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The rule for opus in fides


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Poverty Chastity and Obedience are the 3 big counsels that lead to holiness and freedom comes from the truth and to discover what is really true we use reason and grace with faith, the knowledge of understanding that there is more to life than we can see or understand

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The rule for opus in fides

  1. 1. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 1 of 68The complete ‗Opus of Fr Norris spiritual works is 258 pages long and contains, a series ofCatechumenal formation for the students and the diaries of Fr Jim Norris which is adaptedfrom the Columban 30 day St Ignatius retreat he did in the 1940‘s at Essedon, Australia.OPUS IN FIDES RULEThe ‘RULE’ encompasses specially selected Cannon Laws and Catechism citations and our‘RULE’ cannot be read independently and the primacy of our ‘RULE’ is Scripture incooperation with the Canon Law, Catechism, Encyclicals and the teaching of theMagisterium. It is the history of the early Mill Hill Fathers in Rotorua, this charisma has aspirit of mission and this spirit of ‘no frills,’ do it yourself, humble missionary work is partof the spirit of the Catholic faith in Rotorua. Fr Holierhook (1858) built the Presbytery atSt Michaels Church, Ohinemutu, Lake Road, Rotorua, it was built at the cost of ₤260. Thefundraising didn’t quite reach the target and the Maori chiefs did a quick whip around toraise the extra money. St Michael’s Church was Blessed on 27 July 1893 by Bishop Liston.1Fr Charels Kreijmborg built the 2nd story of the Presbytery in 1902 and the Sisters of StJoseph moved in. Soon after the 2nd story was finished Blessed Mary MacKillop started the‘Lake School’ with the Sister of St Joseph. A great history of Fathers and Sisters served theSt Michael’s Church in Rotorua and the spirit of mission is a living Spirit.IntroductionThe aim of every Christian is to love God with all their heart, mind, body and soul and theneighbor also. This has been the goal of every human being since the beginning; happiness isthe object we all strive for the question is how do we achieve this state continuously?The objective of this work is to disseminate the information from the Fr Norris ‗work‘, whichare his notes on spiritual, and doctrinal theories based on the Spiritual Exercise as defined bySt Ignatius, to be truly happy continuously a person needs ―to conquer oneself and regulateone‘s life without determining oneself through any tendency that is disordered.‖ The originalsin that started chaos is the cause of all the unhappiness in the world and returning to thisstate requires ‗work‘ to resist temptation. We pray ‗and lead us not into temptation,‘ and byour free will we can work to ‗conquer and regulate‘ the disorder and with the grace of Godlive life in the spirit of Jesus Christ. To use the word ‗profit‘ in the exercises is a truemeaning, virtue is what we need to increase, growth and benefits in virtue bring ‗profit,‘ weare meant to work and strive for this reward. The parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-19) is allabout ‗profit‘ of good works and bearing fruit, this mystery is an allegory about faith and notnecessarily ‗converts‘ but growth in virtue, individuality and in the community.All the virtues lead to a happy life with the good of man being the highest state of pleasureand thus being continual and not a fleeting emotion. Whatever the part of the world, the1Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. New Zealand Story 1183-1983. Sister Anne Marie Power R.S.J. ©1983 Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart 56 Selwyn Avenue. Mission bay. Auckland. NZ.
  2. 2. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 2 of 68leading spiritual masters have found that happiness is goal of everyone. Aristotle in 347BC,taught that happiness is being in a state that is achieved by virtue, since humans receive thehighest form of fulfillment from good works. The state of happiness cannot be achieved bythe purchase of objects or is it a possession, it is not a feeling, because this is temporary andhappiness is fulfillment, a continuous state where even in moments of trail our heart is in astate of love and peace. A spiritual journey is something that is often unseen and the smallestripples in the pond can create a spiritual change in your life and those of your family.The grace that Jesus Christ gives us in return for loving him is unquestionable great, oftenunseen yet powerful and our lives are to learn to hear His voice the Holy Spirit and live likehe teaches, ―to love one another as I have loved you.‖I have inserted Biblical text and corresponding references from St Ignatius Exercises to helpthe reader in their meditations. The work is written for anyone, of any denomination butespecially aimed at those who are willing to develop their Catholic faith. The reader needs tonote the 18thAnnotation of the Spiritual Exercises and also to follow the instructionsregarding the ‗Examen‘ at the end of the book. Every day keep notes in a diary, prayconstantly, and follow the instructions. The bold headings, ―thoughts‖ are Fr Norris‘sspiritual thoughts on the past contemplations and are a key to a deeper understanding. Theheading ―aspirations‖ is for you to think about your own aspirations I have left the aspirationsof Fr Norris for you to contemplate.2Never say that your lives are irrelevant and useless. «Who is weak», says Saint Paul, «and Iam not weak?» (Cor. 11: 29). If you have this sensitivity to the physical, moral and socialdeficiencies of mankind, you will also find in yourselves another sensitivity, that to thepotential good which is always to be found in every human being; for a priest, every life isworthy of love. This twofold sensitivity, to evil and to good in man, is the beating of Christ‘sheart in that of the faithful priest. It is not without something of the miraculous, a miracle thatis psychological, moral and, if you like, mystical, while at the same time being very much asocial one. It is a miracle of charity in the heart of a priest.2APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE OF HIS HOLINESS OF PAUL VI TO WEST ASIA, OCEANIA AND AUSTRALIA.PRIESTLYORDINATION.HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI«Luneta Park», Manila.Saturday, 28 November 1970
  3. 3. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 3 of 68The mirror of justiceSo, the revealed truth of God both requires and stimulates the believer‘s reason. Onthe one hand, the truth of the Word of God must be considered and probed by thebeliever – thus begins the intellectus fidei, the form taken here below by thebeliever‘s desire to see God.[114] Its aim is not at all to replace faith,[115] rather itunfolds naturally from the believer‘s act of faith, and it can indeed assist thosewhose faith may be wavering in the face of hostility.[116] The fruit of thebeliever‘s rational reflection is an understanding of the truths offaith. By the use of reason, the believer grasps the profoundconnections between the different stages in the history ofsalvation and also between the various mysteries of faithwhich illuminate one another. On the other hand, faithstimulates reason itself and stretches its limits. Reason isstirred to explore paths which of itself it would not even havesuspected it could take. This encounter with the Word of Godleaves reason enriched, because it discovers new andunsuspected horizons.[117]1. A Trail period of 6 months work under the guidance of the Paraclete. Discernment prayerand contemplation are our primary work.2. Bring only luggage you can carry yourself!3. 3Our work is God‘s will for us and it is the means He has given us to sanctify our souls.The work of the House is primarily to sanctify our own souls, secondly to prepare ourminds for the work of ‗The Church‘ Body of Christ.4. ―I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies aliving sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service. And be not conformedto this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what isthe good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God.‖ (Romans 12:1-2)5. 4What is our purpose in life? To praise reverence and serve God and to attain salvation.6. 5We are in sin or about to sin the devil will bring along consolation or attractiveness forthe sin, making the sin a pleasure which it is not as you know after you commit the sin.The good spirit plucks your conscience and gives you remorse and severe pangs ofconscience after the sin is committed.7. 6The Holy Spirit on the other hand brings consolation, incites in a person a real love ofGod. We feel this real happiness, humble ourselves and remember this consolation isfrom God. We must prepare for desolation which will come, nor should we build toomuch on consolation.8. 7Never miss an opportunity of seeing a death bed a wonderful grace. Imagine yourself onyour death bed. You are completely abandoned now by all. Nobody can do anything foryou. Death is hard.3Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 854Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 145Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 316Ibid7Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 33
  4. 4. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 4 of 689. The face of your life should come from the tabernacle. If you want to do something big,make a noise before the tabernacle, not before the public in the daily paper. Look intoyourself and see whether or not you like your spiritual duties; meditation, exam etc…10. Try to obtain great love for prayer, do not pray because a bell rings or everybody elseprays.11. We are not a counseling service. We recommend pray.12. No Violence or Drugs or Alcohol in though these doors of St Joseph‘s House and onChurch property.13. 8Be not hasty to judge one another. 9Then I say with St Paul. ―To me it is a small thing tobe judged by you, or by man‘s day, but neither do I judge myself. He that judges me isTHE LORD! (1 Cor 4:3-4) ―Judge not, and you shall not be judged.‖ (Luke 6:37.)Romans 14:7-1214. Avoid idle curiosity curb eyesight, newspapers, magazines, T.V. looking at other peoplewith curiosity or lust, even from things lawful so that when something sinful comes aloneyou may not gaze at it. Watch carefully against this.15. No answering back to cause arguments.10―It is better to leaveeach one in their ownopinion than to enter into argument.‖16. Criticizing or losing temper even interiorly in not good. To acquire humility it is essentialto die to self. And you can die to self by being as charitable as possible with others. Thinkof their happiness and pleasure all the time. Leave yourself out together. Accept allhumiliations in the right spirit, no resentment. By becoming charitable and forgetful ofyour own interests, humility will come. After all too we have not much to be proud andvain about. Nothing of us belongs to us and as it is we are only dust. Vain glory is settingforth our own excellence as though we were responsible for it.17. Brethren: Learn to live and move in the spirit then there is no danger of giving way toimpulses of corrupt nature….. those who belong to Christ have crucified nature with allit‘s passions, all it‘s impulses. (Gal 5:16-24)18. 11I resolve to spend ¼ hour a day reading the Psalms,and reading a commentary uponthem.19. 6:1. 12Whosoever are servants under the yoke, let them count their masters worthy of allhonour; lest the name of the Lord and his doctrine be blasphemed.6:2. But they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they arebrethren; but serve them the rather, because they are faithful and beloved, who arepartakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.6:3. If any man teach otherwise and consent not to the sound words of our Lord JesusChrist and to that doctrine which is according to godliness,6:4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; fromwhich arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions,6:5. Conflicts of men corrupted in mind and who are destitute of the truth, supposinggain to be godliness. 6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.6:7. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out.6:8. But having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content.8St Mary Mackillop (St Mary of the Cross card)9St Therese of Lisieux. Story of a Soul. Autobiography. © ICS Publications Washington DC 197210The Imitation of Christ III 44:111Fr Norris diary12New Advent Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight. New Advent is dedicated to the Error! Hyperlink referencenot valid..
  5. 5. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 5 of 686:9. For they that will become rich fall into temptation and into the snare of the deviland into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction andperdition.6:10. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erredfrom the faith and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.6:11. But thou, O man of God, fly these things: and pursue justice, godliness, faith,charity, patience, mildness.6:12. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art calledand be it confessed a good confession before many witnesses.20. Sin.If we are in sin or about to sin the devil will bring along consolation or attractivenessfor the sin, making the sin a pleasure which it is not as you know after you commit thesin. The good spirit plucks your conscience and gives you remorse and severe pangsof conscience after the sin is committed. When a person is seriously trying to do betterin the spiritual life the devil is all the time causing anxiety and scrupulosity ofconscience, is always putting forward causes and reasons why you can‘t and shouldn‘tdo this or that. He is always placing obstacles in a person‘s way and trying to hinderhim, trying to make him cut short his spiritual exercises for example.The Holy Spirit on the other hand brings consolation, incites in a person a real love ofGod. We feel this real happiness, humble ourselves and remember this consolation isfrom God. We must prepare for desolation which will come, nor should we build toomuch on consolation. When you feel your spiritual exercises a pleasure don‘t consideryourself a saint. God however often sends us desolation and not without good reason.Desolation is a feeling of complete objectiveness; loneliness and seeming disgust foreverything even our spiritual duties. Desolation makes us angry with ourselves andgenerally irritable with everything. You feel absolutely miserable, tepid in prayer andno attraction whatsoever for the spiritual life. In time of desolation never make achange in our spiritual duties, mortification, penances or anything. In fact if you aretempted to shorten prayer, give up mortifications or penances increase every one ofthem by so doing defeating the devil and showing God you mean to be faithful toHim. When desolation comes it is time to look carefully into yourself. Have youbroken the rule of the house, neglected prayer or have your thoughts been dark and onsome creature other than God. e.g. the coming free day or holidays. You‘re not doingGod‘s will in something. Be patience with yourself however.21. A confessor or Spiritual director is to be an ordained Priest or Sister.22.Make a sacrificial act every morning after communion. ―Take and receive,O‘ Lord, my memory, my understanding and my will. What have I that Ihave not received from thee?‖ Mean what you say.23. Confession.Be open. Conceal nothing. Once you reeled off all the sins, infidelities, faults,mistakes and inclinations to Father. Forget them. In all your confessions from now ontake them as from the last confession. You begin afresh. A clean slate. As the oldsailor said after a good confession. ―The pilot is aboard now Father, no chance ofbeing bashed on the rocks‖.
  6. 6. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 6 of 6824. 13Mortifications: Breaking of the will, always so ready to impose itself on others, inholding back a reply, in rendering little services with any recognition, in not leaning theback against a support when seated etc25. 14Lukes Gospel presents to us the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. The rich manpersonifies the wicked use of riches by those who spend them on uncontrolled and selfishluxuries, thinking soley of satisfying themselves without caring at all for the begger attheir door. The poor man, on the contrary, represents the person whom God alone caresfor… God does not forget those who are forgotten by all; those who are worthless inhuman eyes are precious in the Lords.26. 15Vocations. St Therese of Lisieux. ―Then in excess of my delirous joy, I cried out: OJesus, my love, my vocation, at last I have found it..MY VOCATION IS LOVE!27. Peace is to be virtue that we cultivate in ourselves and others with the grace of Jesus andthe Pentecost Spirit that sheds the light on our common humanity.16The theme of themeeting for peace, ―Bound to Live Together‖ reminds us that we human beings are boundto each other. This social dimension is basically a simple aptitude that derives directlyfrom our human condition. It is therefore our task to give it a positive slant. Livingtogether can turn into living in antagonism, it can become hell if we do not learn to accepteach other and if no one wants to be anything other than himself. 17The world will neverbe the dwelling place of peace, till peace has found a home in the heart of each and everyman, till every man preserves in himself the order ordained by God to be preserved. Thatis why St. Augustine asks the question: "Does your mind desire the strength to gain themastery over your passions? Let it submit to a greater power, and it will conquer allbeneath it. And peace will be in you—true, sure, most ordered peace. What is that order?God as ruler of the mind; the mind as ruler of the body. Nothing could be more orderly."(69)28. We must have a desire to preserve the true image of Jesus Christ.18We know that inChristianity too there have been real distortions of the image of God that have led to thedisruption of peace which is all the more reason to allow the divine God to purify us, tobecome people of peace. We must never fail in our joint effort for peace. This is why themany initiatives across the world, such as Sant‘Egidio‘s annual prayer meeting for peace,and other similar projects are so valuable. The field in which the fruit of peace shouldflourish must always be cultivated We are often unable to do anything more thanceaselessly prepare the ground for peace, within us and around us, taking many smallsteps, mindful of the great challenges that humanity as a whole — not the individual —13St Therse. ‗Story of Soul‘. Translation John Clark O.C.D. ICS Publications Institute of Carmelite studiesWashington DC Pg 14314Pope Benedict XVI Angelus 30 Sept 2007. ‗On a level playing field‘ Caritas. Aotearoa. New Zealand. No 16Social Justice series 11-17 Sept. 201115St Therse. ‗Story of Soul‘. Translation John Clark O.C.D. ICS Publications Institute of Carmelite studiesWashington DC Pg 19416MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO CARDINAL REINHARD MARX ARCHBISHOP OF MUNICH ANDFREISING ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF PRAYER FOR PEACE "BOUND TO LIVETOGETHER": RELIGIONS AND CULTURES IN DIALOGUEORGANIZED BY THE COMMUNITY OF SANTEGIDIO[MUNICH, 11 - 13 SEPTEMBER 2011] © Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana17PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,JUSTICE, CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11.18Ibid
  7. 7. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 7 of 68must reckon with, such as migration, globalization, economic crises and the safeguard ofcreation.29. Religious freedom is respected in all people no matter what belief and no coercion is to beused to convert to the Catholic faith. 19A sense of the dignity of the human person hasbeen impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporaryman,(1) and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment,enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivatedby a sense of duty.30. 20We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, towhich the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus Hespoke to the Apostles: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe allthings whatsoever I have enjoined upon you" (Matt. 28: 19-20). On their part, all men arebound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embracethe truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.31. 21Human beings have also the right to choose for themselves the kind of life whichappeals to them: whether it is to found a family—in the founding of which both the manand the woman enjoy equal rights and duties—or to embrace the priesthood or thereligious life.32. 22It is therefore Our earnest wish that the United Nations Organization may be ableprogressively to adapt its structure and methods of operation to the magnitude andnobility of its tasks. May the day be not long delayed when every human being can find inthis organization an effective safeguard of his personal rights; those rights, that is, whichderive directly from his dignity as a human person, and which are therefore universal,inviolable and inalienable. This is all the more desirable in that men today are taking anever more active part in the public life of their own nations, and in doing so they areshowing an increased interest in the affairs of all peoples. They are becoming more andmore conscious of being living members of the universal family of mankind. 103. 23Thispeace, which the world cannot give, has been left as a heritage to His disciples by theDivine Redeemer Himself: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you" (SaintJohn xiv. 27); and thus following the sublime teaching of Christ, summed up by Himselfin the twofold precept of love of God and of the neighbor, millions of souls have reached,are reaching and shall reach peace. History, wisely called by a great Roman "The Teacherof Life," has proved for close on two thousand years how true is the word of Scripturethat he will not have peace who resists God (cf. Job ix. 4). For Christ alone is the "CornerStone" (Ephesians ii. 20) on which man and society can find stability and salvation.19DECLARATION ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DIGNITATIS HUMANAE ON THE RIGHT OF THE PERSON AND OFCOMMUNITIES TO SOCIAL AND CIVIL FREEDOM IN MATTERS RELIGIOUS PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESSPOPE PAUL VI ON DECEMBER 7, 1965 © Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana20Ibid21PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,JUSTICE,CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11, 196322PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,JUSTICE,CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11, 196323PIUS XII Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the twentieth day of October, in the year of Our Lord, 1939, the first of OurPontificate. SUMMI PONTIFICATUS
