Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Use the Force, Luke!

  • Today is the Feast of the Evangelist St. Luke. One of the last of the 16 documents of Vatican II was on the topic of Divine Revelation, called Dei Verbum (the Word of God). What does it tell us about the Gospels along with all of Sacred Scripture?

Paragraph 7 says that the transmission of the Gospel "was done by those apostles (Matthew & John) and other men associated with the apostles (Mark & Luke) who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing." Everyone in my generation was a Star Wars geek, so put on your thinking caps: Remember how Obi-Wan Kenobi described "The Force" to Luke Skywalker? "It surrounds us, it penetrates us, it binds the whole galaxy together." If you understand that, you understand the Holy Spirit! The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it this way in paragraph 703: "The Word of God [Jesus Christ] and his Breath [the Holy Spirit] are at the origin of the being and life of every creature."

While we're on Dei Verbum, check out a line from paragraph 10: "It is clear, therefore, that in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition, sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that one of them cannot stand without the others." In short, think of the Church as a 3-legged table, the legs being Scripture (God's inspired word), Tradition (the writings of those like Popes Gregory and Leo the Great, theologians like Aquinas, Chrysostom, Augustine, Bonaventure, Anselm, and other saints like Theresa of Avila, John of the Cross, Therese, Catherine of Siena, Elizabeth Seton, etc.), and the Magisterium (the living teaching authority of the Holy Father with all the Bishops of the world that are in union with him). The weight is borne by all 3 legs (though like any table depending on where an object is put on the top of the table, different legs bear more of the weight at different times). The bottom line is this: take away one of the three legs, and the table falls. Unless of course you've got those anti-gravity things that they used to carry Han Solo once he was frozen in Carbomite, but that's for another blog in some galaxy far, far away.

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