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NEWS: Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina’s THE FEASTS Blog Tour

September 9 – September 17

To gear up for the release of Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina’s latest collaboration The Feasts, we’ve invited eleven bloggers to share their thoughts on one of their favorite Catholic feast days.

In The Feasts, Cardinal Wuerl and Aquilina explore the festivities in the calendar of Catholic holidays.  From Christmas to Easter, the Feast of the Guardian Angels to the Pentecost, the authors reintroduce readers to the true beauty and meaning of each centuries-old celebration.

On each day of the blog tour (September 9 to September 17) one of the eleven participating bloggers will post a reflection on the feast of his/her choice.

Many thanks to all of the bloggers who agreed to participate.  Please support them by visiting their blogs and reading their reflections.  Some of them will be giving away copies of The Feasts as part of the tour, so be sure to check in daily for your chance to win one!

September 9: Abigail’s Alcove – All Saints Day
September 10: Stuart’s Study – Season of Advent
September 11: Catholic Katie – Feasts of Churches
September 12: Seasons of Grace – Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
September 13: Catholic Bibles – The Solemnity of Christ the King
September 14: Random Acts of Momness – The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity
September 15: Blog of the Courtier – The Solemnity of Christmas
September 16: Happy Catholic – Feast of the Holy Angels
September 17: The Orant – The Solemnity of Epiphany and the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord

About the Book

Every day is a holiday in the Catholic Church.  In their latest collaboration, Cardinal Wuerl and Mike Aquilina examine the history and traditions behind both favorite and forgotten holidays, from Christmas to Easter, from the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity to the Feast of the Holy Angels.

Catholic faith is festive, and the Catholic faithful count their days by celebrating the mysteries of Jesus’ life.  There is a message to be found in the passing of days, weeks, and seasons.  Through the feasts, ordinary Christians learn the life of Christ, share it, and come to imitate it.

This book continues the work the authors began in their books The Mass and The Church, exploring the meaning and purpose of the most basic and beloved aspects of Catholic life.  Each chapter uncovers the biblical origins and development of one of the great feasts or fasts—Advent, Epiphany, the Holy Angels, all the Marian feasts, and even this very day.  The calendar can be a catechism for Catholics who know how to live it.

About the Authors

Cardinal Donald Wuerl is the sixth and current Archbishop of Washington D.C., previously having served as Bishop of Pittsburgh.  He grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and later studied at Mount St.  Mary’s Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.  He continued his priestly formation at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and the Pontifical Gregorian University.  After his ordination, he received a Ph.D. in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.  He is also the author of The Catholic Way and New Evangelization: Passing on the Catholic Faith Today.

Mike Aquilina is the author of more than twenty books, including Angels of God and Fathers of the Church.  He appears regularly on EWTN with Scott Hahn.

 

To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Cardinal Donald Wuerl or Mike Aquilina, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, kamoore@penguinrandomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.


INTERVIEW: Cardinal Donald Wuerl on new book THE FEASTS

Q. How did you come up with the idea for a book about feasts?

 The feasts have an outsized importance in Christianity. They teach doctrine. They form culture. They deliver the truths and mysteries of the life of Jesus Christ in a way that’s delightful and memorable. Think of Christmas and Easter. Every ethnic group marks those days with special customs, special foods, special songs. It’s a powerful experience for the senses; and it makes a deep impression on the mind. If you drive home from church and you’re still humming the hymns, then you’re probably also rehearsing the doctrine in your mind — without realizing it.

This book marks the third book in a series Mike and I have written for Image Books. The three books consider three Christian institutions that are supremely important for forming Christian community and individual Christians — the Mass, the parish church, and the feasts.

 

Q. Who should read this book? Did you have a specific audience in mind when you were writing it?

 We wrote it for everyone, really. I think Catholic families will get more out of celebrating feast days after they’ve gained a deeper understanding of each day’s biblical roots, historical development, and particular symbols and customs. Clergy will find the book a treasury of good material for homilies. Non-Catholics will, I hope, find it an easy way to get to know the celebrations of their Catholic friends, neighbors, and family members.

