Catholic Classes » Catechumenate
Summary: This podcast is an accessible dialogue on sound theology for people who are interested in knowing more about Catholicism. Interested people join practicing Catholics for an exploration of our relationship with God, our language, and our community. This search is called the Catechumenate. This series of podcasts corresponds with the Catechumenate for this liturgical year. Though the podcasts derive from one parish?s Catechumenate (St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Holladay, Utah), everyone who is interested in Christianity, especially from a Catholic perspective is a welcomed participant. Each podcast, and often a series of podcasts, link to an actual session at the parish. They extend the actual sessions? theme and discussions.
How we pray is who we believe ourselves to be. We profess our faith with the use of symbols, organization of time, and rites which make up liturgy. In this podcast, we explore some of the underlying ideas beneath these aspects of liturgy. Through these actions and words, something inexpressible is finally said: repent and believe, the reign of God is at hand. And this good news isnrsquo;t a matter of private redemption. Rather, something for all humanity, once for all. This reality contributes to the Churchrsquo;s insistence that liturgical prayer is not private because it is always a celebration of the church. It is the whole Body of Christ who prays each time any of us does. This is especially true of Mass, all of the sacraments, and all liturgical prayer. While personal and private prayer is a necessary aspect of all authentic Christian life, the individual Christianrsquo;s participation in the public prayer of the community is even more important. The public prayer of the church is powerful precisely in the reality that the people gathered for prayer (liturgy) are not the only ones present. In any liturgical prayer, the whole Mystical Body of Christ is present as well as all the choirs of angels. The church at prayer ndash;liturgy, in a word, is indeed a celebration of the whole Heavenly Jerusalem! The mystery of Christ is so unfathomably rich, that it cannot be exhausted in any single liturgical tradition. Even though the liturgy we pray around the world is one and the same, it is always set in a cultural context. In this way Christ reaches out to all people, while maintaining unity in love and charity. We are not isolated or alone, but united in love in the liturgy, always and everywhere! Liturgy is a primary place where we humans meet God the Creator, we experience in Christ the love of God reveled, and we are given the Spirit of Godrsquo;s love in which to live eternally. While liturgy is a foretaste of encounter with God ndash;holy communion, we will only truly begin to understand the significance of the liturgy when we are participating in the heavenly liturgy ndash;an experience that will bring us true joy and fulfillment.
As the gospel according to John suggests in chapter 14, we can grow to think of ourselves as a dwelling for the Trinity; God making a divine home in us. This podcast explores the mystery of the Blessed Trinity. It considers how the Trinity was revealed by God to us, how the Church received and expressed the revelation, and how we understand the words and deeds of God undertaken by Acirc; the Father, Son and Spirit. This Blessed Trinity is not illogical, nor contradictory, unreasonable or oppositional to belief in one God. It is a mystery of depth, not incomprehensibility. Our faith convinces us that the Trinity of God the Father who made us out of love, and God the Son who came among us to save us out of love, and God the Holy Spirit who infuses us with love and who sustains us in the Church will be revealed to us at the very hour we are welcomed into Heaven. This everlasting dwelling place, the Kingdom of the Blessed Trinity, is our true home. Our faith, as Christ so often emphasized, is of central importance to our lives. Our faith gives us the strongest, most certain assurance that the world of the supernatural is not an empty dream. Faith allows us to respond to God's invitation to friendship. Faith allows us to be wrapped up in God's arms, as it were, to allow ourselves to be loved by the God who lives among us and wants us close to the divine heart and live in the divine company. Trinity faith is the story of tremendous, powerful, and life-changing love. In it, we are baptized and the promise of life is established. In it the words and deeds of God's plan of loving goodness towards us is carried out in a three-fold manner: creating, redeeming, and sanctifying us. Just as in any relationship, we come to know another and ourselves more in actions than simply in words. So it is with God. God's actions in word and deed tell us about God. In these actions three characteristics become more and more evident: unity, distinction and relationship. Ever deepening understanding of the Trinity means paying attention to the action of the Trinity in our lives; being aware and appreciative of just how the divine family of love accompanies us and invites us to holy communion. Then our faith makes all the difference in how we live and move and have our being. It allows us to express our faith: belief in one God, and what God reveals to us; belief in Jesus Christ, God's Word made flesh, the one who dwells among us; and belief in the Holy Spirit in whom we find strength, courage and the insight of faith. In Trinity faith we find our true home.
