Tag Archives: Catechism of the Catholic Church

The Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity by Fridolin Leiber (18531912)
Image via Wikipedia

“Now this is the Catholic faith: We worship one God in the Trinity and the Trinity in unity, without either confusing the persons or dividing the substance; for the person of the Father is one, the Son’s is another, the Holy Spirit’s another; but the Godhead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is one, their glory equal, their majesty coeternal” (Athanasian Creed: DS 75; ND 16).

—Catechism of the Catholic Church 266


The fundamental dogma, on which everything in Christianity is based, is that of the Blessed Trinity in whose name all Christians are baptized. The feast of the Blessed Trinity needs to be understood and celebrated as a prolongation of the mysteries of Christ and as the solemn expression of our faith in this triune life of the Divine Persons, to which we have been given access by Baptism and by the Redemption won for us by Christ. Only in heaven shall we properly understand what it means, in union with Christ, to share as sons in the very life of God. The feast of the Blessed Trinity was introduced in the ninth century and was only inserted in the general calendar of the Church in the fourteenth century by Pope John XXII. But the cultus of the Trinity is, of course, to be found throughout the liturgy. Constantly the Church causes us to praise and adore the thrice-holy God who has so shown His mercy towards us and has given us to share in His life.


Read the Bible at Mass

First Reading: Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9

Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai as the LORD had commanded him, taking along the two stone tablets.

Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with Moses there and proclaimed his name, “LORD.” Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out, “The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity.” Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. Then he said, “If I find favor with you, O Lord, do come along in our company. This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins, and receive us as your own.”

Responsorial Psalm: Dn 3:52, 53, 54, 55, 56

R. (52b) Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever; And blessed is your holy and glorious name, praiseworthy and exalted above all for all ages.

R. Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you in the temple of your holy glory, praiseworthy and glorious above all forever.

R. Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you on the throne of your kingdom, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

R. Glory and praise for ever!

Blessed are you who look into the depths from your throne upon the cherubim, praiseworthy and exalted above all forever.

R. Glory and praise for ever!

Second Reading: 2 Cor 13:11-13

Brothers and sisters, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

Gospel: Jn 3:16-18

God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.


Trinity Sunday

The dogma of faith which forms the object of the feast is this: There is one God and in this one God there are three Divine Persons; the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods, but one, eternal, incomprehensible God! The Father is not more God than the Son, neither is the Son more God than the Holy Spirit. The Father is the first Divine Person; the Son is the second Divine Person, begotten from the nature of the Father from eternity; the Holy Spirit is the third Divine Person, proceeding from the Father and the Son. No mortal can fully fathom this sublime truth. But I submit humbly and say: Lord, I believe, help my weak faith. Why is this feast celebrated at this particular time? It may be interpreted as a finale to all the preceding feasts. All three Persons contributed to and shared in the work of redemption. The Father sent His Son to earth, for “God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son.” The Father called us to the faith. The Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, became man and died for us. He redeemed us and made us children of God. He ever remains the liturgist par excellence to whom we are united in all sacred functions. After Christ’s ascension the Holy Spirit, however, became our Teacher, our Leader, our Guide, our Consoler. On solemn occasions a thanksgivingTe Deum rises spontaneously from Christian hearts. The feast of the Most Holy Trinity may well be regarded as the Church’sTe Deum of gratitude over all the blessings of the Christmas and Easter seasons; for this mystery is a synthesis of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. This feast, which falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost, should make us mindful that actually every Sunday is devoted to the honor of the Most Holy Trinity, that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated to the triune God. Sunday after Sunday we should recall in a spirit of gratitude the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us. The Father created and predestined us; on the first day of the week He began the work of creation. The Son redeemed us; Sunday is the “Day of the Lord,” the day of His resurrection. The Holy Spirit sanctified us, made us His temple; on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the infant Church. Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Symbols of the Trinity: Equilateral Triange; Circle of Eternity; Three interwoven Circles; Triangle in Circle; Circle within Triangle; Interwoven Circle and Triangle; Two Triangles interwoven in shape of Star of David; Two Triangles in shape of Star of David interwoven with Circle; Trefoil; Trefoil and Triangle; Trefoil with points; Triquetra; Triquetra and circle; Shield of the Holy Trinity; Three Fishes linked together in shape of a triangle; Cross and Triangle overlapping; Fleur de Lys; St. Patrick’s Shamrock. Things to Do:

  • Depending on the ages of family members, research symbols of the Trinity and create something for the centerpiece of your family table, or something for your family altar, such as a small banner or poster. It can be as little as a 4 x 6 photograph or something to use every year as a backdrop or wall hanging.
  • Think of different foods to serve that can reflect the symbolism of the Trinity. One example is clover leaf rolls. These rolls are formed with three balls of dough put into one hole of the muffin tin for each roll. They are easy to make. Use your favorite roll recipe (you can even buy frozen bread or roll dough), or search on the Internet for one of many examples.
  • The Directory on Popular Piety explains some of the pious exercises related to the devotion of the Holy or Blessed Trinity. Three very simple prayers are the Sign of the Cross, Gloria Patri (Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, etc.) and the Trisagion (meaning “thrice holy”): “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have mercy on us.” This is just one version, there are many others, and it is usually found in the Eastern liturgies.

via Catholic Culture | Liturgical Year

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Arminian Chronicles: How reliable is the Catechism?

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Image via WikipediaHere is another reponse from my friend but now it is on the relibility of the Catechism of the Catholic Church I will of course, respind in kind:

Arminian Chronicles: How reliable is the Catechism?

I claimed, and still do, that sola scriptura is not responsible for all the doctrinal disagreements between Protestants that my friend and CatholicNick had listed. Rather, I cited varying presuppositions, degree of education, study, spiritual maturity or the sinfulness of the individuals involved as other drivers of doctrinal disagreements. My friend disagreed and reasserted that sola scriptura is the reason. But I had offered an argument, regarding intra-Catholic disagreement regarding free will and predestination. He responded by saying:

The main problem here is the seeming assumption that these matters must be defined in an “either/or” fashion rather than “both/and.” Catholic teaching on matters such as these is often both/and, for example, the Catechism addresses the relationship of freewill and predestination by stating:

To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27-28; Psalms 2: 1-2). For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness. (Matthew 26:54; John 18:36; John 19:11; Acts 3:17-18) (Catechism of the Catholic Church 600> 

Freewill and predestination are not in opposition because of the nature of God, we humans only perceive that they are opposed due to the limits of our own understanding.”

This I think only extends the problem. First, the statement in the Catechism is not sufficient to resolve the dispute between Catholic Molinists and Catholic Dominicans. Molinists define freedom in terms of contra-causal power. Bob is able to choose chocolate or vanilla. He is not causally determined to one or the other. Dominicans disagree – they assert God’s concurrence with Bob determines what he will do, such that he cannot do otherwise.
It’s one or the other; it cannot be both. The both/and distinction only works when the two do not contradict each other – if there is a contradiction you must use either/or. We are either free in a Molinist sense or we are not and the catechism does not resolve this dispute.
Second, the Catechism states “to God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy”. This echoes Thomas Aquinas’ ‘eternal now’ doctrine. Certainly, Catholics have disagreed with this. Occham and Molina come to mind off the top of my head. The counter argument is that if God views April 1st as now and I don’t, then my perspective is wrong. It’s impossible for April 1st to be now and not now simultaneously. If God thinks April 1st is now, then it’s now. So my view that April 1st is future is God playing an April fool’s joke on me by making me think it’s future when it’s actually now.
Now I think the ‘eternal now’ doctrine is wrong, but my point isn’t to argue that. For my present point, it’s enough for me to note that other Catholics have disagreed with it as well. And it doesn’t seem to matter that they do, because 1) the Catechism is fallible and 2) in this case the Catechism is not underwritten by supposed infallible documents. So the Catechism can’t resolve this one.
But what about cases in which the Catechism is underwritten by supposed infallible documents? My friend uses the example of the Mass. Well, first off, if we limit the scope to only issues Rome has infallibly defined, we pair the list down quite a bit – I am guessing only a handful of items would remain. And that would go to my original point that most of the theological disagreements were not caused by sola scriptura.
The remaining items that are infallibly defined by Rome (and not also by scripture) are all examples of Rome causing division where scripture does not, because infallible definitions are affixed with anathemas.

Posted by Godismyjudge

Well how reliable is the Catechism? Very reliable. Although the Catechism in and of itself is not infallible, much of the content is infallible. Some items are subject to change as the document does touch on many disciplines and present understanding of certain theological concepts which the Church has yet to define (she defines when necessary). Nevertheless, because the document comes from the Universal Church and contains a summary of Catholic teaching, every Catholic is bound to adhere to it. This is nothing new. This is a matter of authority.
Now when it comes to predestination, it remains a mystery. And as a mystery we are not privy to full comprehension of it unless God reveals it to us. The Church’s infallible teaching on the mystery of predestination is with concern to the differing schools of thought is summed up the the Catholic Encylopedia as:

Owing to the infallible decisions laid down by the Church, every orthodox theory on predestination and reprobation must keep within the limits marked out by the following theses:

  • At least in the order of execution in time (in ordine executionis) the meritorious works of the predestined are the partial cause of their eternal happiness;
  • hell cannot even in the order of intention (in ordine intentionis) have been positively decreed to the damned, even though it is inflicted on them in time as the justpunishment of their misdeeds;
  • there is absolutely no predestination to sin as a means to eternal damnation. Guided by these principles, we shall briefly sketch and examine three theories put forward by Catholic theologians.

Thus there is no reason for divisions among the Faithful so long as they adhere to what is taught infallibly by the Church. Adhering to the what the Church teaches keeps one from going outside of the boundaries of Christian revelation. So in the case of Molinistic and Thomistic schools of thought, the reality is that a Catholic can look and take a side or not because either theory must adhere to the above.
The Church also infallibly teaches that God is outside of time and space. This is only right as He is the Uncaused Cause – the Creator of all and that includes time. Time or the concept thereof is a creature of God, a creation and as such, when speaking of our world, we are only subject to time.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah (RSV) 55:8-9)

Again, my friend cites the Church’s excommunications as more a cause of division that the man-made doctrine of Sola Scriptura, whereas I reply by reiterating what I stated in my previous response, these divisions already exist and come to light when one chooses against Christ and Church. Another point I wish to make concerns my reference to “either/or” and “both/and.” Once more, there is a misconception that the Church must infallibly decide every debate that comes before her or wells up within her. This is simply not the case. The Church will make an infallible proclamation when necessary and necessarily when and on what any person or groups deem as important and timely.
For example, many would like to see Mary infallibly proclaimed as the Mediatrix of All Graces. Well, as it stands, the present Pope does not see the need to do this. Why? Because this already Biblical and historical (infallible) teaching concerning the role of Mary in salvation history is not an issue that presently requires such a formal declaration. In fact, doing so may actually cause more problems not because the teaching on Mary fallible or in contradiction with Scripture but rather because this Truth is hard to swallow for many Christians outside the Church and thus may hinder the more important efforts of brining all the sheep back into the One Fold, Who is the Fullness of Truth.

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Arminian Chronicles: How reliable is the Catechism?

pedra sepulcral cristã das catacumbas de Domit...Image via WikipediaHere is another reponse from my friend but now it is on the relibility of the Catechism of the Catholic Church I will of course, respind in kind:

Arminian Chronicles: How reliable is the Catechism?

I claimed, and still do, that sola scriptura is not responsible for all the doctrinal disagreements between Protestants that my friend and CatholicNick had listed. Rather, I cited varying presuppositions, degree of education, study, spiritual maturity or the sinfulness of the individuals involved as other drivers of doctrinal disagreements. My friend disagreed and reasserted that sola scriptura is the reason. But I had offered an argument, regarding intra-Catholic disagreement regarding free will and predestination. He responded by saying:

The main problem here is the seeming assumption that these matters must be defined in an “either/or” fashion rather than “both/and.” Catholic teaching on matters such as these is often both/and, for example, the Catechism addresses the relationship of freewill and predestination by stating:

To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of “predestination”, he includes in it each person’s free response to his grace: “In this city, in fact, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place” (Acts 4:27-28; Psalms 2: 1-2). For the sake of accomplishing his plan of salvation, God permitted the acts that flowed from their blindness. (Matthew 26:54; John 18:36; John 19:11; Acts 3:17-18) (Catechism of the Catholic Church 600> 

Freewill and predestination are not in opposition because of the nature of God, we humans only perceive that they are opposed due to the limits of our own understanding.”

This I think only extends the problem. First, the statement in the Catechism is not sufficient to resolve the dispute between Catholic Molinists and Catholic Dominicans. Molinists define freedom in terms of contra-causal power. Bob is able to choose chocolate or vanilla. He is not causally determined to one or the other. Dominicans disagree – they assert God’s concurrence with Bob determines what he will do, such that he cannot do otherwise.
It’s one or the other; it cannot be both. The both/and distinction only works when the two do not contradict each other – if there is a contradiction you must use either/or. We are either free in a Molinist sense or we are not and the catechism does not resolve this dispute.
Second, the Catechism states “to God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy”. This echoes Thomas Aquinas’ ‘eternal now’ doctrine. Certainly, Catholics have disagreed with this. Occham and Molina come to mind off the top of my head. The counter argument is that if God views April 1st as now and I don’t, then my perspective is wrong. It’s impossible for April 1st to be now and not now simultaneously. If God thinks April 1st is now, then it’s now. So my view that April 1st is future is God playing an April fool’s joke on me by making me think it’s future when it’s actually now.
Now I think the ‘eternal now’ doctrine is wrong, but my point isn’t to argue that. For my present point, it’s enough for me to note that other Catholics have disagreed with it as well. And it doesn’t seem to matter that they do, because 1) the Catechism is fallible and 2) in this case the Catechism is not underwritten by supposed infallible documents. So the Catechism can’t resolve this one.
But what about cases in which the Catechism is underwritten by supposed infallible documents? My friend uses the example of the Mass. Well, first off, if we limit the scope to only issues Rome has infallibly defined, we pair the list down quite a bit – I am guessing only a handful of items would remain. And that would go to my original point that most of the theological disagreements were not caused by sola scriptura.
The remaining items that are infallibly defined by Rome (and not also by scripture) are all examples of Rome causing division where scripture does not, because infallible definitions are affixed with anathemas.

Posted by Godismyjudge

Well how reliable is the Catechism? Very reliable. Although the Catechism in and of itself is not infallible, much of the content is infallible. Some items are subject to change as the document does touch on many disciplines and present understanding of certain theological concepts which the Church has yet to define (she defines when necessary). Nevertheless, because the document comes from the Universal Church and contains a summary of Catholic teaching, every Catholic is bound to adhere to it. This is nothing new. This is a matter of authority.
Now when it comes to predestination, it remains a mystery. And as a mystery we are not privy to full comprehension of it unless God reveals it to us. The Church’s infallible teaching on the mystery of predestination is with concern to the differing schools of thought is summed up the the Catholic Encylopedia as:

Owing to the infallible decisions laid down by the Church, every orthodox theory on predestination and reprobation must keep within the limits marked out by the following theses:

  • At least in the order of execution in time (in ordine executionis) the meritorious works of the predestined are the partial cause of their eternal happiness;
  • hell cannot even in the order of intention (in ordine intentionis) have been positively decreed to the damned, even though it is inflicted on them in time as the justpunishment of their misdeeds;
  • there is absolutely no predestination to sin as a means to eternal damnation. Guided by these principles, we shall briefly sketch and examine three theories put forward by Catholic theologians.

