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CSS Bible study on Romans

September 16, 2009 Leave a comment

CCS_Romans_coverTonight was the first night of a 25 week Bible study on the book of Romans that a friend told me about.  It is a strictly Catholic group study by Catholic Scripture Study International.  The $50 individual registration comes with a binder of lessons and study sheets.  The weekly study involves facilitator guiding us through the teachings, DVD’s and individual sharing homework answers.  This study of Romans is written by Scott Hahn, a well renown Catholic convert.

The book of Romans is probably the single most disputed Biblical book between Catholics and Protestants. This book written by St. Paul is the book from which Martin Luther built his doctrine of “justification by faith alone”. Luther twisted St. Paul’s words to fit his own false teaching and even added (in his Lutheran Bible) the word “alone” to Romans 3:28 in his attempt to further enhance his doctrine of “Sola Fide” (meaning that by faith alone we are saved).

There are over 100 participants in my area.  The study is done at two Catholic parishes: St Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Southwest Ranches, FL and St Bernadette Parish in Hollywood, FL.

Monday … 8:45am to 10:15am … @ St Bernadette Parish
Wednesday … 7:30pm to 9:00pm … @ St Mark Parish
Thursday … 8:45am to 10:15am … @ St Mark Parish
Thursday … 3:30pm to 5:00pm … @ St Mark Parish

There’s about 30+ in the Wednesday night class so far.  I’m excited.

Communist Manifesto + lost weekend + homosexuality

January 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Communist ManifestoHOMEWORK CATCH-UP — behind on some assigned reading, I spent some of the day reading The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx for Contemporary Philosophy class tomorrow.

PRE-THEOLOGY UPDATE — (1) the chapels in our off-campus housing should be done in about 4-6 weeks.  (2) Since we raised concerns about feeling distant from the campus community, our personal “free-weekend-a-semester” opportunity has been rescinded.  (3) Our house will have resident priest in a couple weeks.  (4) Our backyard furniture has no status yet.

RECTOR’s CONFERENCE – (Fr Michael) — part 3 of a series on Fatherhood titled after a 2005 Vatican document, “The Instruction on the Criteria for Vocational Discernment with Regard to Persons with Homosexual Tendencies in View of Their Admission to the Seminary and Holy Orders.”  [full text of document]

PRE-THE NIGHT PRAYER & ROSARY — 10pm.  

INCONSISTENT SCRIPTURE — as I’m practicing tomorrow’s Mass reading (I have lector duty), there are 2 passages to choose from since it’s the feast of the Conversion of St Paul.  There’s a detail in both that is inconsistent.  In one reading, when Paul is blinded by the light and hears Jesus speak to him, his companions “heard the voice” of Jesus … but in the other passage, they “did not hear the voice.”  I tried finding some footnotes in various Bible versions, but only found a note in the NRSV that noted the inconsistency, but didn’t give any possible explanations.  — I need to look up a comentary in the library

synoptics + Mark + Matthew + Columbian food + pro-life Rosary

January 22, 2008 Leave a comment

MASS – (Fr Santos) — “the sabbath was made for man , not man for the sabbath”

SPANISH 2 – (Dr Jimenez) — chapter 15 on haber + past participles.  If we stay on schedule this semester, we’ll try to read the Spanish version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

New Testament class @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FLNEW TESTAMENT – (Fr Michael) — today, we started the Synoptic Gospels (reviewed side-by-side syn-optically), more specifically the Gospels of Mark & Matthew.  Even though Mark is the shortest gospel book, 80% of Mark’s verses are reproduced in Matthew while 65% is in Luke.  There may also exist a hypothetical source “Q” that scholars propose to explain other similarities between Matthew & Luke not borrowed from Mark. 

