Day 12: Receiving Dogmas (88-95)
GOSH YOU GUYS!!
Fr. Mike is so grateful that we are getting more into the MEAT (I bet it’s as tasty as I’ve heard hippopotamus meat is…think about it…the hippo is brined in fresh water almost 24/7…so just think of how juicy, tender, and delicious a hippo ribeye must be!!! 😁)
As a review, what is the TRANSMISSION of DIVINE REVELATION?
It goes through the APOSTOLIC TRADITION
Continued through APOSTOLIC SUCCESSION
The bishops who came after the ORIGINAL BISHOPS aka The Apostles
The Apostles laid hands on the next generation and the next generation etc.
And it has come down to US
We have ONE COMMON SOURCE of Revelation that is given to us through SACRED SCRIPTURE and SACRED TRADITION
And then it is INTERPRETED by The Magisterium
The Magisterium is the bishops UNITED with The Pope
So today The Catechism will highlight a couple more things
One is that we have DOGMAS
DOGMAS are DEFINITIVE BELIEFS that have been CLEARLY and EXPLICITLY TAUGHT that we are BOUND TO BELIEVE
WE HAVE TO BELIEVE THEM!!
These DOGMAS are given to us and they are GOOD
It gives LIGHT TO OUR LIVES
It is meant to be received with a heart that is GRATEFUL FOR LIGHT AND TRUTH
We also have this SUPERNATURAL SENSE OF FAITH aka SENSUS FIDEI
The sense of the Faith that is received by the WHOLE PEOPLE OF GOD
The Magisterium is the OFFICIAL TEACHING OFFICE
There is also the PEOPLE OF GOD aka THE BODY OF CHRIST
We are meant to not only RECEIVE the dogmas that have been given to us
RECEIVE Sacred Scripture
RECEIVE Sacred Tradition
We are called to ENTER INTO IT
And the more DEEPLY that we, as BELIEVERS IN JESUS CHRIST and as FOLLOWERS OF JESUS CHRIST, MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH and MEMBERS OF THE BODY OF CHRIST enter into these DOGMAS and enter into this LIGHT THAT IS GIVEN TO US, the MORE LIGHT THERE IS!!! (That is one IMPRESSIVE run-on sentence eh? 😉)
THIS IS REMARKABLE!!
The more we enter into this and allow the dogmas to TRANSFORM OUR LIVES, the more these dogmas become EVEN CLEARER
You can read something on the page…
When you see someone LIVING IT OUT…
THAT IS THE DIFFERENCE!!
When we receive the SUPERNATURAL SENSE OF FAITH aka the SENSUS FIDEI aka the gifts from the dogmas, IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!!
The Catechism is CLEAR but sometimes our minds are MUDDY!!
So let’s pray!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we thank you. We thank you for this day. We thank you for bringing us to Day 12. Bringing us to the end of this second week of listening and learning about how you have spoken to us, how much you love us, that in a plan of sheer goodness, that you sent your only Begotten Son. You have given us your Holy Spirit. You have given us a Church. And you have given us your Word. Both in Flesh and in Scripture. And you have made us members of your Body. So Lord God, we ask you to please help us to be faithful. Help us to be faithful to what you have called us to. Help us to receive the dogmas that you have made explicit. Help us to live out the truth. Let us not just be hearers of the Word but doers of the Word as well. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen”
We have DOGMAS
We have the SUPERNATURAL SENSE OF FAITH
We have GROWTH IN UNDERSTANDING OF THE FAITH
So what are DOGMAS?
It’s a TRUTH revealed by God which The Magisterium of the Church declared as BINDING
Paragraph 88 says, “The Church’s Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, ina form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, ina definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these.”
The thing we might be hesitant about when it comes to DOGMAS is, “Oh my gosh! I HAVE to believe this and I don’t have a choice to it!”
It’s one of those situations where the degree to which we receive the dogmas with resistance or if we receive the dogmas with open arms and joy is going to reveal A LOT ABOUT OUR HEARTS
It is going to reveal A LOT ABOUT WHERE WE ARE AT
Paragraph 89 says, “Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith.”
