Category Archives: Sacred Scripture

Virtue and love are interconnected

Saint Catherine of Siena: “You know that every virtue receives life from love, that is, by raising the eye of our intellect to consider how much we are loved by God. Seeing that we are loved, we cannot do anything except love. Loving God we embrace virtue out of love, and we despise vice out of hatred. So you see that it is in God that we conceive virtues, and in our neighbors that we bring them to birth. You know indeed that you give birth to the child charity that is in your soul in order to answer your neighbor’s need; and that you give birth to patience when your neighbor does you harm. You offer prayer for all your neighbors, and particularly for the one who has wronged you. That is the way we ought to behave; if others are unfaithful to us, we ought to be faithful to them, faithfully seeking their salvation and loving them gratuitously and not as a debt. In other words, take care not to love your neighbor for your own profit, for that would not be responding to the love which God has for you.”

Saint Catherine of Siena offers us a readjustment to our way of proceeding for the 30th Sunday of the Church Year (Mt 22:34-40). As we move closer and closer to the end of the liturgical year and the end of the civil calendar, our thinking, prayer and relationships take on a new intensity but only if we are aware of our humanity the holy desires of our heart.

Are you wearing the wedding garment of Charity?

A thought for today’s Scripture proclaimed at Sunday Mass today –St. Augustine taught:

“‘The goal of this command is charity,’ says the apostle, ‘which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.’ This is the wedding garment. Not charity of any kind whatever, for very often they who are partakers together of an evil conscience seem to love one another… But in these is no charity from a pure heart, a good conscience and a faith unfeigned. The wedding garment is charity such as this: ‘Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I have become like a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.’ Suppose someone who speaks in tongues comes in and is asked, ‘How did you get in here without a wedding garment?’ Suppose he answers, ‘But I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains.’ But if he has no charity, he has nothing. Such may be the clothing of those who in fact lack the wedding garment.”

A Reflection for the 28th Sunday through the Year on Matthew 22:1-14

Guardian Angels’ feast

guardian angelHe has given his angels charge over you
to keep you in all your ways.
In their hand they will bear you up,
that you may not dash your foot against a stone.

Ps. 90 (91):11
The offertory antiphon, First Sunday in Lent

The belief that the guardian angels exist and help humanity has a long genealogy coming from the Jewish tradition and the witness of the saints.

“Hence the perfection of the universe requires that there should be intellectual creatures. Now intelligence cannot be the action of a body, nor of any corporeal faculty; for every body is limited to “here” and “now.” Hence the perfection of the universe requires the existence of an incorporeal creature [angels]” — St. Thomas Aquinas, ST I.50.1

I recommend being friendly with your guardian angel.

Sacred Scripture as historical texts reveals Christ Jesus

The 20th and 21st centuries have seen Catholics draw closer to the Bible, the revealed Word of God. During the pontificate of Benedict XVI there was almost an explosion of emphasis on Scripture study, a resurgence of biblical preaching, a serious consideration of what it means to be an evangelical Catholic and lectio divina. In my opinion, it was Benedict XVI who gave critical attention to the sacred Scriptures in the calling of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God coupled with the concretizing the Church’s programatic direction with the publication of Verbum Domini (2010).

Rome Reports gives a spotlight on a recent initiative of the American Bible Society‘s “The Bible and the World.”

This initiative of the ABS is yet another great example of the place we Catholics need to have for the daily praying with God’s word, and the study of the historical text. As the preparatory commission for the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God stated about the complexity and beauty of the sacred text viz. our salvation in Christ Jesus,

Pastorally speaking, this truth requires an understanding on how to gather, in an analogous way, the various meanings of the Word of God in the faith of the Church, as seen in the Bible. In the Scriptures, Jesus Christ is shown to be the Eternal Word of God, which shines forth in creation, is given a historical character in the message of the prophets, is fully manifested in the Person of Jesus, is echoed in the voice of the apostles and is proclaimed in the Church today. In a general sense, the Word of God is Christ-the-Word, who, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is the key to all interpretation. “The Word of God, who was in the beginning with God, is not, in his fullness, much talk or a multiplicity of words; but a single Word, which embraces a great number of ideas (theoremata), each of which is a part of the Word in its entirety… and if Christ refers us to the Scriptures in testifying to himself, it is not to one book that he sends us to the exclusion of another, but to all, because all speak of him.”Thus, continuity can be seen in diversity.

Jesus’ presence fixes our gaze

The revealed Word of God has set Christ Jesus before us in order that we may have that on which to fix our eyes. We cannot, with Paul, strive to gain Christ and be found in Christ without precise existential and personal knowledge of who Christ is.

And this knowledge has been made available to us in the living and often paradoxical figure of Christ we encounter in the “Gospel.” Without continually feeding on the Gospel text, Christian contemplation withers and dies or mutates into something strange.

Thus, being with Jesus interiorly and contemplating Jesus in the Gospel objectively are almost synonymous events.

Fire of Mercy
Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis (now Fr. Simeon, OCSO)

What Fr Simeon speaks of is precisely why we study the sacred Scripture, why we do lectio divina, why we pray the Scripture in the Liturgy. God’s definitive (complete) revelation in Jesus Christ sets the stage for all other things.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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