Sacred Scripture is Sacred Tradition

…If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31, 32).”

Pantocrator, Ruler of All

Sacred Scripture, the written Word of God, is in itself Sacred Tradition:

“It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books. This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament and 27 for the New.” (CCC* #120)

The Catholic and Apostolic Church has always taught and continues to teach:

“God is the author of Sacred Scripture. The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

“For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their Author, and have been handed on as such to the Church Herself.

“God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while He employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though He acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever He wanted written, and no more.

“The inspired books teach the truth. Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.

“Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book.” Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word which is Incarnate and Living.” If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, “open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures (Lk 24:45).” (CCC #105-108)
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NOTE: This post has been placed permanently in the upper page bar: Sacred Scripture/Tradition

* CCC: Catechism of the Catholic Church, #= paragraph numbers.

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Through Prayer We Lift Up Our Hearts to God

The Archbishops and Bishops of the United States in Conference assembled, to their Clergy and faithful people: Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Venerable Brethren of the Clergy,
Beloved Children of the Laity:

Praying Hands, Hands Praying“…From the teaching of the Church and from your own experience, you know that without the divine assistance you cannot walk in the footsteps of Christ. And you need not be reminded that the principal means of grace are prayer and the sacraments.

“Through prayer we lift up our hearts to God, and He in turn enlightens our minds, kindles our affections, gives power to our wills. For whether we adore His majesty or praise Him for His wonderful works, whether we render Him thanks for His goodness, or beseech Him for pardon, or beg Him to help and defend us, our prayer is pleasing to Him: it goes up as incense before Him (Rev. 5:8), as the voice of His children to the Father who loves them, who pursues them with mercy and offers them speedy forgiveness. Therefore, in joy and in sorrow, in adversity and in prosperity, “in everything, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6).

“We heartily commend the beautiful practice of family prayer. “Where there are two or three gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matt. 18:20). If this is true of the faithful in general, it applies with particular meaning to those who are members of the same household. The presence of Jesus will surely be a source of blessing to the home where parents and children unite to offer up prayer in common. The spirit of devotion which this custom develops, will sanctify the bonds of family love and ward off the dangers which so often bring sorrow and shame. We appeal in this matter with special earnestness to young fathers and mothers, who have it in their power to mold the hearts of their children and train them early in the habit of prayer.” (Pastoral letter of the archbishops and bishops of the United States assembled in conference at the Catholic University of America, September, 1919. )

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Personal note: Earlier I happened on a Catholic blog called, “Oh, for the love of chant!” with a post on the Liturgy of the Hours which are daily prayers of the Church. It explains this liturgical prayer with clear simplicity and seems a good addition to the above Bishops’ statement on prayer:

Year of Faith and the Liturgy of the Hours: The Liturgy of the Hours is the constant prayer of the Church. Even if you personally don’t do it, it is constant rhythm of prayer, as people are praying it all around the world every single day at every hour of the day and night.  Continue reading…

p.s. The daily prayers and spiritual readings of the Liturgy of the Hours are here at Divine Office.org and in the sidebar link.

The Peace and Harmony of the Universe

“And GOD saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good…
By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible (Gen. 1:31, Heb. 11:3).”

St. Clement I of Rome: “…let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the universe, and cleave to His mighty and surpassingly great gifts and benefits of peace. Let us contemplate Him with our understanding, and look with the eyes of our soul to His long-suffering will. Let us reflect how free from wrath He is towards all His creation.

Milky Way from MGIO* by Dave Harvey

Milky Way from MGIO by Dave Harvey
Click for Vatican Observatory Info. & Links

The heavens, revolving under His government, are subject to Him in peace. Day and night run the course appointed by Him, never hindering each other. The sun and moon, with the companies of the stars, roll on in harmony according to His command, within their prescribed limits, and without any deviation. The fruitful earth, according to His will, brings forth food in abundance at the proper seasons, for man and beast and all the living beings upon it, never hesitating nor changing any of the ordinances which He has fixed. The unsearchable places of abysses, and the indescribable arrangements of the lower world, are restrained by the same laws. The vast unmeasurable sea, gathered together by His working into various basins, never passes beyond the bounds placed around it, but does as He has commanded. For He said, “Thus far shalt thou come, and thy waves shall be broken within thee (Job 38:11).” The ocean…and the worlds beyond it, are regulated by the same enactments of the Lord. The seasons of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, peacefully give place to one another. The winds in their several stations fulfil, at the proper time, their service without hindrance. The ever-flowing fountains, formed both for enjoyment and health, furnish without fail their breasts for the life of men. The very smallest of living beings meet together in peace and concord. All these the great Creator and Lord of all has appointed to exist in peace and harmony; while He does good to all, but most abundantly to us who have fled for refuge to His compassions through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen.  (1 Clement to the Corinthians, Chs. 19, 20, A.D. 70-90)

Intimate Knowledge of Scripture

The Archbishops and Bishops of the United States in Conference assembled, to their Clergy and faithful people: Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Venerable Brethren of the Clergy,
Beloved Children of the Laity:

Scripture, Bible, Written Word of GodTo the Church which is taught all truth by the Holy Spirit, Christ entrusted the whole deposit of divine revelation. To the watchful care of the Church we owe the preservation of that Book from which Christians in every age have derived instruction and strength. How needful was the warning of the Apostle that “no prophecy of Scripture is made by private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20), can be seen in the history of those movements which began by leaving each individual to take his own meaning from the sacred text, and now, after four centuries, have ended in rejecting its Divine authority. The Church, on the contrary, with true reverence for the Bible and solicitude for the spiritual welfare of its readers, has guarded both it and them against the dangers of false interpretation.

In the same spirit, dear brethren, we exhort you to acquire a loving familiarity with the written word: “for what things soever were written, were written for our learning; that through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). This intimate knowledge of Holy Writ will bring you close to the Person and Life of our Savior and to the labors of His Apostles. It will renew in your hearts the joy with which the first Christians received the tidings of salvation. And it will deepen in you the conviction that the Scriptures are indeed the word of God, “which can instruct you unto salvation by the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15) — a conviction which cannot be shaken either by the disputes of the learned who “stumble at the word,” or by the errors of the unlearned and unstable who distort the Scriptures “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). (Pastoral letter of the archbishops and bishops of the United States assembled in conference at the Catholic University of America, September, 1919. Scripture references are in the text.)