March 3, 2016

Proclaiming his authority, Jesus told his critics that all they needed to do was search the Torah, for if they read it with care, they would see Moses was talking about him, “If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me” (John 5:46 RSV).[1] Prophecy about Jesus was not exclusive to the Hebrew Prophets. The whole of the Old Testament spoke of Jesus, and in and through him, the Scriptures were able to point the path… Read more

March 1, 2016

St. John Climacus, one-time abbot of St. Catherine’s Monastery at Sinai, gave us his book, The Ladder of Divine Ascent as a classical representation of monastic discipline and spirituality. While it was written by a monk, for monks, with the intention of helping support the monastic way of life, contained in it are spiritual gems which have not only made the text a classic, but have also made St John Climacus a representative of the penitential way of life during… Read more

February 28, 2016

When talking about Mary, it is always important to recognize that her status, her glory, comes from her relationship with Jesus. To understand what we say about her, we will often have to examine her son, and see what it does to help us understand her. What we have said in Parts I, II, and III should solidify why it is wrong to claim that her title, Mother of God, indicates some sort of creation of God by Mary. For… Read more

February 26, 2016

To continue our discussion on why Mary is to be seen and honored as the Mother of God (See Part I and Part II here), we must engage a discussion on the person of her Son, Jesus, the God-Man, and explore a part of the paradox which develops because Jesus is both God and Man. In the incarnation, the eternal Son, God the Word, assumed temporality unto himself as he became man. And yet, despite this, we say that he,… Read more

February 24, 2016

The cross was once a thing of pain and sorrow, an instrument of terror and oppression. Now it is treated as the opposite, a thing of hope and joy, an instrument of peace and freedom. Some say that such glorification of the cross comes at a cost, that its original purpose and function has become forgotten, and treated, at best, in a highly sanitized, if not romantic, fashion by Christians. After all, it was one of the worst tools for… Read more

February 22, 2016

This reflection comes out of many texts I read around St Valentine’s Day, when I read some people calling older single Catholics failures, saying such Catholics should have married young. Since they did not, they were told they were too picky, and it was their fault for being single now. Some even suggested such celibate Catholics ending up failing some sort of duty to be married and have children, and they failed because they were too selfish. There was no… Read more

February 21, 2016

Some might agree with what I have said in Part I about Jesus, that he is God who came in the flesh to be with us, but deny the logical consequent of that teaching, that is, deny saying Mary is the Mother of God. Why? God, they say, is not created. Therefore, God can have no mother. Since being a mother is tied with giving birth, the confusion here centers on the distinction between being born and being created. While… Read more

February 20, 2016

Despite the analysis and explanation which is to follow, it is important to point out from the start that the logical outcome of saying Jesus is God is to say that Mary is the Mother of God. To deny the title, Theotokos or Mater Dei, to Mary either leads a denial of the divinity of Jesus or to deny he was born of Mary, the former indicating a rejection of his divinity, the latter his humanity. Even in Scripture, this… Read more

February 18, 2016

In my previous post, I talked about how good followers of St. Thomas Aquinas should not feel confined to the letter of Aquinas’ writings, but rather, like Aquinas himself, put whatever was imperfect, the straw of conventions, to the fire, and emerge with the spirit that gives life, that is, to seek after the real core meaning of his teachings and not let the convention used to explain it get in the way of the truth[1]. What is true for… Read more

February 16, 2016

Near the end of his life, St. Thomas Aquinas had a mystical experience. He had an encounter with God which literally left him speechless. It shook up to the core of his being. He felt that what he had written, in relation to what he learned from it, was meaningless, useless straw which was worthy of being put to flames. He didn’t want to write any more, and despite the pleas of friends and colleagues, he did not finish his… Read more

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