The Holy Spirit is not a power or energy -- not to be confused with the "force" (though, perhaps understandable as a metaphor for the influence of the Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit is a real person "the identity of the love cited in 1 John 4:8, acirc;euro;oelig;God is love." Though the world neither sees nor knows Spirit, according to John's Gospel, we can plainly recognize the work of the Spirit. This podcast explores the work of the Spirit delving into some definitions, some aspects of the Spirit throughout salvation history, and some naming of signs and manifestations of the Spirit. These discussion points are key to understanding who the Spirit is, the Spirit's role in salvation, and ultimately out relationship with the Spirit. They make it plain that the Spirit is God's greatest gift.The Spirit is immanent in all of God's saving work. The Holy Spirit has been present in this world since the first moment of creation. The Spirit is the principle of life, without whom nothing would exist or continue to be. The Creed calls the Spirit, "the Lord and Giver of life." The Spirit's authorship of life is evident throughout salvation history. The Spirit's presence guides people and reveals to them, God. Thus the Spirit "sanctifies" life. This the Spirit's role throughout scripture climaxing in Jesus' promise to the Church of the Spirit's fullest strength. The Spirit remains with the Church and will stay until the end of time.The Spirit is manifest and signed "works made visible, through holy water, holy oil, holy fire, holy light, and holy hands. The dove, since ancient times has symbolized the presence of God's Spirit. This work guides the development and understanding of scripture and tradition, the teaching offices of the Church, the disposition of faithful hearts in witness, service, and prayernbsp; all to our communion with Christ.Surely then, since it is the Spirit who enables us to share in the reign of God on earth as it is in heaven, it follows that life in the Spirit fulfills our vocation on earth and the Holy Spirit is our guarantee and the reason we hope. This greatest gift of love, is "poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us!" The more we live in this love, the more we are able to give of ourselves, forgive repeatedly, share daily what we have, and be more patient, kind, faithful and gentle of heart. This love "the Spirit's presence in our lives, assures us of all that has been revealed and promised to us in Christ. Baptized into Christ, we are ourselves anointed by the Spirit of Love. And in that Spirit we become adopted children of God the greatest gift!
The idea of the Incarnation has been at the center of the last few discussionsnbsp; starting with the session on Advent themes. In the podcasts on Mary, her special role in the way of salvation is established for the incarnation of God in Christ Jesus.nbsp; This conversation covers some other aspects of Incarnation revolving around Jesus' birth.nbsp; Following the nativity story, we get to explore various dimensions and meanings of the names and titles ascribed for Jesus as we look at the one who grew in wisdom and knowledge.The most basic belief of all Christians is the Incarnation: the only-begotten Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial (one in being) with the Father brvbar; by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the virgin Mary, and became man. What mystery there is in this fact: the great divine being, the supernatural source of love and life, takes on human nature without losing the divine nature!This essential belief to our faith allows perhaps, a first response to the question, "What child is this?" After all, the simple question of Jesus, "Who do you say that I am?" opens to all human beings the way of salvation. Whether the answer is affirmative or negating, our journey cannot escape grappling with his question. Down through the centuries Catholics have proclaimed, tested, and affirmed the belief that Jesus is truly human and truly divine at one and the same time. We believe that the divinity and humanity of Christ is inseparable, true and complete.nbsp; We believe that our redemption depends on the genuineness of both his manhood and his divinity.In whatever way Jesus, at every stage of human development and life, could relate to the knowledge that as the second person of the Trinity he was united to a human nature, and his human soul knew that it was informed by, and totally united to, divinity, he did so fully. He learned about human life through experience and he did so voluntarily. His willing fully-mature humility in accepting the limitations of a finite creature, brings back together, man and God!We have come to know this Jesus literally, "God saves," as "Son of God," "Christ," and "Lord." As God-with-us "Emanuel"!, Jesus had to appear to all first simply as s human being, knowing that he had to bring other people to know his divinity. The crowds of people, in every age, indeed, even the apostles, grow in knowledge and understanding of this incarnated knowledge of God. This growth of grace continues and by this grace offered through Christ, God reconciles us and leads us in holy communion as sons and daughters of God!Acirc;This conversation covers some other aspects of Incarnation revolving around Jesus's birth. Following the nativity story, we get to explore various dimensions and meanings of the names and titles ascribed for Jesus as we look at the one who grew in wisdom and knowledge. For the full article go to www.catholicclasses.org.Song 1: "God is with us, Emmanual" by Bethany DillonSong 2: "This is what Love looks like" by For The CauseSong 3: "All that is Hidden" by Helena Buscema #38; Leslie Smith
:vote:In this second discussion on Mary, we explore her perpetual virginity, the annunciation of her role in the Christacirc;euro;trade;s incarnation,Acirc; and her assumption into heaven.Acirc; As stated in the first, what the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illuminates in turn its faith in Christ.Acirc; Five key doctrines, rooted explicitly or implicitly in the Bible, that reveal the truth of who Mary is.Acirc; This discussion continues through these truths.At the Council of Ephesus in 431 CE, the Church proclaimed that Mary is acirc;euro;oelig;the Mother of God.acirc;euro;Acirc; This term has a very specific meaning.Acirc; It does not mean that Mary gave to Jesus his divine nature.Acirc; The Son was, is and always will be one God acirc;euro;ldquo;the Holy Trinity. The Catholic Church does not teach that Mary is divine.Acirc; She is no goddess but a creature like us.Acirc; Acirc; Her womb is where Jesus received his human nature.Acirc; When the Son of God became man acirc;euro;ldquo;the Incarnation,Acirc; he did so through Mary.Acirc; She is the mother of Jesus.Acirc; Jesus is God.Acirc; Mary is the Mother of God.Maryacirc;euro;trade;s virginity is a sign of her singular devotion and total gift of herself to God. She is virgin not because sex is evil or incompatible with holiness.Acirc; Sex is good and created by God in the beginning and sanctified by Christ in the sacrament of Matrimony.Acirc; Acirc; Acirc; The ancient belief in Maryacirc;euro;trade;s perpetual virginity acirc;euro;ldquo;before, during and after Jesusacirc;euro;trade; birthacirc;euro;ldquo; is affirmed at the Lateran Council in 64p CE.Acirc; As virgin and mother, she is an exemplary realization of the Churchacirc;euro;trade;s vowed acirc;euro;ldquo;married and celibate.Mary is absolutely unique and special because she is the woman out of all of history who was chosen by God the Father to give human flesh and blood to his divine Son. Throughout history, God calls mere human beings to participate in the realization of salvation.Acirc; The angel Gabriel announces to Mary Godacirc;euro;trade;s intention and records her consent, sought by God and freely given by Mary.Acirc; The angelacirc;euro;trade;s greeting says who Mary is and what God has done for her acirc;euro;ldquo;the fullness of grace received at her Immaculate Conception.Acirc;Preserved from sin since the first moment of her conception, Mary does not suffer the consequences of original sin acirc;euro;ldquo;death.Acirc; Rather, at the end of her life, God assumed her body and soul into glory.Acirc; Acirc; Acirc; We believe she lives now in glory raised up by God who first chose her and revealed to her the way of salvation.Acirc; We give her the title, acirc;euro;oelig;Queen of Heaven,acirc;euro; because we believe so fervently that she shares in her sonacirc;euro;trade;s resurrection.Acirc; This event is called the dogma of the acirc;euro;oelig;Assumption.acirc;euro;Our discussion concludes having considered Maryacirc;euro;trade;s unique role in salvation and so in the Church.Acirc; Why we want to copy her faith, obedience and charity seems clear. As does our reverence for her as a means of grace which guides our journey acirc;euro;ldquo;all the while without diminishment of Christacirc;euro;trade;s role, who alone is Lord.Acirc; More on Mary from the the Cathecism
