November 13, 2010

“No Church” = “No Bible”

[First posted in May of 2006, with a new comment today.]

“Know the Church” = “Know the Bible”

In the Middle Ages, people rarely owned a Bible because all books were exorbitantly expensive and few persons could even read. A monk needed approximately ten months to copy a Bible by hand. The cost would have been about $5,000 then— $200,000 today"

The printing press was not invented until A.D. 1440.

In the first four centuries after the birth of Christ, there was no “Bible”. Not until after A.D. 390 did the Church decide to discern what writings deserved to be called “The Revealed Word of God” and to list officially those writings as “The Bible”. Jesus himself told the apostle Peter, “What you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven.” Thus the apostolic Church has that binding authority to determine what the Word of God is.

However, years before the Church defined what was in "The Bible" and what was not, the Church first officially defined its faith by way of the “Creed” formula of Nicea, A.D. 325, and refined it at Constantinople, A.D. 381. Without the faith of the Church as the rule and guide, the Bible did not come into being.

As that Creed puts it: Credo … et Unam, Sanctam, Catholicam et Apostolicam Ecclesiam— “and I believe the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.”

Without the Church’s faith as the rule and guide, one cannot have an authentic Christian understanding of the Bible.

Therefore: the Catechism of the Catholic Church! It expresses the faith and teaching of the Church, and forms us to have an authentic Christian understanding of the Bible.

What has happened to Christianity ever since the printing press and the common availability of the Bible? Protestantism splintering, splintering, splintering and still splintering! Splintering over how to understand the Bible APART FROM the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church!

Then you eventually end up with rejection of the Bible itself.

- Episcopalianism's OFFICIAL rejection of Biblical sexual morality (e.g., gay "bishop" Gene Robinson);
- Episcopalian "bishops" (e.g., Spong) rejecting the Biblical affirmation of Christ's death as atonement for sin and rejecting his bodily resurrection.

If you do without the teaching (i.e., catechizing) Church, you will eventually do without the Bible itself.

The "Bible Only" approach opens the way to a "Dump the Bible" approach.

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There is an online article entitled “To Tell You the Whole Truth about the Church and the Holy Bible: How the Bible Was Written”.
Click HERE for it.

Why dance when you refuse to bow ... to bow for HEAVEN'S sake?

[First posted in April of 2006, but having a new comment today]

I wonder if those who wish to import dance into the Mass actually respect and carry out all the physical movements the Church already requires at Mass.

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275. A bow signifies reverence and honor shown to the persons themselves or to the signs that represent them. There are two kinds of bows: a bow of the head and a bow of the body.

(a) A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.

(b) A bow of the body, that is to say a profound bow, is made … in the Creed at the words Et incarnatus est (by the power of the Holy Spirit ... made man)….
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When we begin the Mass, we are to make the Sign of the Cross as the priest says, “In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Here, “the three Divine Persons are named together”, so we are to bow our heads. At the end of Mass, the priest blesses the people by making the Sign of the Cross and again names the three Divine Persons together, so we are to bow our heads for that also.

We are to bow our heads at the name of Jesus. In observing this myself, I have come to notice that in some passages of the Gospel of John the name of Jesus is present in practically every sentence. Before my priestly ordination, instead of bobbing my head up and down repeatedly as I listened to the Gospel of John, I would simply bow my head the first time I heard the name of Jesus and keep my head bowed until the Gospel reading was over. Now that I am a priest, whenever I read the Gospel of John aloud during Mass I simply look down at the page (thus bowing my head) each time the name of Jesus occurs. Paying attention to bowing makes me pay closer attention to the text.

Notice that we are to bow at the name “of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.” I wonder how many so-called “liturgical dancers” and “liturgical dance promoters” do this. Do they prefer to do their own thing— that is, import something foreign to the Mass rather than do what the Mass already requires?

I find the greatest irony in comparing the number of people who hold hands during the Lord’s Prayer (a gesture not even mentioned in the guidelines for Mass) versus the number of people who make the required profound bow “in the Creed at the words Et incarnatus est (by the power of the Holy Spirit ... made man)”. It seems the majority holds hands. Almost no one makes the profound bow or any other bow.

November 10, 2010

Liturgy as a prescription to treat leprosy

I've posted the homily I preached at Mass today.
Click HERE for it.

November 08, 2010

Monks and Beer

The Benedictine monastery, Christ-in-the-Desert Abbey, in New Mexico, plus Taos Pueblo, Canyon de Chelly, and old Santa Fe are four excellent reasons to go on a car trip in New Mexico.

The monks of Christ-in-the-Desert Abbey, New Mexico, are brewing.  Read the article.
Click HERE for it.