Fr. Bloomfield's Blog

I am a Roman Catholic Priest of the Archdiocese of Detroit, currently assigned to Divine Child Parish in Dearborn, Michigan. When I manage to keep the page updated, hopefully something interesting can be found here!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Faith Seeking Understanding for May 7, 2006

Since last Sunday, several people have asked about the book I mentioned in my homily. The book is called the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and is published by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops as a concise resource to open the treasures of the Church’s Tradition and teaching to the world. The first printing was in March 2006, and it is widely available, either online or in bookstores. Pope Benedict XVI, in the motu proprio dated June 28, 2005, presented the Latin original to the Church with these stirring words:

“The Compendium, which I now present to the Universal Church, is a faithful and sure synthesis of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It contains, in concise form, all the essential and fundamental elements of the Church’s faith … which allows believers and non-believers alike to behold the entire panorama of the Catholic faith.

“I entrust this Compendium above all to the entire Church and, in particular, to every Christian, in order that it may awaken in the Church of the third millennium renewed zeal for evangelization and education in the faith, which ought to characterize every community in the Church and every Christian believer, regardless of age or nationality.

“But this Compendium, with its brevity, clarity and comprehensiveness, is directed to every human being, who in a world of distractions and multifarious messages, desires to know the Way of Life, the Truth, entrusted by God to His Son’s Church.”

Such an endorsement is an excellent reminder that we can always do more to encounter Jesus Christ, particularly as we seek to follow and serve Him with all our heart, mind, and strength. The Compendium is an excellent way to form our minds in accord with the Church, so that as members of the Body of Christ, we conform our ways of thinking and acting to the Truth of Jesus Christ.

In today’s first reading, St. Peter instructs his listeners in the unique and foundational truth of Jesus Christ: “There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.” We are often easily swayed by the culture to believe that many paths lead to heaven, or that as long as we are sincere in our beliefs, things will be just fine. The passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus teach us something much different: Jesus Christ alone is our salvation.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed at the time by then-Cardinal Ratzinger, issued a document entitled Dominus Iesus (the Lord Jesus) on August 6, 2000, clarifying the Church’s teaching in this regard. Many of us struggle with evangelization (preaching the gospel) and apologetics (defending the teachings of the Church) on a daily basis. At work, with our families, and even with friends, questions continually arise about the nature of Christ, the possibility of grace, the moral teaching of the Church, and the Sacraments. All of these questions have answers, but ultimately, their solution is found in the person of Jesus Christ Himself, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (cf. John 14:6).

These continual struggles remind us of the necessity of developing a personal holiness of life, founded upon the Sacraments (particularly of Penance and the Eucharist) and daily prayer (Eucharistic adoration, the Holy Rosary, lectio divina, Sacred Scripture); we also must, in addition to this personal holiness, cultivate an intellectual life that learns from the Church, and deepens our appreciation of the Mysteries of our Faith. As a result, our deeds and words will begin to draw many souls to Christ and we will become “evangelists” ourselves.

May God bless you all abundantly!