CULTURAL FOOD NIGHT — today was Columbian food night with a small army of cooks creating some great food.
Columbian Food Night @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Columbian food night @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL Columbian food night @ St John Vianney College Seminary, Miami, FL

PRO-LIFE ROSARY — after dinner in the McCarthy Chapel on the anniversary of Roe vs Wade for the dignity of all human persons, especially for the end to abortion.

must read Bible

November 30, 2007 Leave a comment

Bible = sharp knifeI stumbled upon this graphic while looking for a grocery list [it’s my new Pre-T house job to keep food stocked].  It instantly reminded me of one of my favorite Scripture passage, that I would teach on the first day of 7th grade Pre-Confirmation classes.  Hebrews 4:12-13 says,

Indeed,the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

I also recall a newsflash I read in the Florida Catholic this week about Pope Benedict XVI urging Christians must read the Bible.  He highlighted St Jerome’s famous line, “ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.”  — we can never say it enough

“follow me” & trust

July 1, 2007 3 comments

plowToday’s readings spoke directly to me.  In the first reading (1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21), Elijah (directed by the Lord) called Elisha to follow and succeed him as a prophet to the people.  Elisha recognized God’s call and left his life, sacrificed (literally), and did God’s will wholeheartedly, knowing a prophet’s life is miserable (but the retirement benefits are out of this world).

Then, in the Gospel reading (Lk 9:51-62), some disciples tell Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”  (–easier said than done)  When some start to hesitate, Jesus reminds them, “… go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”  They declare they’re willing, but don’t give up their old lives to respond to the call.  Jesus sums up with “No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the kingdom of God.”

I need some clarification here!  The basic message seems to be the first commandment, “trust God wholeheartedly without reservations.”  But the fine print seems blurry.  How “blindly” are we to follow “God’s will.”  It seems to be a extremist’s motto.  It’s demanding, unquestionable and instantaneous.  Where’s the discernment process?

As we discern God’s will for the “big” things in our lives, like choosing a vocation to the priesthood, religious life, marriage or the single life, hearing the call is difficult.  I guess that’s why discernment takes so long.  But how do you know when you have an answer or final decision that has God’s hologram stamp?  I’ve heard that some who become priests still have doubts, even after a 6-9 year discernment process.  Some closure would be the least you could get for a lifelong commitment.  — Is it just me?

time & space

June 20, 2007 3 comments

Chuck MisslerSome scientific notes I took from the first 2 audio sessions “Learn the Bible in 24 Hours” by Chuck Missler (protestant fundamentalist) to help me understand some concepts of time & space.  (For an excellent 24 hour Catholic Bible study, check out Jeff Cavins’ The Great Adventure).  I hope I don’t mis-paraphrase any points:

(*) Despite many misconceptions, we have concluded within the past century, that “the universe, time, length & mass are finite, NOT infinite“.  Time is subject to gravitational forces.

(*) “Twin Astronauts, part 1.”  1 astronaut travels to Alpha Centauri (the next closest star to the Sun 4.5 lightyears away) at HALF the speed of light, 9 years one way + 9 years back = 18 years.  However, the traveling twin is 2 years & 9 months younger than the other.

(*) “Twin Astronauts, part 2.”  If 1 astronaut travels to Alpha Centauri at the speed of light, 9 years + 9 year = 18 years.  However, the traveling twin only aged 46 days.  Wow! 

(*) “Eternity IS NOT lots of time.”  Therefore, God (eternal) is outside the dimensionality of time altogether.  We see time as a series of events, like watching a parade pass by.  God uses his ability to be outside of time to send us a message and authenticate it by fullfulling prophecy.

(*) Space is NOT an empty vacuum.

(*) The ability to “bend time” may be seen in Hebrews 1:12 & Isaiah 34:4 when created things (like skies, heavens, earth) will be “rolled up” like a scroll or cloak, and “will be changed.  But you are the same, and your years will never end.”  Interesting.

Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) (1954)(*) There are actually 10 dimension, but we can only conceptualize 4 of them.  Hyperspaces (spaces in more than 3 dimensions) can only be visualized by 2 types of people, well trained mathematicians and small children (WHAT?). 

(*) The only known visual of a 4th dimension is seen in Salvador Dali’s 1954 Crucifixion (Corpus Hypercubus) by using a tesseract.  (I’m getting a headache staring at the picture looking for the 4th dimension

There are several other tidbits of facts.  These are just a few that jumped out at me.