Join us in our discussion about the Blessed Virgin Mary as we acknowledge her role in salvation.Acirc; Acirc; St. Augustine asserts that while Eve is the called the mother of the human race, Mary is called "Mother of salvation." St. Jerome claims, "death through Eve, life through Mary." These ideas illustrate the importance of Mary's role in Christ's redemption.nbsp; In this the first of two discussions about Mary, we explore the "Immaculate Conception" of Mary and how she is the Church's model of faith.At the start of this discussion, it must be clear that what the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illuminates in turn its faith in Christ. Doctrines concerning Mary are part of the Word of God that consists of both Scripture and Tradition.nbsp; Like Mary, the Church is the faithful handmaid of God's Word. There are five key doctrines, rooted explicitly or implicitly in the Bible, that reveal the truth of who Mary is.The Catholic Church does not teach that Mary is divine. She is no goddess but a creature like us. She is absolutely unique and special because she is the woman out of all of history who was chosen by God the Father to give human flesh and blood to his divine Son.Acirc; This act of God ldquo;the Incarnation", is often misunderstood as the "Immaculate Conception."The "Immaculate Conception" does not refer to the conception of Jesus in Mary's womb. Rather, it refers to the conception of Mary in her mother's womb. This truth has been taught and believed since at least the third century. Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God (cf. Genesis 3:15 and Luke 1:28), was redeemed from the moment of her conception. This "dogma" was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854: "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. "Since she was to be the mother of the Redeemer" the one free from all sin so that he could be the perfect expiation of sin, it was necessary for her to be free from sin. Thus, God preserved Mary from original sin at the first moment of her conception.This first part of the discussion on Mary, shows how when we talk about Mary we ALWAYS do so in relationship to Jesus Christ. We do not worship her.Acirc; God alone is adored and worshiped. Our devotion to Mary is meant always and only to lead us to deeper devotion to Christ, her son. We believe Mary was chosen by God for this and is thus a new mother for a new people, the People of God in Christ. As such she is he exemplary realization of the Church.More on Mary from the the Cathecism
If ever there was a message to hear, the message of the Good News of Jesus that the reign of God is at hand and already in our midst is one you really want to share with everyone and proclaim to one and all, hear this! This conversation takes up the wondrous message about the reign of God, which is another way to say kingdom of heaven, and then how Jesus' life, death and resurrection started it all. This was the topic at the Orientation Session of the Catechumenate for this liturgical year at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, in Holladay, Utah, from which this podcast derives. At that session we spent a lot of time exploring the structures and experiences that are unique to each of the four various periods of the whole Catechumenate. The message that the structures and experiences of the whole Catechumenate raise-up is Jesus -- he proclaimed that the Kingdom of God is at hand. His life, death and resurrection invite us to hear this message. Jesus' message continues to be raised-up in the Church and the Church's message is that the Kingdom of God is in our midst. The Catechumenate is an apprenticeship of sorts in which people respond to Jesus' invitation to "come and see" where and how he lives in the Kingdom of God. It leads us to hear his message -- the Good News, and see how it transforms life. It leads us to how Jesus lives in the Church, and how the people of the church live in the Kingdom of God. People who hear this have to be asking, how?! There are several answers. First, the kingdom is where he is. Second, the kingdom is in the teaching that we must die in order to live -- participation in the "Paschal Mystery." Third, life in the kingdom is offered to everyone. Fourth, the kingdom belongs to the poor. Fifth, and most importantly, Jesus invites sinners -- the kingdom is not reserved only for those who behave themselves; it is not a reward for being righteous, for being lawful, or even moral and just. Sixth, once you give yourself to Christ and enter the dying and rising of your own journey of the Paschal Mystery, there will be signs in your life that will amaze you! And seventh, though the Church is not the kingdom of heaven, the reign of God is found in her midst. Thus, to know Christ, is in fact to know his community, just as it had been during his lifetime. During his lifetime his mission was not to free the world from all evils, that remains the church's work, his mission was to free us from slavery of sin; from missing the mark, which divine love sets as our destiny. This is why the kingdom is not something to be studied but a way of life to be lived. We live the life of the Spirit so as to remove the evils of the world, that, like Jesus' prayer, God's will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Hear this! This is our faith! Free upon request: OS1B1 What Did Christ Teach OS1B2 The Kingdom of God OS1B3 The Paschal Mystery Musical Interlude was "When Creation Celebrates" by Resonate. Recommended Reading: