The Catholic Letter

A Commentary on Catholic Catechism Articles

Chapter 2

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On Theology And History

"Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. The ministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christian instruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthily nourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture."

When you listen to modern theologians (even the Catholic ones), you end up hearing some of the craziest ideas.  If you ever watch the History Channel (most people have stopped watching it) you'll see show after show contradict the words of the Scripture with "historical" evidence.  Generally, the shows contain commentary from obscure little theologians and historians who want to make big splashes and big names for themselves.  

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On The Way We See Modern Times

The Church, as early as apostolic times, and then constantly in her Tradition, has illuminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, which discerns in God's works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in the fullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.
Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen. Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but it must not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelation reaffirmed by our Lord himself. Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light of the Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament. As an old saying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New.

Remember the movie Sixth Sense?  Some of you might have been smart enough to figure out the ending half way through the movie (my mom was), but I was clueless until the end.  

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On God's Justice vs God's Mercy

The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

I would say that Catholics read a lot less of the Old Testament than Protestants.  Personally, I think it's because of who the Old Testament is about.  And who the NEW Testament is about.

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On The Great Bible Plot

"The Word of God, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, is set forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the New Testament" which hand on the ultimate truth of God's Revelation. Their central object is Jesus Christ, God's incarnate Son: his acts, teachings, Passion and glorification, and his Church's beginnings under the Spirit's guidance.

The New Testament is like a climax and resolution of a great plot.   

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On The Way We Read Scripture

According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture: the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral and anagogical senses. The profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness to the living reading of Scripture in the Church.
The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by exegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal."
The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of God's plan, not only the text of Scripture but also the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.

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