to believe in his divinity. "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit'" (1 Cor 12:3).

2Tim 2, 3-6 Bear your share of hardship along with me

(2Tim 2, 3-6) Bear your share of hardship along with me
[3] Bear your share of hardship along with me like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. [4] To satisfy the one who recruited him, a soldier does not become entangled in the business affairs of life. [5] Similarly, an athlete cannot receive the winner's crown except by competing according to the rules. [6] The hardworking farmer ought to have the first share of the crop.
(CCC 1435) Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right (Cf. Am 5:24; Isa 1:17), by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance (Cf. Lk 9:23). (CCC 1264) Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, "the tinder for sin" (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ" (Council of Trent (1546): DS 1515). Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules" (2 Tim 2:5). (CCC 2015) The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle (Cf. 2 Tim 4). Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes: He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows (St. Gregory of Nyssa, Hom. in Cant. 8: PG 44, 941C).

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

2Tim 2, 2 What you heard from me entrust to faithful

(2Tim 2, 2) What you heard from me entrust to faithful
[2] And what you heard from me through many witnesses entrust to faithful people who will have the ability to teach others as well.
(CCC 101) In order to reveal himself to men, in the condescension of his goodness God speaks to them in human words: "Indeed the words of God, expressed in the words of men, are in every way like human language, just as the Word of the eternal Father, when he took on himself the flesh of human weakness, became like men" (DV 13). (CCC 97) "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture make up a single sacred deposit of the Word of God" (DV 10) in which, as in a mirror, the pilgrim Church contemplates God, the source of all her riches. (CCC 94) Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church: - "through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts" (DV 8 § 2; cf. Lk 2:19, 51); it is in particular "theological research [which] deepens knowledge of revealed truth" (GS 62 § 7; cf. GS 44 § 2; DV 23; 24; UR 4). - "from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience" (DV 8 § 2), the sacred Scriptures "grow with the one who reads them" (St. Gregory the Great, Hom. in Ezek. 1, 7, 8: PL 76, 843D). - "from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth" (DV 8 § 2). (CCC 95) "It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls" (DV 10 § 3).

2Tim 2, 1 Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus

2Timothy 2
(2Tim 2, 1) Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus
[1] So you, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
(CCC 2017) The grace of the Holy Spirit confers upon us the righteousness of God. Uniting us by faith and Baptism to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the Spirit makes us sharers in his life. (CCC 2027) No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods. (CCC 2001) The preparation of man for the reception of grace is already a work of grace. This latter is needed to arouse and sustain our collaboration in justification through faith, and in sanctification through charity. God brings to completion in us what he has begun, "since he who completes his work by cooperating with our will began by working so that we might will it" (St. Augustine, De gratia et libero arbitrio, 17: PL 44, 901): Indeed we also work, but we are only collaborating with God who works, for his mercy has gone before us. It has gone before us so that we may be healed, and follows us so that once healed, we may be given life; it goes before us so that we may be called, and follows us so that we may be glorified; it goes before us so that we may live devoutly, and follows us so that we may always live with God: for without him we can do nothing (St. Augustine, De natura et gratia, 31: PL 44, 264).

Monday, January 12, 2009

2Tim 1, 15-18 May the Lord grant him to find mercy

(2Tim 1, 15-18) May the Lord grant him to find mercy
[15] You know that everyone in Asia deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes. [16] May the Lord grant mercy to the family of Onesiphorus because he often gave me new heart and was not ashamed of my chains. [17] But when he came to Rome, he promptly searched for me and found me. [18] May the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that day. And you know very well the services he rendered in Ephesus.
(CCC 1847) "God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us" (St. Augustine, Sermo 169, 11, 13: PL 38, 923). To receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn 8-9). (CCC 2862) The fifth petition begs God's mercy for our offences, mercy which can penetrate our hearts only if we have learned to forgive our enemies, with the example and help of Christ.

2Tim 1, 14 Guard this rich trust

(2Tim 1, 14) Guard this rich trust
[14] Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us.
(CCC 81) "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit" (DV 9). "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" (DV 9). (CCC 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 honoured with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence" (DV 9). (CCC 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. Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

2Tim 1, 12-13 Take as your norm the sound words

(2Tim 1, 12-13) Take as your norm the sound words
[12] On this account I am suffering these things; but I am not ashamed, for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day. [13] Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
(CCC 84) The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith (the depositum fidei) (DV 10 § 1; cf. 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:12-14 Vulg.), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. "By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practicing and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful" (DV 10 § 1; cf. Acts 2:42 (Gk); Pius XII, apostolic constitution, Munificentissimus Deus, November 1, 1950: AAS 42 (1950), 756, taken along with the words of St. Cyprian, Epist. 66, 8: CSEL 3, 2, 733: "The Church is the people united to its Priests, the flock adhering to its Shepherd"). (CCC 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" (DV 9). 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" (Mt 28:20).

2Tim 1, 9-11 Brought life and immortality to light

(2Tim 1, 9-11) Brought life and immortality to light
[9] He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began, [10] but now made manifest through the appearance of our savior Christ Jesus, who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, [11] for which I was appointed preacher and apostle and teacher.
(CCC 1052) "We believe that the souls of all who die in Christ's grace… are the People of God beyond death. On the day of resurrection, death will be definitively conquered, when these souls will be reunited with their bodies" (Paul VI, CPG § 28). (CCC 1053) "We believe that the multitude of those gathered around Jesus and Mary in Paradise forms the Church of heaven, where in eternal blessedness they see God as he is and where they are also, to various degrees, associated with the holy angels in the divine governance exercised by Christ in glory, by interceding for us and helping our weakness by their fraternal concern" (Paul VI, CPG § 29). (CCC 1054) Those who die in God's grace and friendship imperfectly purified, although they are assured of their eternal salvation, undergo a purification after death, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of God. (CCC 1055) By virtue of the "communion of saints," the Church commends the dead to God's mercy and offers her prayers, especially the holy sacrifice of the Eucharist, on their behalf. (CCC 1056) Following the example of Christ, the Church warns the faithful of the "sad and lamentable reality of eternal death" (GCD 69), also called "hell." (CCC 1057) Hell's principal punishment consists of eternal separation from God in whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs. (CCC 1058) The Church prays that no one should be lost: "Lord, let me never be parted from you." If it is true that no one can save himself, it is also true that God "desires all men to be saved" (1 Tim 2:4), and that for him "all things are possible" (Mt 19:26).

Saturday, January 10, 2009

2Tim 1, 8 Bear your share of hardship for the gospel

(2Tim 1, 8) Bear your share of hardship for the gospel
[8] So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for his sake; but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.
(CCC 2471) Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he "has come into the world, to bear witness to the truth" (Jn 18:37). The Christian is not to "be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord" (2 Tim 1:8). In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St. Paul before his judges. We must keep "a clear conscience toward God and toward men" (Acts 24:16). (CCC 98) "The Church, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation all that she herself is, all that she believes" (DV 8 § 1). (CCC 2506) The Christian is not to "be ashamed of testifying to our Lord" (2 Tim 1:8) in deed and word. Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith. (CCC 99) Thanks to its supernatural sense of faith, the People of God as a whole never ceases to welcome, to penetrate more deeply and to live more fully from the gift of divine Revelation.