  8. 8. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 8 of 6833. 24In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together, and the tiesbetween different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely herrelationship to non-Christian religions. In her task of promoting unity and love amongmen, indeed among nations, she considers above all in this declaration what men have incommon and what draws them to fellowship.One is the community of all peoples, one their origin, for God made the whole humanrace to live over the face of the earth.(1) One also is their final goal, God. Hisprovidence, His manifestations of goodness, His saving design extend to all men,(2)until that time when the elect will be united in the Holy City, the city ablaze with theglory of God, where the nations will walk in His light34. 25"Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it ismanifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason itis called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence."(Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, Ia-Ilae, q. xciii, art. 3, ad 2m.)35. (5.) 26From the widening and deepening of devotion to the Divine Heart of the Redeemer,which had its splendid culmination in the consecration of humanity at the end of the lastcentury, and further in the introduction, by Our immediate predecessor of happy memory,of the Feast of Christ the King, there have sprung up benefits beyond description fornumberless souls - as the stream of the river which maketh the City of God joyful (Psalmxlv. 5). What age had greater need than ours of these benefits? What age has been, for allits technical and purely civic progress, more tormented than ours by spiritual emptinessand deep-felt interior poverty? May we not, perhaps, apply to it the prophetic words ofthe Apocalypse: "Thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing:and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."(Apocalypse iii. 17.)36. 27(3.) It is not difficult to determine what would be the form and character of the Statewere it governed according to the principles of Christian philosophy. Mans naturalinstinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if dwelling apart, providehimself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing hismental and moral faculties. Hence, it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life-be itfamily, or civil-with his fellow men, amongst whom alone his several wants can beadequately supplied. But, as no society can hold together unless some one be over all,directing all to strive earnestly for the common good, every body politic must have aruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, andhas, consequently, God for its Author. Hence, it follows that all public power must24DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS NOSTRA AETATE PROCLAIMEDBY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON OCTOBER 28, 196525RERUM NOVARUM ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON CAPITAL AND LABOR Leo XIIIs encyclical letter Givenat St. Peters in Rome, the fifteenth day of May, 1891, the fourteenth year of Our pontificate.26PIUS XII SUMMI PONTIFICATUS Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the twentieth day of October, in the year of Our Lord,1939, the first of Our Pontificate.27IMMORTALE DEI ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE CHRISTIAN CONSTITUTION OF STATES. Given at St. Peters inRome, the first day of November, 1885, the seventh year of Our pontificate. LEO XIII
  9. 9. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 9 of 68proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything,without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve him, so that whosoever holdsthe right to govern holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the sovereignRuler of all. "There is no power but from God."(1)37. 28(8.) For the only-begotten Son of God established on earth a society which is called theChurch, and to it He handed over the exalted and divine office which He had receivedfrom His Father, to be continued through the ages to come. "As the Father hath sent Me, Ialso send you." "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of theworld."(6) Consequently, as Jesus Christ came into the world that men "might have lifeand have it more abundantly,"(7) so also has the Church for its aim and end the eternalsalvation of souls, and hence it is so constituted as to open wide its arms to all mankind,unhampered by any limit of either time or place. "Preach ye the Gospel to everycreature."(8)38. Staying faithful in times of doubt and aridity. 29Holy Father: Let us perhaps begin byidentifying what it is that specifically motivates those who feel scandalized by thesecrimes that have come to light in recent times. In the light of this information, I can wellunderstand, especially if it involves people who are close, that someone might say: ―Thisis no longer my Church. For me the Church was a humanizing and moralizing force. Ifrepresentatives of the Church do the opposite, I can no longer live with this Church.‖This is a specific situation. There is generally a variety of motives in the context ofthe secularization of our society. And such departures are usually the final step in along process of moving away from the Church. In this context, I think it important toask oneself; ―Why am I in the Church? Do I belong to the Church as I would to asports club, a cultural association, etc., where I have my interests, such that I canleave if those interests are no longer satisfied? Or is being in the Church somethingdeeper?‖I would say it is important to know that being in the Church is not like being in someassociation, but it is being in the net of the Lord, with which he draws good fish andbad fish from the waters of death to the land of life. It is possible that I might bealongside bad fish in this net and I sense this, but it remains true that I am in it neitherfor the former nor for the latter but because it is the Lords net; it is somethingdifferent from all human associations, a reality that touches the very heart of mybeing. In speaking to these people I think we must go to the heart of the question:what is the Church? In what does her diversity consist? Why am I in the Church even28Ibid29INTERVIEW OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI WITH THE JOURNALISTS DURING THE FLIGHT TO BERLINPapal Flight Thursday, 22 September 2011
  10. 10. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 10 of 68though there are terrible scandals and terrible forms of human poverty? Therefore, weshould renew our awareness of the special nature of ―being Church‖, of being thepeople made up of all peoples, which is the People of God, and thereby learn totolerate even scandals and work against these scandals from within, precisely bybeing present within the Lords great net.39. 30Firmly anchored in faith to the cornerstone which is Christ, let us abide in him, like thebranch that can bear no fruit unless it remains attached to the vine. The Church, thePeople of the New Covenant, is built only in him, for him and with him. On this theServant of God Paul VI wrote: ―The first benefit which We trust the Church will reapfrom a deepened self-awareness, is a renewed discovery of its vital bond of union withChrist. This is something which is perfectly well known, but it is supremely importantand absolutely essential. It can never be sufficiently understood, meditated upon andpreached‖ (Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, 6 August 1964: AAS 56 [1964], 622).40. 31The Venerable Servant of God John Paul II made this urgent task a central point of hisfar-reaching Magisterial teaching, referring to it as the ―new evangelization,‖ which hesystematically explored in depth on numerous occasions—a task that still bears upon theChurch today, particularly in regions Christianized long ago. Although this task directlyconcerns the Church‘s way of relating ad extra, it nevertheless presupposes first of all aconstant interior renewal, a continuous passing, so to speak, from evangelized toevangelizing. It is enough to recall what was affirmed in the Post-Synodal ApostolicExhortation Christifideles Laici: ―Whole countries and nations where religion and theChristian life were formerly flourishing and capable of fostering a viable and workingcommunity of faith, are now put to a hard test, and in some cases, are even undergoing aradical transformation, as a result of a constant spreading of an indifference to religion, ofsecularism and atheism. This particularly concerns countries and nations of the so-calledFirst World, in which economic well-being and consumerism, even if coexistent with atragic situation of poverty and misery, inspires and sustains a life lived ‗as if God did notexist‘. This indifference to religion and the practice of religion devoid of true meaning inthe face of lifes very serious problems, are not less worrying and upsetting whencompared with declared atheism. Sometimes the Christian faith as well, whilemaintaining some of the externals of its tradition and rituals, tends to be separated fromthose moments of human existence which have the most significance, such as, birth,suffering and death.41. Novices have a period of 2 years training before entry into St Josephs House.Accommodation may be on the grounds of St Michael‘s Church in the huts.30BENEDICT XVI ANGELUS Saint Peters SquareSunday, 2 October 201131UBICUMQUE ET SEMPEROF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI ESTABLISHING THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FORPROMOTING THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
  11. 11. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 11 of 6842. 32―As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me‖ (Mt 25:40).These words are a warning that must not be forgotten and a perennial invitation to returnthe love by which he takes care of us. It is faith that enables us to recognize Christ and itis his love that impels us to assist him whenever he becomes our neighbour along thejourney of life. Supported by faith, let us look with hope at our commitment in the world,as we await ―new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells‖ (2 Pet 3:13; cf.Rev 21:1).Rule of Canon Laws33Listening to the word of God leads us first and foremost to value the need to live inaccordance with this law ―written on human hearts‖ (cf. Rom 2:15; 7:23).34Jesus Christ then gives mankind the new law, the law of the Gospel, which takes up andeminently fulfils the natural law, setting us free from the law of sin, as a result of which, asSaint Paul says, ―I can will what is right, but I cannot do it‖ (Rom 7:18). It likewise enablesmen and women, through grace, to share in the divine life and to overcome their selfishness.Can. 224 In addition to those obligations and rights which are common to all the Christianfaithful and those which are established in other canons, the lay Christian faithful are boundby the obligations and possess the rights which are enumerated in the canons of this title.Can. 225 §1. Since, like all the Christian faithful, lay persons are designated by God for theapostolate through baptism and confirmation, they are bound by the general obligation andpossess the right as individuals, or joined in associations, to work so that the divine messageof salvation is made known and accepted by all persons everywhere in the world. Thisobligation is even more compelling in those circumstances in which only through them canpeople hear the gospel and know Christ.§2. According to each one‘s own condition, they are also bound by a particular duty to imbueand perfect the order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the gospel and thus to give witnessto Christ, especially in carrying out these same affairs and in exercising secular functions.Can. 226 §1. According to their own vocation, those who live in the marital state are boundby a special duty to work through marriage and the family to build up the people of God.Can. 229 §1. Lay persons are bound by the obligation and possess the right to acquireknowledge of Christian doctrine appropriate to the capacity and condition of each in order forthem to be able to live according to this doctrine, announce it themselves, defend it ifnecessary, and take their part in exercising the apostolate.32APOSTOLIC LETTER ―MOTU PROPRIO DATA‖PORTA FIDEIOF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVIFOR THEINDICTION OF THE YEAR OF FAITH33Cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Bible and Morality, Biblical Roots of Christian Conduct (11 May2008), Vatican City, 2008, Nos. 13, 32, 10934Cf. International Theological Commission, In Search of a Universal Ethics: A New Look at the Natural Law,Vatican City, 2009, No. 102.
  12. 12. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 12 of 68§2. They also possess the right to acquire that fuller knowledge of the sacred sciences whichare taught in ecclesiastical universities and faculties or in institutes of religious sciences, byattending classes there and pursuing academic degrees.§3. If the prescripts regarding the requisite suitability have been observed, they are alsoqualified to receive from legitimate ecclesiastical authority a mandate to teach the sacredsciences.Can. 230 §1. Lay men who possess the age and qualifications established by decree of theconference of bishops can be admitted on a stable basis through the prescribed liturgical riteto the ministries of lector and acolyte.Nevertheless, the conferral of these ministries does not grant them the right to obtain supportor remuneration from the Church.§2. Lay persons can fulfill the function of lector in liturgical actions by temporarydesignation. All lay persons can also perform the functions of commentator or cantor, orother functions, according to the norm of law.§3. When the need of the Church warrants it and ministers are lacking, lay persons, even ifthey are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply certain of their duties, namely, to exercise theministry of the word, to preside offer liturgical prayers, to confer baptism, and to distributeHoly Communion, according to the prescripts of the law.Can. 231 §1. Lay persons who permanently or temporarily devote themselves to specialservice of the Church are obliged to acquire the appropriate formation required to fulfill theirfunction properly and to carry out this function conscientiously, eagerly, and diligently.§2. Without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 230, §1 and with the prescripts of civil lawhaving been observed, lay persons have the right to decent remuneration appropriate to theircondition so that they are able to provide decently for their own needs and those of theirfamily. They also have a right for their social provision, social security, and health benefits tobe duly provided.Can. 234 §1. Minor seminaries and other similar institutions are to be preserved, where theyexist, and fostered; for the sake of fostering vocations, these institutions provide specialreligious formation together with instruction in the humanities and science. Where thediocesan bishop judges it expedient, he is to erect a minor seminary or similar institution.Can. 244 The spiritual formation and doctrinal instruction of the students in a seminary are tobe arranged harmoniously and so organized that each student, according to his character,acquires the spirit of the gospel and a close relationship with Christ along with appropriatehuman maturity.Can. 245 §1. Through their spiritual formation, students are to become equipped to exercisethe pastoral ministry fruitfully and are to be formed in a missionary spirit; they are to learnthat ministry always carried out in living faith and charity fosters their own sanctification.They also are to learn to cultivate those virtues which are valued highly in human relations sothat they are able to achieve an appropriate integration between human and supernaturalgoods.
  13. 13. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 13 of 68§2. Students are so to be formed that, imbued with love of the Church of Christ, they arebound by humble and filial charity to the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, are attachedto their own bishop as faithful coworkers, and work together with their brothers. Throughcommon life in the seminary and through relationships of friendship and of associationcultivated with others, they are to be prepared for fraternal union with the diocesanpresbyterium whose partners they will be in the service of the Church.Can. 246 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be the center of the entire life of a seminary insuch a way that, sharing in the very love of Christ, the students daily draw strength of spiritfor apostolic work and for their spiritual life especially from this richest of sources.§2. They are to be formed in the celebration of the liturgy of the hours by which the ministersof God pray to God in the name of the Church for all the people entrusted to them, andindeed, for the whole world.§3. The veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, including the marian rosary, mental prayer,and other exercises of piety are to be fostered; through these, students are to acquire a spiritof prayer and gain strength in their vocation.§4. Students are to become accustomed to approach the sacrament of penance frequently; it isalso recommended that each have a director of his spiritual life whom he has freely chosenand to whom he can confidently open his conscience.§5. Each year students are to make a spiritual retreatCan. 248 The doctrinal instruction given is to be directed so that students acquire anextensive and solid learning in the sacred disciplines along with a general culture appropriateto the necessities of place and time, in such way that, grounded in their own faith andnourished thereby, they are able to announce in a suitable way the teaching of the gospel tothe people of their own time in a manner adapted to their understanding.Can. 256 §1. Students are to be instructed diligently in those things which in a particularmanner pertain to the sacred ministry, especially in catechetical and homiletic skills, in divineworship and particularly the celebration of the sacraments, in relationships with people, evennon-Catholics or non-believers, in the administration of a parish, and in the fulfillment ofother functions.§2. Students are to be instructed about the needs of the universal Church in such a way thatthey have solicitude for the promotion of vocations and for missionary, ecumenical, and othermore urgent questions, including social ones.Can. 260 In carrying out their proper functions, all must obey the rector, to whom it belongsto care for the daily supervision of the seminary according to the norm of the program ofpriestly formation and of the rule of the seminary.Can. 294 After the conferences of bishops involved have been heard, the Apostolic See canerect personal prelatures, which consist of presbyters and deacons of the secular clergy, topromote a suitable distribution of presbyters or to accomplish particular pastoral ormissionary works for various regions or for different social groups.
