Day 27: The Gift of the Creed (193-197)
Today we are going to talk about the creeds in general
And also the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed in particular
Yesterday we talked about what a creed is in the first place
We talked about the SYMBOLON, the SYNTHESIS of faith
We SHARE the creeds
Over the course of history, there have been a number of creeds that have arisen out of some kind of NEED
There was a need to understand what is it at the heart that we really believe about God?
What do we really believe about what God has done for us?
First, we have the Apostles’ Creed in Paragraphs 193 and 194
The Nicene Creed begins in Paragraph 195
From now on, the Creed part of the Catechism is going to follow the Apostles’ Creed more than it will the Nicene Creed
That’s not because one is better than the other
It is because that’s what they chose to do it that way
We aren’t exactly sure
Maybe it’s because the Apostles’ Creed is the OLDEST KNOWN CREED AVAILABLE TO US
Because of that, why not go all the way back to the VERY BEGINNING?
That’s how we are going to base our walking through what we believe
THIS IS SO CRITICAL!!
This is not an invention of the LAST CENTURY
This is not an invention of the LAST 500 YEARS
This is not an invention of the MIDDLE AGES
It comes out of THE SOURCE
Which is God revealing Himself in Jesus Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit to His Church
Tomorrow we are going to talk about WHAT WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE
So let's get started with a prayer
How about that?
That would be great!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in heaven we thank you so much. We thank you for the gift of your Church. We thank you for the gift of revealing yourself to us. We thank you for the gift of communicating the truth about your heart, the truth about your identity to us in the midst of this confusing and uncertain world. We know that, Lord, you work through history. We know that you are present in history. You're present in world events. We know that you interact with us and you are alive. You're guiding us. And through guiding us, you guide the course of world affairs. Lord God, you are perfect, even when this world is not perfect. You are good, even when we are not good. You are true, even when we struggle and strain to understand what is true. So open our hearts, Lord God. Open our hearts to love your will. Open our minds to understand what it is you wish to teach us this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen”
The last 4 paragraphs talk about the ROLE of the Creed
IT BINDS US TOGETHER!!
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT!!
IT IS VASTLY IMPORTANT!!
We have to remember that to be a Christian it is NOT SIMPLY TO JUST BELIEVE IN JESUS
It is to BELIEVE PARTICULAR THINGS OF JESUS AS WELL
Of course it is, to BELIEVE IN GOD
Of course it is, to FOLLOW AFTER THE LORD
Of course it is, to DO OUR BEST BY GOD’S GRACE
Of course it is, to LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR HEART MIND SOUL AND STRENGTH
At the same time, there have been many times throughout history where we needed to SPELL OUT AND DEFINE what it is that Christians BELIEVE
That is NOT meant to be EXCLUSIVE
That is not meant to put people on the OUTSIDE
It is to HIGHLIGHT what is it to BE ON THE INSIDE
Does that make sense?
That sense to have boundaries
Fr. Mike heard it like this…
Part of what makes something a PAINTING is that it has a FRAME
Here’s a painting or a picture and it has a frame around it
There is a border
If I’m going to paint it, I can’t paint EVERYTHING
I have to choose to paint these things
Is what gives it SOME DEFINITION
Power simply to say, “I believe in God…”
THAT IS WONDERFUL!!
THAT IS HUGE!!
We mentioned this before
The difference between what it is to believe IN God (WHICH IS SO VERY CRITICAL)
And what it is to BELIEVE GOD (WHICH IS ALSO SO ESSENTIAL AND CRITICAL)
What do we mean when we say GOD?
THAT IS VITAL!!
To be able to KNOW that I mean this BUT NOT that
The Apostles’ Creed makes it VERY CLEAR
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth…
And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord…
THAT IS 100% TRUE!!
At some point people were saying, “Yeah Jesus is the Son of God. He is our Lord. What does that mean about His identity in relation to the Father?”
So because of that at The Council of Nicaea in 325 AD the council had to spell it out
ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD…
BORN OF THE FATHER BEFORE ALL AGES…
GOD FROM GOD…
LIGHT FROM LIGHT…
TRUE GOD FROM TRUE GOD…
Even some of that language that was used to distinguish that JESUS IS JUST AS FULLY GOD AS THE FATHER IS
There were some people at the council who said, “Ok great. This is fine. We can still fudge a little bit with this. We can have a little bit of wiggle room and still believe what we want to believe about Jesus being LIKE the Father but NOT REALLY of the same substance as the Father.”
WHICH IS WHY THEY SAID, THEN, CONSUBSTANTIAL WITH THE FATHER!!
IT IS SO SO CRITICAL THAT WE UNDERSTAND!!
The creeds have a role in our lives
St. Ambrose says, “The Creed is the spiritual seal, our hearts’ meditation and an ever present guardian; it is, unquestionably, the treasure of our soul.”
What we are going to study over the next number of days, weeks, and months, is the TREASURE OF OUR SOUL
These are not JUST facts and details ABOUT God
These are facts and details about God that LEAD US TO GOD
THE TREASURE OF OUR SOUL
OUR HEARTS’ MEDITATION
AN EVER-PRESENT GUARDIAN
IS MEANT TO BE A GUARDIAN FOR US!!
So that we do not say something about God THAT IS NOT TRUE
So that we do not deny something about God THAT IS TRUE
THIS EVER-PRESENT GUARDIAN WHICH CONTINUES TO LEAD US IN THE PATH OF TRUTH
THIS EVER-PRESENT GUARDIAN WHICH CONTINUES TO LEAD US INTO A PLACE…
WHERE WE CAN DIVE MORE DEEPLY…
DAY BY DAY…
MONTH BY MONTH…
YEAR BY YEAR…
INTO THE REALITY OF WHO GOD TRULY IS!!
So tomorrow we begin Chapter One: I Believe in God the Father, Article 1
We are going to follow the Apostles’ Creed
We will refer to the Nicene Creed many times
There is SO MUCH we need to understand about God
Because of that, it is a BIG CHALLENGE
But because of that, we need prayer
To be part of this community walking through The Catechism in One Year…
WE NEED EACH OTHER!!
WE NEED THIS PRAYER!!
HERE WE ARE!!
If you’ve made it to Day 27, Fr. Mike is REALLY REALLY PROUD OF YOU!! (And I’m proud of you too!! 😃)
It’s kind of slow going at first
WE ARE PICKING UP THE PACE!!
WE ARE PICKING UP SPEED!!
WE ARE DIVING MORE DEEPLY INTO WHAT IT IS THAT WE MEAN WHEN WE SAY, “I BELIEVE!”
WHAT IT IS THAT WE DO WHEN WE LIVE AS CHRISTIANS!!
HOW IT IS THAT WE PRAY AND WORSHIP AS SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF GOD THE FATHER!!
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 194 "The Apostles' Creed is so called because it is rightly considered to be a faithful summary of the apostles' faith. It is the ancient baptismal symbol of the Church of Rome. Its great authority arises from this fact: it is "the Creed of the Roman Church, the See of Peter the first of the apostles, to which he brought the common faith".
"To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world."
CCC 197 "To say the Credo with faith is to enter into communion with God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and also with the whole Church which transmits the faith to us and in whose midst we believe"
1 John 1:1–4
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete."