Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Most of the early heresies were Christological in nature and were resolved largely at the Councils of Nicea, Constantinople, and Chalcedon (325, 381, 451 respectively).
Homework: identify, through independent research, the following heresies. Know who the proponents (leaders) and opponents were, the era (decades) in which it was most popular, and the regions in which it was strongest.
Modalism / Monarchianism / Sabelianism
That will do for now. Who knew there were so many wrong ways to understand Jesus?!
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
From the "Modern Catholic Dictionary" edited by Rev. John A. Hardon, S.J. (also the editor of our book.)
A gynecological illness caused by the abnormal presence of
tissue that more or less perfectly resembles the lining of the uterus
(endometrium) but growing outside of the uterus itself and distributed in other
pelvic areas. Since this aberrant endometrial tissue responds to the
hormone-induced changes of the woman's menstrual cycle but, unlike the true
endometrial lining of the uterus, is entrapped in other tissue such as bone and
muscle, its cyclic changes of menstruation, causes the problem to repress, and
even after the pregnancy improvement is sometimes sustained for a period up to
three or four years.
Since a surgical approach to the problem is not always practical or
successful, the so called "contraceptive pill" has been recommended for use over
prolonged periods to eliminate the cyclic changes of the menstrual cycle and
thus eliminate the periodic pain of endometriosis. It should be noted, from a
moral viewpoint, that although this progestational-estrogen type therapy is, in
itself, essentially the same as that used in the "contraceptive pill," it is not
used in theses cases as a contraceptive. the purpose of the therapy is to
ameliorate a seriously abnormal and indeed pathological condition insofar as it
is aggravated by hormonal changes of the menstrual cycle. Although temporary sterility is a side effect of the treatment, contraception is not the purpose, and thus the treatment in no way conflicts with Catholic teaching.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
2. Consider that this document was a lecture delivered to people on the verge of converting to Christianity and being baptized. Imagine that you are an adult who knows nothing of the Christian Faith. How would you respond to Cyril's catechetical instruction?
3. Compare the passage "On Christ" to the section of the Nicene Creed, "I believe in Jesus Christ...and his Kingdom will have no end." What are the differences / similarities. Why do you think these assertions about Christ were necessary?
4. People often ask, "If belief in Christ is necessary for salvation, then what happened to all of the people who lived before the coming of Jesus?" How does Cyril adress this question in the passage "On His Burial."?
5. In the passage "On His Ascension" Cyril exhorts his audience to make the sign of the cross often. Even two or three generations ago the sign of the cross was used much more frequently than it is today. Do you think the current and recent generations are, in Cyril's words, "ashamed of the Cross of Christ"?
6. Pope John Paul II is credited with developing a radical new "Theology of the Body". What can you extract from this brief writing about Cyril's Theology of the Body, particularly as it pertains to goodness, sexuality, and food.
Finally, I'm just gonna throw this out there and let you prepare your arguments against me: I believe that the passage "On Apparel" should be posted above every entrance to every mall in America. "Show me where I'm wrong."
Ad Jesum per Mariam,
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
2. Analyze St. Cyprian's use of Scripture to support his arguments. Does he use scripture effectively and with sound interpretation? Provide and analyze three examples of his use of Scripture
3. St. Cyprian takes a rather harsh stance against those who "break away" from the Church founded by Christ. Compare and Contrast his position with that of the Church as published in the most recent document "Responses to Some Questions on Certain Aspects of the Doctrine of the Church", particularly in questions two and three.
4. In our modern society we shy away from making "absolute" statements, or any statements that appear to "judge" or exclude others. Bearing that in mind, what are some elements of St. Cyprian's treatise that could be put to good use today in the effort to reconcile and unify the diverse Christian Denominations.
5. Support the Argument that St. Cyprian is not Judging those who break away form the Church, but rather trying to correct their misguided actions.
This should do.
Please remember to pray for the soul of Mrs. Elda Garcia, mother of Mrs. Hoy, and for her family.
Eternal Rest grant unto her, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon her. Requiescant in pace. Amen.
Ad Jesum Per Mariam,
Monday, September 10, 2007
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
1. Why do you think he was so eager for martyrdom? Cite examples form the text where he justifies his desire to die.
2. Do you think in desiring death St. Ignatius was being a true follower of Christ's example or do you think he was a bit overzealous - even suicidal in his thinking? Explain.
3. How do you think it would have impacted the Church if all of the early bishops shared this zeal for martrydom? Would it be possible for bishops today to demonstrate this same zeal for suffering, even if not for martyrdom?
Ignatius to the Philadelphians
1. St. Ignatius' primary concern seems to be for the unity of the Church under the leadership of the bishop. Why do you think this is of such importance to him?
2. St. Ignatius is very critical of divisions within the Church and with those who hold "different gospels". How do you think he would react to the pluralism and diversity within Christianity today, which has hundreds of different denominations?
Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans
1. Ignatius addresses a specific heresy within this community. From his writing, describe what you think the details of this heretical belief are, particularly the doctrine pertaining to Jesus.
2. Again, Ignatius exhorts them to adhere closely to the bishop. Why do you think this was of such great importance?
Ignatius to Polycarp
1. In chapter 2 Ignatius compares the bishop to a pilot (of a ship). Why do you think he would make such a comparison?
2. Explain why Ignatius uses the metaphors of an athlete, an anvil, (ch. 3) and a clad warrior (ch. 6) to describe a faithful Christian.
3. What is Ignatius' view of the role of marriage in society?
Chew on these. Until next time,
Ad Jesum Per Mariam,