Thus there is no reason for divisions among the Faithful so long as they adhere to what is taught infallibly by the Church. Adhering to the what the Church teaches keeps one from going outside of the boundaries of Christian revelation. So in the case of Molinistic and Thomistic schools of thought, the reality is that a Catholic can look and take a side or not because either theory must adhere to the above.
The Church also infallibly teaches that God is outside of time and space. This is only right as He is the Uncaused Cause – the Creator of all and that includes time. Time or the concept thereof is a creature of God, a creation and as such, when speaking of our world, we are only subject to time.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah (RSV) 55:8-9)

Again, my friend cites the Church’s excommunications as more a cause of division that the man-made doctrine of Sola Scriptura, whereas I reply by reiterating what I stated in my previous response, these divisions already exist and come to light when one chooses against Christ and Church. Another point I wish to make concerns my reference to “either/or” and “both/and.” Once more, there is a misconception that the Church must infallibly decide every debate that comes before her or wells up within her. This is simply not the case. The Church will make an infallible proclamation when necessary and necessarily when and on what any person or groups deem as important and timely.
For example, many would like to see Mary infallibly proclaimed as the Mediatrix of All Graces. Well, as it stands, the present Pope does not see the need to do this. Why? Because this already Biblical and historical (infallible) teaching concerning the role of Mary in salvation history is not an issue that presently requires such a formal declaration. In fact, doing so may actually cause more problems not because the teaching on Mary fallible or in contradiction with Scripture but rather because this Truth is hard to swallow for many Christians outside the Church and thus may hinder the more important efforts of brining all the sheep back into the One Fold, Who is the Fullness of Truth.

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Life In Christ: Journalists and Truth

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By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation.

Catechism of the Catholic Church #2497

via myCatholic.com » Customizable Catholic Homepage.

Life In Christ: Journalists and Truth

pedra sepulcral cristã das catacumbas de Domit...

By the very nature of their profession, journalists have an obligation to serve the truth and not offend against charity in disseminating information. They should strive to respect, with equal care, the nature of the facts and the limits of critical judgment concerning individuals. They should not stoop to defamation.

Catechism of the Catholic Church #2497

via myCatholic.com » Customizable Catholic Homepage.

Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer

General Description: Topic Tabs are the perfect way to mark your favorite Bible verses and be prepared for discussions with Fundamentalists.

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Catholic Answers Topic Tabs. Available at AquinasandMore.com

Features include:

  • 80 durable glossy coated tabs
  • Color and icon coded for easy recognition
  • Sub-divided into ten different apologetic categories
  • Each tab has book, chapter, and verse
  • Compatible with all Bible translations
  • Color category guide sticker to place on inside front flap or to use as a bookmark
  • via Catholic Bible Topic Tabs.

    Initial Thought

    Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.

    Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least one of] “the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses.” I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say “proof-text” equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists – so long as you read the Word.

    For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.

    Quality

    For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.

    Thoroughness

    To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the “2-second apologist’s card.” The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.

    After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.

    These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:

    1. The Holy Trinity and The Holy Spirit
    2. The Divinity of Christ
    3. Mary and The Saints [Should be a Motown-sound Catholic praise band.]
    4. Baptism
    5. The Bible Plus [Defense against Sola Scriptura.]
    6. The Pope, St. Peter
    7. The Holy Eucharist
    8. Faith Plus [Defense against Sola Fide.]
    9. Purgatory and Statues
    10. Fathers (Priests), Celibacy and Confession

    That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.

    Usability

    Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.

    I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.

    For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the “Apocrypha” and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) – tabs an all – plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.

    When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.

    Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.

    Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.

    Conclusion

    Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members – heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!

    You can purchase this book here.

    I wrote this review of Catholic Bible Topic Tabs for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

    I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

    Catholic Bible Topic Tabs: A Great Tool and Stocking Stuffer

    General Description: Topic Tabs are the perfect way to mark your favorite Bible verses and be prepared for discussions with Fundamentalists.

    topic tabs

    Features include:

    • 80 durable glossy coated tabs
    • Color and icon coded for easy recognition
    • Sub-divided into ten different apologetic categories
    • Each tab has book, chapter, and verse
    • Compatible with all Bible translations
    • Color category guide sticker to place on inside front flap or to use as a bookmark

    via Catholic Bible Topic Tabs.