John 8:31-32, “Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’”
That’s the reference offered here when it comes to us
If our life is UPRIGHT, then our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith
When we have resistance to dogmas…
There is a history of people who just want to GET RID OF THE DOGMAS
“Can’t I just have a relationship with God? The dogmas are so binding that they are hemming me in!”
There was a scholar, G.K. Chesterton who gave this image, “Imagine an island coming out of the ocean. The island is coming straight up out of the ocean so it is entirely a cliff on all sides. From the top right down to the rocks and the water below. Along that cliff, surrounding the entire island is a fence so that people don’t fall off the cliff into the rocks and water below. So here are children and on top of this island is a massive meadow, this huge field, in which all these kids can be free to play. There is this fence so they don’t have to be worried about falling off the cliff. But say someone comes along and says, ‘I can’t believe you put this fence that is hemming all these kids in. Why won’t you just let them be free and take down the fence.’”
Well, Chesterton said, “If you left and came back you would find all those kids huddled into the center of the island for fear that they would fall off the island.”
The image here is that when we have DOGMAS, yes they give us boundaries
They give us a BOUNDARY so that we WON’T FALL OFF THE CLIFF
They give us a BOUNDARY so that we can go ANYWHERE WE WANT WITHIN THE BOUNDARY
THAT IS AN INCREDIBLE THING!!
Here are the DOGMAS OF THE CHURCH and we can go anywhere we want within that WHOLE BOUNDARY THAT THE CHURCH IS GIVING ME
WE CAN RUN AND PLAY!!
WE CAN DIVE DEEPLY INTO THESE TRUTHS REVEALED IN THE FAITH!!
AND WE DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT FALLING OFF THE CLIFF!!
If we get rid of the DOGMAS
If we get rid of the BOUNDARIES
What will happen is that you will have these little CAMPS OF PEOPLE who say, “I’m going to hold onto this one. I’m going to hold onto this one over here. I’m going to hold onto that one over there.”
People will STOP DIVING DEEPLY into the REALITY OF GOD
Isn’t that IRONIC?
“I just want to just have a relationship with God so I don’t need any dogmas.”
What happens is that you won’t have a relationship with the TRUE AND LIVING GOD
You may have a relationship with JUST ONE ASPECT OF GOD
Hope that makes sense!
You can see that play out in many many ways in the history of humanity and The Church
Whenever people come along and say, “I reject the Catholic Church. I reject this dogma.”
You end up with these LITTLE CAMPS
Instead of having the ENTIRE ISLAND to play on, they have LITTLE CAMPS
The dogmas are not MERELY boundaries
Paragraph 89 says, “Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure.”
So these DOGMAS or these LIGHTS or these BOUNDARIES are GIFTS FROM GOD THROUGH THE CHURCH FOR US
So we need to RECEIVE THEM AS GIFTS
And that is the next section, THE SUPERNATURAL SENSE OF FAITH aka SENSUS FIDEI
Paragraph 92 says, “...on the part of the whole people, when, ‘from the bishops to the last of the faithful,’ they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals.’”
This is from Lumen Gentium (NOOO!!! Not Lou Mengenshium!!! 🤣🤣), a document from The Second Vatican Council
When we receive the teaching of the Church in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition from The Magisterium in the Church, we ADHERE TO THIS FAITH
Paragraph 93 says, “...penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life.”
All of that leads to a GROWTH IN UNDERSTANDING THE FAITH
We start with the DOGMAS that come out of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and The Magisterium
We have that SUPERNATURAL SENSE OF FAITH be receiving it as FAITHFUL
The MORE we RECEIVE IT and LIVE IT OUT there is this GROWTH IN UNDERSTANDING THE FAITH that the Church highlights
Paragraph 95 says, “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. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls.”
This is quoted from Dei Verbum and it highlights SO IMPORTANTLY the whole point of ALL OF THIS
The point of this is not to say, “Ok are you believing the right things? Are you rejecting the right things?”
It’s a matter of “AM I RECEIVING HIM?”
This is all about SALVATION OF SOULS
This is all GUIDED BY LOVE
This is all GUIDED BY THE VERY THING THAT EVEN MOVED THE LORD GOD TO DO WHAT HE HAS DONE IN A PLAN OF SHEER GOODNESS OUT OF LOVE FOR US
He not only MADE THIS WORLD
He not only CREATED IT
He not only REDEEMED US
He not only REVEALED HIMSELF TO US
IT IS LOVE!!
THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS IS THE SALVATION OF SOULS!!
THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS IS THAT WE CAN KNOW GOD ACCURATELY!!
THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS IS THAT WE CAN KNOW OURSELVES ACCURATELY!!
THE WHOLE POINT OF THIS IS THAT WE CAN KNOW HIS WILL MORE FULLY SO THAT WE CAN DO HIS WILL!!
THAT’S THE POINT!!
The whole point of DOGMAS
The whole point of REVELATION
IS THAT SO YOU AND I CAN KNOW HIM!!
IS THAT SO YOU AND I CAN LOVE HIM!!
THE LORD GOD AS HE IS!!
SO THAT YOU AND I CAN DO HIS WILL!!
The result of that is the SALVATION OF SOULS!!
THAT IS INCREDIBLE!!
It is also DAUNTING!!
It is also an INCREDIBLE INVITATION but also an INCREDIBLE CHALLENGE
SO WE NEED PRAYERS!!
We need to stay together as a COMMUNITY
We need to stay together as a CHURCH
We need to stay together and we need to PRAY FOR EACH OTHER!!
Fr. Mike is praying for YOU!!
Please pray for Fr. Mike and for each other!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Bible Translation - RSVCE
CCC 88 "The Church's Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extent when it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes, in a form obliging the Christian people to an irrevocable adherence of faith, truths contained in divine Revelation or also when it proposes, in a definitive way, truths having a necessary connection with these."
"Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven."
“If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”
CCC 89 "There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas are lights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life is upright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas of faith."
"Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
“As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?” When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life.”
“So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. And when they read it, they rejoiced at the exhortation.”
CCC 91 "All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have received the anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them and guides them into all truth."
1 John 2:20–21
“But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all know. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and know that no lie is of the truth.”
“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come."
CCC 92 "The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic is shown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people, when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in matters of faith and morals."
Ephesians 4:8, 11–13
“When he ascended on high he led a host of captives,
and he gave gifts to men.”...
And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ"
CCC 93 "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the People of God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. . . The People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it more deeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life."
“Beloved, being very eager to write to you of our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.”
CCC 94 "Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and the words of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church:
- "through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts"; it is in particular "theological research [which] deepens knowledge of revealed truth"
2 Peter 3:18
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
“After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously.” And he said to them, “How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart.”
- "from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience", the sacred Scriptures "grow with the one who reads them."
2 Timothy 3:14–17
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
- "from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in the episcopate, the sure charism of truth".
2 Timothy 1:6-14
“Hence I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power and love and self-control.
Do not be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but take your share of suffering for the gospel in the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not in virtue of our works but in virtue of his own purpose and the grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus ages ago, and now has manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, and therefore I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus; guard the truth that has been entrusted to you by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.”
CCC 95 "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. Working together, each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls."
Acts 15:1-29 (Magisterium with Scripture and Tradition in Action!)
“But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brethren, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoeni′cia and Samar′ia, reporting the conversion of the Gentiles, and they gave great joy to all the brethren. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up, and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to charge them to keep the law of Moses.”
The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter rose and said to them, “Brethren, you know that in the early days God made choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God who knows the heart bore witness to them, giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us; and he made no distinction between us and them, but cleansed their hearts by faith. Now therefore why do you make trial of God by putting a yoke upon the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? But we believe that we shall be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”
And all the assembly kept silence; and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brethren, listen to me. Symeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And with this the words of the prophets agree, as it is written,
‘After this I will return, and I will rebuild the dwelling of David, which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, that the rest of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord, who has made these things known from of old.’
Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, but should write to them to abstain from the pollutions of idols and from unchastity and from what is strangled[a] and from blood. For from early generations Moses has had in every city those who preach him, for he is read every sabbath in the synagogues.”
Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsab′bas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren, with the following letter: “The brethren, both the apostles and the elders, to the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cili′cia, greeting. Since we have heard that some persons from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, it has seemed good to us in assembly to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what is strangled and from unchastity. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”