 

Q. In The Feasts, you refer to the calendar as a catechism and teacher. In what ways can we learn from the feasts?

The feasts are a great delivery system for doctrine. Every Sunday, Catholics recite the Creed, confirming that they accept certain basic propositions about Jesus: that he is true God, and that he is true man, that he took flesh to be the Savior of the world. It’s good that we recite the Creed; and it’s good that we commit the propositions to memory. But I think they become more truly part of us when we sing them in Christmas carols and when we kneel before the manger. In a similar way, our Lenten exercises, like the Stations of the Cross and meatless Fridays, work on us — mind, body, and soul — in a way that abstract lessons on the atonement never could. If we have been tending to these things faithfully since childhood, that’s all the better.

There’s more than one way to teach doctrine and more than one way to learn. Through much of history, many Christians could not read. They didn’t own catechisms or subscribe to religious magazines. Yet they too kept the faith and passed it on to their children. They learned it, to a great degree, as they celebrated the cycle of feasts in the common life of the Church.

 

Q. In the introduction, you write: “Catholics love to celebrate the feasts, but often passively. The time rolls around each year, and we show up because we have an obligation to do so. And participating brings us joy. But our joy could be far greater if we celebrated with understanding.” What can Catholics do to better understand the feasts of the Church and celebrate them with greater intention (other than read your book, of course!)?

The feasts are part of a greater enterprise called the calendar. The Church keeps time to its own ancient rhythm — or, more accurately, eternal rhythm. If you live the life all year round, you’ll have a better appreciation of the special times. If you’ve lived a good Lent and Easter, you’ll be better prepared for Christmas, next time it rolls around. There are many good guides that help Catholics “stay tuned” in between the major holidays. The magazines Magnificat and Word Among Us come to mind. They give ordinary Catholics a way to walk prayerfully at life’s pace, from feast to feast and season to season.

 

Q: You write, “The feasts are to time what churches are to space.” How did you come up with such an interesting analogy?

Prayer is important to the life of both authors. Mike and I have also done a lot of spiritual reading down the years. So, if you like an analogy, there’s a good chance we learned it from some long-ago — and unfortunately long-forgotten— master.

As for that particular analogy: it seemed self-evident to Mike and me. A Church is a holy place. A feast is a holy day, a holiday.

 

Q. What is your favorite Catholic feast day?

My favorite liturgical celebration is the Easter Vigil, with Easter Sunday and Christmas as very close seconds. It’s my privilege to celebrate all of them in Washington’s beautiful Cathedral of Saint Matthew the Apostle.

Of the feasts, I particularly love the Annunciation on March 25 and the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on June 29. The Immaculate Conception has a very special place in my heart for two reasons. It is the patronal feast of the United States — and I get to celebrate that Mass in the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception here in D.C. And it is also the anniversary date of my Baptism (December 8, 1940).

A newcomer among the feasts, but very dear to my heart, is the Feast of Saint John Paul II, October 22. It was my privilege to know the saint, and so the prayers of the day affect me in a powerful and personal way. That Mass I can celebrate in the National Shrine of Saint John Paul II, also here in Washington, D.C.

My co-author, Mike Aquilina, shares my love for the Easter Vigil and for the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. He has a particular devotion to all the saints of the early Church, and he keeps their feasts in a special way, as he also keeps the Memorial of the Guardian Angels. The beauty of the calendar is that we hold it in common, and yet it becomes something different and beautiful in every Christian life, assuming the contours of each personality and each person’s particular vocation and graces from God.

 

To request a review copy or to schedule an interview with Cardinal Donald Wuerl, please contact Katie Moore, publicist, kamoore@penguinrandomhouse.com, 719-268-1936.