    Initial Thought

    Normally, I do not start off my review of a product with the description provided by either the publisher/producer or the seller (at least I do not recall if I do/did.) But in the case of Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs I wanted to make an exception.

    Topic Tabs are no ordinary product they are an apologetics tool. As the description states above, it is [at least one of] “the perfect ways to mark your favorite Bible verses.” I would not go so far as to say favorite verses as much as I would say “proof-text” equivalent verses. And yes, they will prepare you discussions with Fundamentalists – so long as you read the Word.

    For me, this product is a Bible study gem and must-have item for any Catholic, especially amateur apologists. You know, the guy who always has an answer in defense of the Church and is not afraid to charitably correct those who misunderstanding Catholic doctrine, etc. even if that means he gets to taste a little dirt from the bottom of his feet? Yours truly is one of them.

    Quality

    For $12.95, these topic tabs are a bargain. They are of quality construction and are so specific in nature that it had me wondering during application, why the cost was not more. As with many things Catholic, especially from Catholic Answers, the instructions are short, detailed and well-written. Furthermore, Catholic Answers does well in warning the user not take care during application as the glue on the stickers is meant to keep it in place. My thoughts are that they foresaw the potential toss across the room at a particularly stubborn and annoying opponent. Not a recommended tactic for any person, especially one defending the Church, but surely one that has crossed the minds of even the most experienced professional Catholic Apologist.

    Thoroughness

    To reiterate what I wrote above, the product came with very detailed instructions part of which included a ruler for proper placement and, what I will call, the “2-second apologist’s card.” The latter is placed on the inside of the back cover of your Bible and acts as a cheat sheet for your cheat tabs. For example, if you get stuck explaining something or need to refresh/compose your argument or response, this is the place to go. This 8-page (7 with content), fold-out card effectively navigates you through the 80 tabs that are now scattered throughout your Bible, especially within the New Testament.

    After meticulously applying all of the tabs, I was impressed by being able to see the Biblical roots of Our Faith in 3-dimensions. Couple that with the knowledge that these tabs only scratch the surface of Catholicism and you may have to remember to close your jaw before that fly buzzing around your office decides to take residence.

    These 80 tabs span across 15 major apologetics topics divided into 10 color-coded rows with icons to match:

    1. The Holy Trinity and The Holy Spirit
    2. The Divinity of Christ
    3. Mary and The Saints [Should be a Motown-sound Catholic praise band.]
    4. Baptism
    5. The Bible Plus [Defense against Sola Scriptura.]
    6. The Pope, St. Peter
    7. The Holy Eucharist
    8. Faith Plus [Defense against Sola Fide.]
    9. Purgatory and Statues
    10. Fathers (Priests), Celibacy and Confession

    That is a lot of content to fit in 80 tabs.

    Usability

    Here is where the rubber meets the road or better yet, where the thumb meets the tab. Thanks to the Tiber River Blogger Review Program, Catholic Answers’ Topic Tabs have been in my possession for a couple of months now. I purposely delayed writing any review on the product due to its nature and the intent expressed by the publisher: apologetics. This means the Tabs had to be road-tested for placement, ease and durability.

    I took my time applying the stickers and had my share of minor difficulties but that is my bad not theirs. (I looked over the instructions instead of actually reading them so some of my tabs are a bit too far inward.) After applying the tabs I flipped through them and tried to made myself comfortable with the order and placement as I waited for an opportunity to actually use them. Thanks be to God, I did not wait too long and the in the time I waited, I was unknowingly preparing for a 3-week long discussion on the Deuterocanon and some of our Catholic doctrines rooted therein.

    For 3-weeks straight, I was invited and re-invited to a Protestant bible study on the “Apocrypha” and with my Ignatius Press Catholic Bible (RSV-CE 2nd Edition) – tabs an all – plus by Thomas Nelson New American Bible, Catholic Study edition and the Catechism of the Catholic Church plus some Sacred Scripture cheat sheets in tow. Needless to say, the open nature of the discussion had me relying on my Topic Tabs more than any other extra-Biblical resource.

    When pressed to response to some accusation or utterance against Catholic doctrine, I was quickly able to find a Biblical passage to back up my explanation. Furthermore, these tabs held up and
    did not cause any problems with my Bible and still look as though I put them on yesterday, although they lean back a bit because I carry my Bible in a heavily loaded commuter backpack during the week.

    Anyway, I can safely say that these tabs are not only usable, they are essential. However, they are of no value to the user unless that user studies the Word of God with the Heart of the Church. This is essential because many of the passages that we use in defense of Catholicism are often followed with verses, before or after, that are used to contradict the Fullness of Truth as revealed by God to His spouse the Church.

    Like any tool, proper instruction and practice is required prior to being able to use it at full capability.

    Conclusion

    Buy one for each Bible that is not a family heirloom. Also buy one for your kids and family members – heck, buy Topic Tabs as stocking stuffers for Christmas!

    You can purchase this book here.

    I wrote this review of Catholic Bible Topic Tabs for the Tiber River Blogger Review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Oplatki and Advent Calendars. For more information and to purchase, please visit Aquinas and More Catholic Goods.

    Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases.

    I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

    One Minute Meditations: Truthfulness

    Some people listen – and want to listen – to nothing but the words they carry in their own heads.

    – St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #575

    via myCatholic.com » Customizable Catholic Homepage.

    Life in Christ: Living in Truth

    The disciple of Christ consents to “live in the truth,” that is, in the simplicity of a life in conformity with the Lord’s example, abiding in his truth. “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth.”(264: 1 Jn 1,6) (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2470)

    “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth…”  (1John (RSV) 1:6)


    One Minute Meditations: Truthfulness

    Some people listen – and want to listen – to nothing but the words they carry in their own heads.

    – St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #575

    via myCatholic.com » Customizable Catholic Homepage.

    Life in Christ: Living in Truth

    The disciple of Christ consents to “live in the truth,” that is, in the simplicity of a life in conformity with the Lord’s example, abiding in his truth. “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth.”(264: 1 Jn 1,6) (1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2470)

    “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not live according to the truth…”  (1John (RSV) 1:6)


    Life in Christ: Avoiding Rash Judgement

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    Image via Wikipedia

    To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

    Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.[279]

    –1997 Catechism of the Catholic Church 2478

    via myCatholic.com »Customizable Catholic Homepage.

     


    [279] Sirach 21:28, “A whisperer defiles his own soul and is hated in his neighborhood.”

     

    Just Saying
    Keeping accordance to this is extremely difficult for men today and yesterday. However, the saturated nature of information today certainly does less to aid in the initial impression one receives concerning a person or given situation. Thus we require increasing amounts of grace to keep us from committing sins that, for me, can lead to if not equate the “bearing of false witness” against our neighbors.

    For example, consider the “person of interest” in a highly publicized crime investigation. The media often presents their reports in manner that is generally interpreted by many to presume a certain amount of guilt. This is where the common notion of a “media trial” comes into play and why it is so important for jurors to remain in a media black-out in these cases.

    It can be said that this bias, whether intended or not, is part of state of man after the Fall. Our concupiscence, or tendency towards sin, means that many of our thoughts begin with the presumed negative view of an action or person based on what is visible or heard, usually out of context. So it is incumbent upon to make sure that, like the Catechism teaches us above, to give the benefit of the doubt and seek to know and understand the truth prior to determining whether an act or person is bad or negative, thus we presume too much and fail to “notice the log that is in [our] own eye” (Luke 6:41, Cf. Matthew 7:3).

    Without asking God for grace in this area of our lives and, in turn, accepting it, we would remain at a loss in the filth of our defiled soul.