Friday, October 31, 2014


I was reading a book yesterday in which a mother was lamenting the fact that her child had to learn everything from scratch.  Man has been around for a debatable number of millennia but each one must start at scratch again; here’s how to walk, this is the color blue, 2 plus 2 equals 4, it is wrong to hit your sister.
To some extent this is true, but each generation hopefully builds on the shoulders of giants.  There are still lessons we must learn on our own, “I don’t care what you say.  He loves me and so I’ll give him my Social Security number.”  But we then can build on the greater experience of humanity.  “Now you understand why you do not hand your Social Security number over to anybody.  Here is how you can get yourself out of this jam and how to prevent it in the future.”
Faith is like this too.  The lived experience of 2,000 years of Christianity informs us how Scripture is to be understood.  Every generation does not have to come up with this understanding on its own.  The early Church fathers, the saints, the people of God all guided by the Holy Spirit have provided us with the glasses through which we understand Scripture.  This helps prevent tragedies like this:
To assist with this, bishops are charged in paragraph 25 of Dei Verbum to make sure that Scriptures in quality translations are made available, that they use of Scriptures is explained, and that Bible are produced with copious notes to assist the reader in understanding the Scriptures. 
Interestingly, they are also charged to create such Bibles even for non-Christians (prudently distributed) with proper notes and fitted to their purposes.


Stephen said...

Poor Father,

I am confused. If Victoria was saying that God does not need our worship, our worship adds nothing to God's Glory. When we worship God, we are the ones who benefit, I agree with her. Who is the guy in the suit and tie? Who was he talking to? I think he was talking to Victoria but that is not made clear.

Poor Confused Stephen

Fr. V said...

Did God suffer and die so that we could protect our happiness? Or did He suffer and die to set us an example? Is He really only concerned that we are happy? What if I find more happiness going to the Golden Corral on Sunday morning instead of going to Mass? Isn't worship about coming into a deeper relastionship with our Father, not just about us? What if I am called to martyrdom? Is that God wanting me to be happy? Would my happiness be more pleasing to God than facing death or torture for His glory and the benefit of my brothers and sisters? Is faith really that trite? Then let every Sunday be Donut Sunday! (Actaully, not a bad idea either way.)

It is true that worship benefits us and not God, but not in such a trite manner.

The catch is that there is a kernel of truth in what she says . . . but only a kernel.

Fr. V said...

Ooops. This was a much shorter clip of her talk - I recommend listening to the longer version - then again - I don;t.