Image Author 101: Patrick Madrid

This month in our Author 101 series, we’re featuring author Patrick Madrid.

PATRICK MADRID is a life-long Catholic and popular radio host. He has authored or edited 20 books on Catholic themes, including Why Be Catholic?, Does the Bible Really Say That?, the acclaimed Surprised by Truth series, Envoy for Christ: 25 Years as a Catholic Apologist, and Search and Rescue. Commenting on the effectiveness of Patrick’s approach to doing apologetics, Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop Emeritus of New York, said“How do you bring a friend or relative back into the Church? First you pray. Then, you follow Patrick Madrid’s advice…”

Patrick is the founder and president of the Envoy Institute, an apostolate dedicated to teaching Catholics of all ages how to explain their faith more intelligently, defend it more charitably, and share it more effectively.

Prior to launching the Envoy apostolate, Patrick worked at Catholic Answers for eight years (1988 to 1996), where he served as vice president. A veteran of many formal, public debates with Protestant ministers, Mormon leaders, and other non-Catholic spokesmen, Patrick has presented countless seminars on Catholic themes, in English and Spanish, at parishes, universities, and conferences across the U.S. and around the world.

Patrick earned a Bachelor of Science in business at the University of Phoenix, as well as a B.Phil. in philosophy and an M.A. in dogmatic theology at the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville and currently teaches as an adjunct professor of theology in the graduate theology program at Holy Apostles College & Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut.

Patrick hosts the popular “Right Here, Right Now” radio show, which is broadcast daily across the EWTN Global Catholic Radio Network. He is also a frequent guest and occasional guest-host on the “Catholic Answers Live” radio program.

Patrick and his wife Nancy have been married for 33 years and blessed by the Lord with 11 children and 15 grandchildren. They reside in the Diocese of Columbus.

Read a sample chapter of Why Be Catholic? here and watch an Patrick speak about the book here.

Enter to win a copy of Patrick’s book Why Be Catholic? Fill in the form below by September 30, 2014. One entry per person please.



PRESS RELEASE: Catholics Come Home Premiers Weekly TV Series on EWTN

CATHOLICS COME HOME PREMIERS WEEKLY TV SERIES
To air in prime-time, worldwide on EWTN



August 21, 2014– Atlanta (Roswell), GA — Catholics Come Home® will premier its high production quality, moving TV series filmed in over a dozen scenic locations in the US and Canada, called “Catholics Come Home” on EWTN Thursday night, Sep. 4 at 10 p.m. EST.

The series will consist of thirteen 30-minute episodes, each featuring an interview with someone who recently returned to Jesus and the Catholic Church as a result of Catholics Come Home and responding to the call of the Holy Spirit. Guests include former atheists, agnostics, Protestant Christians, and fallen-away Catholics who came home. The series will also air engaging segments on the New Evangelization in each of the half-hour episodes.

Episodes will air every Thursday night at 10pm EST, with additional airings at 6 p.m. EST Sundays. The series can also be viewed streaming live online at EWTN.com.  After the series debuts in the U.S. and Canada this September, EWTN will begin airing the series internationally, starting in December. Over a dozen archdioceses and diocese are represented, since feature episodes are filmed on location in numerous North American cities, including: Vancouver, B.C.; Allen, TX; Providence, RI; New Westminster, Canada; Denver, CO; Tulsa, OK; Atlantic Highlands, NJ; Denton, TX; Farmington, MO; Austin, TX; St. Louis (Bonne Terre) MO; Philadelphia, PA; and Sturgeon Bay, WI.

The premier episode features Dr. Gloria Sampson, a former atheist and linguistic professor who taught in Communist China during the 1960s and 1970s. She discusses her recent return to the Church after 52 years away from God, thanks to seeing a Catholics Come Home commercial on TV in Vancouver, Canada.  This former atheist is now an active Catholic, who says: “all I want to do now, is evangelize!” Catholics Come Home® has released an exclusive 60-second series promo in anticipation of the premier episode.