2Tim 1, 7 God gives us a spirit of power love self-control

(2Tim 1, 7) God gives us a spirit of power love self-control
[7] For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.
(CCC 1574) As in all the sacraments additional rites surround the celebration. Varying greatly among the different liturgical traditions, these rites have in common the expression of the multiple aspects of sacramental grace. Thus in the Latin Church, the initial rites - presentation and election of the ordinand, instruction by the bishop, examination of the candidate, litany of the saints - attest that the choice of the candidate is made in keeping with the practice of the Church and prepare for the solemn act of consecration, after which several rites syrnbolically express and complete the mystery accomplished: for bishop and priest, an anointing with holy chrism, a sign of the special anointing of the Holy Spirit who makes their ministry fruitful; giving the book of the Gospels, the ring, the miter, and the crosier to the bishop as the sign of his apostolic mission to proclaim the Word of God, of his fidelity to the Church, the bride of Christ, and his office as shepherd of the Lord's flock; presentation to the priest of the paten and chalice, "the offering of the holy people" which he is called to present to God; giving the book of the Gospels to the deacon who has just received the mission to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. (CCC 1580) In the Eastern Churches a different discipline has been in force for many centuries: while bishops are chosen solely from among celibates, married men can be ordained as deacons and priests. This practice has long been considered legitimate; these priests exercise a fruitful ministry within their communities (Cf. PO 16). Moreover, priestly celibacy is held in great honor in the Eastern Churches and many priests have freely chosen it for the sake of the Kingdom of God. In the East as in the West a man who has already received the sacrament of Holy Orders can no longer marry.

Friday, January 9, 2009

2Tim 1, 6 Stir into flame the gift of God that you have

(2Tim 1, 6) Stir into flame the gift of God that you have
[6] For this reason, I remind you to stir into flame the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
(CCC 1533) Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist are sacraments of Christian initiation. They ground the common vocation of all Christ's disciples, a vocation to holiness and to the mission of evangelizing the world. They confer the graces needed for the life according to the Spirit during this life as pilgrims on the march towards the homeland. (CCC 1534) Two other sacraments, Holy Orders and Matrimony, are directed towards the salvation of others; if they contribute as well to personal salvation, it is through service to others that they do so. They confer a particular mission in the Church and serve to build up the People of God. (CCC 1535) Through these sacraments those already consecrated by Baptism and Confirmation (Cf. LG 10) for the common priesthood of all the faithful can receive particular consecrations. Those who receive the sacrament of Holy Orders are consecrated in Christ's name "to feed the Church by the word and grace of God" (LG 11 § 2). On their part, "Christian spouses are fortified and, as it were, consecrated for the duties and dignity of their state by a special sacrament" (GS 48 § 2). (CCC 1536) Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate. (CCC 1556) To fulfil their exalted mission, "the apostles were endowed by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them, and by the imposition of hands they passed on to their auxiliaries the gift of the Spirit, which is transmitted down to our day through episcopal consecration" (LG 21; cf. Acts 1:8; 2:4; Jn 20:22-23; 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6-7). (CCC 1573) The essential rite of the sacrament of Holy Orders for all three degrees consists in the bishop's imposition of hands on the head of the ordinand and in the bishop's specific consecratory prayer asking God for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and his gifts proper to the ministry to which the candidate is being ordained (Cf. Pius XII, apostolic constitution, Sacramentum Ordinis: DS 3858).

2Tim 1, 5 I recall your sincere faith

(2Tim 1, 5) I recall your sincere faith
[5] as I recall your sincere faith that first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and that I am confident lives also in you.
(CCC 2220) For Christians a special gratitude is due to those from whom they have received the gift of faith, the grace of Baptism, and life in the Church. These may include parents, grandparents, other members of the family, pastors, catechists, and other teachers or friends. "I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you” (2 Tim 1:5). (CCC 2252) Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children in the faith, prayer, and all the virtues. They have the duty to provide as far as possible for the physical and spiritual needs of their children. (CCC 2253) Parents should respect and encourage their children's vocations. They should remember and teach that the first calling of the Christian is to follow Jesus. (CCC 2249) The conjugal community is established upon the covenant and consent of the spouses. Marriage and family are ordered to the good of the spouses, to the procreation and the education of children.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2Tim 1, 3-4 I am grateful to God, whom I worship

(2Tim 1, 3-4) I am grateful to God, whom I worship
[3] I am grateful to God, whom I worship with a clear conscience as my ancestors did, as I remember you constantly in my prayers, night and day. [4] I yearn to see you again, recalling your tears, so that I may be filled with joy,
(CCC 1794) A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time "from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith" (1 Tim 5; cf. 3:9; 2 Tim 3; 1 Pet 3:21; Acts 24:16). The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct (GS 16). (CCC 2620) Jesus' filial prayer is the perfect model of prayer in the New Testament. Often done in solitude and in secret, the prayer of Jesus involves a loving adherence to the will of the Father even to the Cross and an absolute confidence in being heard. (CCC 2562) Where does prayer come from? Whether prayer is expressed in words or gestures, it is the whole man who prays. But in naming the source of prayer, Scripture speaks sometimes of the soul or the spirit, but most often of the heart (more than a thousand times). According to Scripture, it is the heart that prays. If our heart is far from God, the words of prayer are in vain. (CCC 2563) The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place "to which I withdraw." The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant.

2Tim 1, 1-2 God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord

Second Letter to Timothy
2Timothy 1
(2Tim 1, 1-2) God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord
[1] Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God for the promise of life in Christ Jesus, [2] to Timothy, my dear child: grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
(CCC 228) "Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is one LORD..." (Dt 6:4; Mk 12:29). "The supreme being must be unique, without equal… If God is not one, he is not God" (Tertullian, Adv. Marc., 1, 3, 5: PL 2, 274). (CCC 230) Even when he reveals himself, God remains a mystery beyond words: "If you understood him, it would not be God" (St. Augustine, Sermo 52, 6, 16: PL 38, 360 and Sermo 117, 3, 5: PL 38, 663). (CCC 238 Many religions invoke God as "Father". The deity is often considered the "father of gods and of men". In Israel, God is called "Father" inasmuch as he is Creator of the world (Cf. Dt 32:6; Mal 2:10). Even more, God is Father because of the covenant and the gift of the law to Israel, "his first-born son" (Ex 4:22). God is also called the Father of the king of Israel. Most especially he is "the Father of the poor", of the orphaned and the widowed, who are under his loving protection (Cf. 2 Sam 7:14; Ps 68:6). (CCC 242 Following this apostolic tradition, the Church confessed at the first ecumenical council at Nicaea (325) that the Son is "consubstantial" with the Father, that is, one only God with him (The English phrases "of one being" and "one in being" translate the Greek word homoousios, which was rendered in Latin by consubstantialis). The second ecumenical council, held at Constantinople in 381, kept this expression in its formulation of the Nicene Creed and confessed "the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father" (Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed; cf. DS 150).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

1Tim 6, 20-21 Guard what has been entrusted to you

(1Tim 6, 20-21) Guard what has been entrusted to you
[20] O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. [21] By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you.
(CCC 84) The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith (the depositum fidei) (DV 10 § 1; cf. 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:12-14 Vulg.), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. "By adhering to [this heritage] the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining, practicing and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkable harmony between the bishops and the faithful" (DV 10 § 1; cf. Acts 2:42 (Gk); Pius XII, apostolic constitution, Munificentissimus Deus, November 1, 1950: AAS 42 (1950), 756, taken along with the words of St. Cyprian, Epist. 66, 8: CSEL 3, 2, 733: "The Church is the people united to its Priests, the flock adhering to its Shepherd"). (CCC 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" (DV 10 § 2). This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome. (CCC 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" (DV 10 § 2). (CCC 87) Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me" (Lk 10:16; cf. LG 20), the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms.

1Tim 6, 17-19 To be rich in good works, to be generous

(1Tim 6, 17-19) To be rich in good works, to be generous
[17] Tell the rich in the present age not to be proud and not to rely on so uncertain a thing as wealth but rather on God, who richly provides us with all things for our enjoyment. [18] Tell them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous, ready to share, [19] thus accumulating as treasure a good foundation for the future, so as to win the life that is true life.
(CCC 2552) The tenth commandment forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power. (CCC 2544) Jesus enjoins his disciples to prefer him to everything and everyone, and bids them "renounce all that [they have]" for his sake and that of the Gospel (Lk 14:33; cf. Mk 8:35). Shortly before his passion he gave them the example of the poor widow of Jerusalem who, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on (Cf. Lk 21:4). The precept of detachment from riches is obligatory for entrance into the Kingdom of heaven. (CCC 2446) St. John Chrysostom vigorously recalls this: "Not to enable the poor to share in our goods is to steal from them and deprive them of life. The goods we possess are not ours, but theirs" (St. John Chrysostom, Hom. in Lazaro 2, 5: PG 48, 992). "The demands of justice must be satisfied first of all; that which is already due in justice is not to be offered as a gift of charity" (AA 8 § 5): When we attend to the needs of those in want, we give them what is theirs, not ours. More than performing works of mercy, we are paying a debt of justice (St. Gregory the Great, Regula Pastoralis. 3, 21: PL 77, 87).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

1Tim 6, 13-16 Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords

(1Tim 6, 13-16) Jesus the King of kings and Lord of lords
[13] I charge (you) before God, who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus, who gave testimony under Pontius Pilate for the noble confession, [14] to keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ [15] that the blessed and only ruler will make manifest at the proper time, the King of kings and Lord of lords, [16] who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, and whom no human being has seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal power. Amen.
(CCC 783) Jesus Christ is the one whom the Father anointed with the Holy Spirit and established as priest, prophet, and king. The whole People of God participates in these three offices of Christ and bears the responsibilities for mission and service that flow from them (Cf. John Paul II, RH 18-21). (CCC 908) By his obedience unto death (Cf. Phil 2:8-9), Christ communicated to his disciples the gift of royal freedom, so that they might "by the self-abnegation of a holy life, overcome the reign of sin in themselves" (LG 36): That man is rightly called a king who makes his own body an obedient subject and, by governing himself with suitable rigor, refuses to let his passions breed rebellion in his soul, for he exercises a kind of royal power over himself. And because he knows how to rule his own person as king, so too does he sit as its judge. He will not let himself be imprisoned by sin, or thrown headlong into wickedness (St. Ambrose, Psal 118:14:30: PL 15:1476). (CCC 2105) The duty of offering God genuine worship concerns man both individually and socially. This is "the traditional Catholic teaching on the moral duty of individuals and societies toward the true religion and the one Church of Christ" (DH 1 § 3). By constantly evangelizing men, the Church works toward enabling them "to infuse the Christian spirit into the mentality and mores, laws and structures of the communities in which [they] live" (AA 13 § 1). The social duty of Christians is to respect and awaken in each man the love of the true and the good. It requires them to make known the worship of the one true religion which subsists in the Catholic and apostolic Church (Cf. DH 1). Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies (Cf. AA 13; Leo XIII, Immortale Dei 3, 17; Pius XI, Quas primas 8, 20).

1Tim 6, 11-12 You man of God compete well for the faith

(1Tim 6, 11-12) You man of God compete well for the faith
[11] But you, man of God, avoid all this. Instead, pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience, and gentleness. [12] Compete well for the faith. Lay hold of eternal life, to which you were called when you made the noble confession in the presence of many witnesses.
(CCC 2145) The faithful should bear witness to the Lord's name by confessing the faith without giving way to fear (Cf. Mt 10:32; 1 Tim 6:12). Preaching and catechizing should be permeated with adoration and respect for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (CCC 2472) The duty of Christians to take part in the life of the Church impels them to act as witnesses of the Gospel and of the obligations that flow from it. This witness is a transmission of the faith in words and deeds. Witness is an act of justice that establishes the truth or makes it known (Cf. Mt 18:16). All Christians by the example of their lives and the witness of their word, wherever they live, have an obligation to manifest the new man which they have put on in Baptism and to reveal the power of the Holy Spirit by whom they were strengthened at Confirmation (AG 11).