In response to Pope Saint John Paul II’s proclamation, “Darkness can only be scattered by light; hatred can only be conquered by love,” Catholics Come Home® is sharing stories of Christ’s healing love and light, by means of this new, engaging TV series—just another one of the apostolate’s unique media efforts for the New Evangelization that has already helped over 500,000 souls home to Jesus and His Catholic Church.

 

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To schedule an interview with Tom Peterson, President and Founder of Catholics Come Home®, please send email request to spokesperson@catholicscomehome.org.   

For interviews in Spanish, contact Veronica Schnarre at 678-585-7886 x104, or by e-mail at veronica@catholicscomehome.org.

Links to:

 

CatholicsComeHome.org is a 501(c)(3) non-profit media apostolate, dedicated to producing and airing Catholic evangelism television ads on local, national and international television networks.  Catholics Come Home® is guided by a 30 person Advisory Board, including Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Bishop James Conley, Bishop Thomas Olmsted, Bishop Michael Sheridan, Bishop Jaime Soto, and other highly respected theologians and Catholic business executives.

Evangomercial™ is a trademark of Catholics Come Home, Inc. Catholics Come Home® is a Federally Registered Trademark of Catholics Come Home, Inc.

 

The Image/Random House book entitled, “Catholics Come Home…God’s Extraordinary Plan for Your Life” authored by Tom Peterson, with Foreward by Dr. Scott Hahn, is now available.

 

 

This Press Release is provided by CatholicsComeHome.org
Copyright ©2012 Catholics Come Home, Inc. All rights reserved.

 


READING GUIDE: Consuming the Word

Consuming the Word: The New Testament and the Eucharist in the Early Church by Scott Hahn

Discussion Questions for Individual Reflection or Group Study

This classic book by Dr. Scott Hahn is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how the New Testament writers understood the Word of God and the sacrament of the Eucharist. Within its pages, readers will come to see why, long before the New Testament was a document, early believers saw it as a sacrament. The author examines some of Christianity’s most basic terms to upack what they actually meant to the apostles and their first hearers, providing a powerful and welcome guide as Catholics are challenged to engage in the new evangelization—the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church today.

 

Chapter 1: The Sacrament of the Scroll

St. Hippolytus of Rome talked about the connection between reading the outside of the Scriptures and understanding the inside, referring to the Old and New Covenants. St. Jerome talked about “eating the open book.” As we begin this study, what do you think these saints meant?

St. Gregory the Great said, “What the Old Testament promised, the New Testament made visible…. Therefore the Old Testament is a prophecy of the New Testament; and the best commentary on the Old Testament is the New Testament.” In your own words, explain what St. Gregory meant by this.

Why is a true understanding of the New Testament, the New Covenant, especially urgent today, as the Church embarks upon the New Evangelization?

Scott Hahn says, “We cannot deliver what we do not possess.” What steps can you take to really know “the Word” in order to take that Word out to the world, in the same way the first Christians did?

 

Chapter 2: Before the Book

We refer to the New Testament in literary terms, thinking of it as Christianity’s sacred and authoritative text. Scott Hahn says that the first-century believers didn’t think of it this way. What did the New Testament mean to them?

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be alive in New Testament times? Unless you were very wealthy, you would not have had access to books of any kind. How would this have changed the way you would have experienced Scripture back then?

Describe how the early Christians understood the term “canon.” How does this differ from the meaning we usually give it today?

Scott Hahn says that if we truly seek to understand the way early Christians understood the faith, we should expect to be surprised. What do you think he means by that?

 

Chapter 3: The New Testament in the New Testament

What did the first Christians mean by the term “New Testament”? What did Jesus mean when he used the term, translated as “new covenant” in Luke 22:20? In what way does it refer to more than just a “text”?

If the Greek word diathēkē and the Hebrew word berith can both be more accurately translated in English as “covenant” rather than “testament,” how can we explain the preponderance of the English term “New Testament” instead of “New Covenant”?

Christians throughout the ages agree that Jesus’s death was a once-for-all sacrifice (see Romans 6:10; 1 Peter 3:18). But why? What made Jesus’s crucifixion a sacrifice? And why would this concept have been unthinkable to a first-century Jew?

If you could only hear the readings and prayers in the liturgy (and not be able to read them for yourself), how might this be different from the way you hear the words of the liturgy today?

 

Chapter 4: The New Testament After the New Testament

Describe how the early Christians and Church Fathers thought of the New Testament as a “dynamic reality,” not just a collection of writings.

How is the strong use of covenantal language—a description of the early Christians’ family bond with God—key to our understanding of the Eucharist today?

Why is it important for Christians today to gain a familiarity with the practices and day-to-day life of first-century Jews in Palestine? Why do we need to understand Israel’s institutions and social structures?

How is the way an early Christian understood the terms covenant, sacrifice, and sacrament different from your understanding today? How can you regain the primary sense of these biblical terms?

 

Chapter 5: The Original Setting of the New Testament

In what way did Jesus declare the New Testament not a text but an action?

Why were the books of the New Testament the only books approved to be read during the liturgy?

What did Jesus do at the Last Supper that transformed his death forever from an execution to an offering? What did the Last Supper have to do with what happened on Calvary?

Explain in your own words how Christ’s redemption only truly makes sense from the perspective of the Eucharist.

What did the terms todah and eucharistia suggest to first- and second-century believers? What impact on your own life might a deeper understanding of these terms have?

 

Chapter 6: The Church of the New Testament

In our media-saturated culture, it’s hard to imagine a world without books and publishing. What means did Jesus employ to share his message?

Why was Jesus so intensely interested in the idea of “succession”—the handing on of the Good News and the New Testament? And if the process wasn’t about establishing texts and institutions, what was important to Jesus?

How can we become, like John, “beloved disciples” of Jesus? How can we develop an increasingly intimate relationship with him, and what clues does John’s response to seeing a vision of Jesus in his power and glory leave for us?

How do apostolic tradition and apostolic succession “define each other,” according to Pope Benedict XVI?

St. Clement of Rome observed that tradition and succession produce natural benefits of peace and good in the Church’s earthly society. What examples of this can you identify in today’s Catholic Church?

 

Chapter 7: The Old Testament in the New Testament

Describe how Christian worship in the ancient world can be compared to today’s mass media.

Define the process we know as “canonization,” and explain why it is important.

Scott Hahn says that, for the Apostles, Jesus himself is the key to understanding the Old Testament. Why do you think this is true?

Why does St. Peter insist that Scripture should not be a “matter of one’s own interpretation” (see 2 Peter 1:20)? What are some problems that can arise when people try to understand Scripture apart from the Church’s teaching? Can you cite some contemporary examples of this?

Explain in your own words the proper relationship between Scripture and the Church.

What do you think St. Augustine meant when he said, “The New Testament is concealed in the Old, and the Old Testament is revealed in the New”?

Why did the Christians in the West come to call their short creeds the “rule of faith”?

 

Chapter 8: The Canon of the New Testament

In second century Rome, people could choose to study with “fashionable teachers who claimed to be Christian, but who were definitely out of step with the bishops of the Catholic Church.” What ramifications did this have back then? Can you think of some contemporary examples today? What are some of the results of thinking and acting this way?

What were Marcion’s main religious beliefs? How did his heresy influence the world?

What response did the Church make to Marcion and other heretics of this time? What providential purpose do heresies serve, according to St. Augustine?

In your own words, explain how and why the Church had the authority to make the infallible decision about what Scriptures were included in the New Testament.

Now that we have the New Testament, why is the Old Testament still essential? Why would Pope Pius XI say that, “spiritually, we are all Semites”?

 

Chapter 9: The New Testament and the Lectionary

Catholics are generally thought to be less familiar with the Bible than their Protestant brothers and sisters. In essence, though, describe how a Protestant might only receive a limited “biblical worldview” compared to a Catholic who attends daily or even just Sunday Mass.

Where did the lectionary come from?

How is the Catholic approach to Scripture precisely the opposite of the approach Scott Hahn used when he was a Protestant pastor?

Define in your own words the term “Christian dogma.”

Explain what the phrase lex orandi, lex credenda (“the law of prayer is the law of belief”) means for us today. How does it relate to the lectionary?

 

Chapter 10: Trusting the Testaments

Scott Hahn says there is a close relationship between the pages of Scripture and the person of Jesus, both of which we call the Word. How do these two mysteries illuminate each other?

List some of the ways Jesus brought the sacred texts of the Old Testament into his preaching. How did he view the Old Testament?

How should we view Scripture? How can we trust that it comes from God and is divinely inspired?

The apostle Peter says that Scripture should never be a matter of one’s own interpretation, but that “men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God” (2 Peter 1:21). How is this Holy Spirit more than just a “helper”? Describe the Holy Spirit’s and the prophets’ part in the words of Scripture. How can we have full confidence in the Bible and its message?

The author says that no matter when the books of the Bible were written, God speaks through the ages to address the present situation of the faithful. Is this how you view the words of Scripture? Give an example of how the Bible is relevant to something you are facing today.

Have you ever questioned the divine authority or the credibility of either the Bible or of Jesus himself? What stumbling blocks in the Bible have challenged your own beliefs? How were you able to answer these questions for yourself? How can you help someone else to view the Bible and Jesus in light of faith?

Scott Hahn says that the way the Bible communicates is perfectly harmonious with the mystery of Christ himself. In your own words, explain what he means by this.

Why do you think God chose to convey his deepest truths through fallible human instruments? Why does he choose to show his power through human weakness?

In your own life, can you see evidence of God’s power being manifested in your own weakness? Describe how.

How can faith and reason work in tandem in how we interpret the Bible? How can we avoid intellectual arrogance and pure rationalism?

What is the definition of “hermeneutic of suspicion,” and how can we avoid its trap?

What does “intellectual humility” look like, and how can this help us to understand the Bible’s truth?

 

Chapter 11: The New Testament and Christian Doctrine

How did the Church fathers deal with Arius and his heresy? What finally settled the Arian controversy?

Do you see any heresies today in the Church, and if so, what are they? How do you see the Church dealing with them?

What positive benefits for the Church can come out of heresies and the controversies they bring?

What is Catholic dogma and why is it important? How does it relate to the Scriptures and to Jesus himself?

As Catholics, how should we read and interpret Scripture? How can an understanding of dogma help us gain new insights into sacred texts—more so than if we were to understand the Bible purely on our own?

 

Chapter 12: The Mysterious Plan in the New Testament

How are Old Testament and the New Testament united? What did St. Paul mean when he wrote about “the plan of the mystery” (Ephesians 3:9; 1:10)?

The Greek word for “plan” used by St. Paul is translated as “economy.” What did Paul and later the Church fathers mean by “economy”?

Another word that the Bible uses differently than we think of it today is covenant. Describe the biblical definition of a covenant. How is it different than some sort of a contract?

What is the goal of “the divine economy,” and how is it revealed by the many covenants God makes with his people throughout salvation history?

What is the “divine pedagogy” as used by Paul and the Church fathers? Have you seen evidence of this in your own life in the way God has dealt with you?

If you view the Bible as one long story of God’s loving care and instruction for his children, does this change your experience of reading it? How does this change your understanding of who God is?

Scott Hahn says the God revealed in Scripture is a Father who “stoops down to his children and lifts them up to share in his blessings.” Is this the way you perceive God? In your own life, how has God been this kind of a Father to you?

What should be the goal of all Bible study and Scripture interpretation? How can you better actualize the truth of Scripture, rather than just gaining information? How can the Word go from your head to your heart?

In what ways can each of us be a part of salvation history? How do you see Christ active in your own personal history?

How can we regain a sense of the saving power of the Word of God and the response God desires from us in the liturgy? How is the liturgy more than a symbolic ritual?

Why are the sacraments important? What effect do they have in our lives?

The Scriptures have a dual authorship, both human and divine. How is the liturgy similar to this? In your own words, describe the sacramental vision of the Church.

 

Chapter 13: The Sacramentality of Scripture

Why has the Catholic approach to biblical interpretation always been literal and historical?

Explain in your own words the interplay between divine inspiration and human authorship in the Bible—how is it the product of both God and man?

Describe how we can apply classic literary tools—grammar, logic, rhetoric—in our study of the Scriptures. What is “literalism,” and why do we want to avoid it?

Scott Hahn says the “letter is a sign”—what does he mean by this?

Why is it important to always view the literary sense of the Bible within a historical context?

Why is it important to understand the historical context to understand the spiritual and ethical truths the Bible conveys?

The author says that it’s important to also consider the religious meaning when studying the Bible—the understanding that in Bible times, life essentially was “religious.” Why does Hahn say that without this understanding, you can’t really uncover the integral meaning of events?

The Church teaches that grace builds on nature. What does this mean? What place does grace have in our lives?

In the same way, Scott Hahn says that faith builds on reason. In your own words, describe what he means by this.

The Church tells us we are mean to read the Scriptures “in the Spirit in which they were written.” What does this mean, and what is the result of studying the Bible this way?

How does a spiritual sense of the Bible transform the literary and historical meaning of the text?

Do you feel intimidated at the thought of serious Scripture study? How might you deepen your desire to really understand and become familiar with the Bible? How can you really absorb its message?

How can you approach both the Bible and the Eucharist in a way that authentically feeds your spirit? What should be the goal of your Bible study? How can the Word of life (the Bible) lead you to the Bread of Life (Christ in the Eucharist)?

 

Chapter 14: The Testament at the Heart of the Church

What does the phrase “the heart of the Church” mean? How can we read the Bible from the heart of the Church? What dispositions should we bring when we approach the Scriptures?

Have you ever thought that you are part of a heavenly “Bible study group” consisting of the saints and voices of Catholic Tradition and led by the Holy Spirit? How might this change the way you engage with the Bible?

Why is it important to read the Bible in light of the liturgy, not merely in private?

Scott Hahn mentions three principles for studying the Bible faithfully. List them here.

Explain what it means to study passages of Scripture in their true context.

How does studying the Bible in light of Catholic Tradition help us to test our own interpretations and protect us from arrogance?

Explain the role of Catholic dogma and doctrine as they relate to the Scripture.

Have you been a part of a Bible study group? How did this experience help you to grow spiritually? Why did Benedict XVI emphasize the importance of always coming back to a participation in the liturgy as part of faith-filled Bible study?

Why did Benedict XVI say that unless we acknowledge Christ’s real presence in the Eucharist, we will have an imperfect understanding of Scripture?

What do you think Benedict meant when he said that the Bible is not merely informative, but “performative”?

 

Chapter 15: Coming Full Circle

How is the experience of Augustine as a teenager and young adult similar to today’s culture and schools of thought?

Augustine came to believe that it was possible to “unravel the tangle woven by those…with their cunning lies” and deceptions. When you look around today, do you have this same confidence? How might you help to inspire this belief in those around you?

Describe how Ambrose was able to explain the Old Testament to Augustine in a way that helped him understand the New Testament.

Augustine came to see that truth was not to be found in endless discussions and arguments, but in the Church’s liturgy.  Pope Benedict XVI also said, “The primary setting for scriptural interpretation is the life of the Church.” How does this change the way you think of the Bible—and of the Liturgy?

As a final question, sum up what it means to truly “consume the Word.”

 



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