Monday, January 5, 2009

1Tim 6, 7-10 The love of money is the root of all evils

(1Tim 6, 7-10) The love of money is the root of all evils
[7] For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it. [8] If we have food and clothing, we shall be content with that. [9] Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. [10] For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.
(CCC 1865) Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root. (CCC 1866) Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital" because they engender other sins, other vices (Cf. St. Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job, 31, 45: PL 76, 621A). They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia. (CCC 2536) The tenth commandment forbids greed and the desire to amass earthly goods without limit. It forbids avarice arising from a passion for riches and their attendant power. It also forbids the desire to commit injustice by harming our neighbor in his temporal goods: When the Law says, "You shall not covet," these words mean that we should banish our desires for whatever does not belong to us. Our thirst for another's goods is immense, infinite, never quenched. Thus it is written: "He who loves money never has money enough" (Roman Catechism, III, 37; cf. Sir 5:8). (CCC 2213) Human communities are made up of persons. Governing them well is not limited to guaranteeing rights and fulfilling duties such as honoring contracts. Right relations between employers and employees, between those who govern and citizens, presuppose a natural good will in keeping with the dignity of human persons concerned for justice and fraternity.

1Tim 6, 3-6 The sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ

(1Tim 6, 3-6) The sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ
[3] Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching [4] is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, [5] and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain. [6] Indeed, religion with contentment is a great gain.
(CCC 5) "Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes especially the teaching of Christian doctrine imparted, generally speaking, in an organic and systematic way, with a view to initiating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life" (CT 18). (CCC 8) Periods of renewal in the Church are also intense moments of catechesis. In the great era of the Fathers of the Church, saintly bishops devoted an important part of their ministry to catechesis. St. Cyril of Jerusalem and St. John Chrysostom, St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, and many other Fathers wrote catechetical works that remain models for us. (Cf. CT 12). (CCC 11) This catechism aims at presenting an organic synthesis of the essential and fundamental contents of Catholic doctrine, as regards both faith and morals, in the light of the Second Vatican Council and the whole of the Church's Tradition. Its principal sources are the Sacred Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the liturgy, and the Church's Magisterium. It is intended to serve "as a point of reference for the catechisms or compendia that are composed in the various countries". (Extraordinary Synod of Bishops 1985, Final Report II B a, 4). (CCC 12) This work is intended primarily for those responsible for catechesis: first of all the bishops, as teachers of the faith and pastors of the Church. It is offered to them as an instrument in fulfilling their responsibility of teaching the People of God. Through the bishops, it is addressed to redactors of catechisms, to priests, and to catechists. It will also be useful reading for all other Christian faithful.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

1Tim 6, 1-2 Those who are under the yoke of slavery

1Timothy 6
(1Tim 6, 1-2) Those who are under the yoke of slavery
[1] Those who are under the yoke of slavery must regard their masters as worthy of full respect, so that the name of God and our teaching may not suffer abuse. [2] Those whose masters are believers must not take advantage of them because they are brothers but must give better service because those who will profit from their work are believers and are beloved.
(CCC 2196) In response to the question about the first of the commandments, Jesus says: "The first is, 'Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' the second is this, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mk 12:29-31; cf. Deut 6:4-5; Lev 19:18; Mt 22:34-40; Lk 10:25-28). The apostle St. Paul reminds us of this: "He who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,' and any other commandment, are summed up in this sentence, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom 13:8-10). (CCC 2414) The seventh commandment forbids acts or enterprises that for any reason - selfish or ideological, commercial, or totalitarian - lead to the enslavement of human beings, to their being bought, sold and exchanged like merchandise, in disregard for their personal dignity. It is a sin against the dignity of persons and their fundamental rights to reduce them by violence to their productive value or to a source of profit. St. Paul directed a Christian master to treat his Christian slave "no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother,… Both in the flesh and in the Lord" (Philem 16).

1Tim 5, 24-25 Some people's sins are public

(1Tim 5, 24-25) Some people's sins are public
[24] Some people's sins are public, preceding them to judgment; but other people are followed by their sins. [25] Similarly, good works are also public; and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.
(CCC 680) Christ the Lord already reigns through the Church, but all the things of this world are not yet subjected to him. The triumph of Christ's kingdom will not come about without one last assault by the powers of evil. (CCC 681) On Judgment Day at the end of the world, Christ will come in glory to achieve the definitive triumph of good over evil which, like the wheat and the tares, have grown up together in the course of history. (CCC 682) When he comes at the end of time to judge the living and the dead, the glorious Christ will reveal the secret disposition of hearts and will render to each man according to his works, and according to his acceptance or refusal of grace.