  14. 14. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 14 of 68Can. 296 Lay persons can dedicate themselves to the apostolic works of a personal prelatureby agreements entered into with the prelature. The statutes, however, are to determinesuitably the manner of this organic cooperation and the principal duties and rights connectedto it.Can. 298 §1. In the Church there are associations distinct from institutes of consecrated lifeand societies of apostolic life; in these associations the Christian faithful, whether clerics, laypersons, or clerics and lay persons together, strive in a common endeavor to foster a moreperfect life, to promote public worship or Christian doctrine, or to exercise other works of theapostolate such as initiatives of evangelization, works of piety or charity, and those whichanimate the temporal order with a Christian spirit.§2. The Christian faithful are to join especially those associations which competentecclesiastical authority has erected, praised, or commended.Can. 299 §1. By means of a private agreement made among themselves, the Christian faithfulare free to establish associations to pursue the purposes mentioned in ⇒ can. 298, §1, withoutprejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 301, §1.§2. Even if ecclesiastical authority praises or commends them, associations of this type arecalled private associations.§3. No private association of the Christian faithful is recognized in the Church unlesscompetent authority reviews its statutes.Can. 303 Associations whose members share in the spirit of some religious institute while insecular life, lead an apostolic life, and strive for Christian perfection under the higherdirection of the same institute are called third orders or some other appropriate name.Can. 305 §1. All associations of the Christian faithful are subject to the vigilance ofcompetent ecclesiastical authority which is to take care that the integrity of faith and moralsis preserved in them and is to watch so that abuse does not creep into ecclesiasticaldiscipline. This authority therefore has the duty and right to inspect them according to thenorm of law and the statutes. These associations are also subject to the governance of thissame authority according to the prescripts of the canons which follow.Can. 307 §1. The reception of members is to be done according to the norm of law and thestatutes of each association.§2. The same person can be enrolled in several associations.§3. Members of religious institutes can join associations according to the norm of their properlaw with the consent of their superior.Can. 308 No one legitimately enrolled is to be dismissed from an association except for a justcause according to the norm of law and the statutes.Can. 309 According to the norm of law and the statutes, legitimately established associationshave the right to issue particular norms respecting the association itself, to hold meetings, andto designate moderators, officials, other officers, and administrators of goods.
  15. 15. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 15 of 68Can. 312 §1. The authority competent to erect public associations is:1/ the Holy See for universal and international associations;2/ the conference of bishops in its own territory for national associations, that is, those whichfrom their founding are directed toward activity throughout the whole nation;3/ the diocesan bishop in his own territory, but not a diocesan administrator, for diocesanassociations, except, however, for those associations whose right of erection has beenreserved to others by apostolic privilege.§2. Written consent of the diocesan bishop is required for the valid erection of an associationor section of an association in a diocese even if it is done by virtue of apostolic privilege.Nevertheless, the consent given by a diocesan bishop for the erection of a house of a religiousinstitute is also valid for the erection in the same house or church attached to it of anassociation which is proper to that institute.Can. 313 Through the same decree by which the competent ecclesiastical authority accordingto the norm of ⇒ can. 312 erects it, a public association and even a confederation of publicassociations is constituted a juridic person and, to the extent it is required, receives a missionfor the purposes which it proposes to pursue in the name of the Church.Can. 314 The statutes of each public association and their revision or change need theapproval of the ecclesiastical authority competent to erect the association according to thenorm of ⇒ can. 312, §1.Can. 315 Public associations are able on their own initiative to undertake endeavors inkeeping with their own character. These endeavors are governed according to the norm of thestatutes, though under the higher direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in ⇒ can.312, §1.Can. 316 §1. A person who has publicly rejected the Catholic faith, has defected fromecclesiastical communion, or has been punished by an imposed or declared excommunicationcannot be received validly into public associations.§2. Those enrolled legitimately who fall into the situation mentioned in §1, after beingwarned, are to be dismissed from the association, with due regard for its statutes and withoutprejudice to the right of recourse to the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in ⇒ can. 312, §1.Can. 317 §1. Unless the statutes provide otherwise, it is for the ecclesiastical authoritymentioned in ⇒ can. 312, §1 to confirm the moderator of a public association elected by thepublic association itself, install the one presented, or appoint the moderator in his own right.The same ecclesiastical authority also appoints the chaplain or ecclesiastical assistant, afterhaving heard the major officials of the association, when it is expedient.§2. The norm stated in §1 is also valid for associations which members of religious instituteserect outside their own churches or houses in virtue of apostolic privilege. In associationswhich members of religious institutes erect in their own church or house, however, thenomination or confirmation of the moderator and chaplain pertains to the superior of theinstitute, according to the norm of the statutes.§3. In associations which are not clerical, lay persons are able to exercise the function of
  16. 16. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 16 of 68moderator. A chaplain or ecclesiastical assistant is not to assume that function unless thestatutes provide otherwise.Can. 319 §1. Unless other provision has been made, a legitimately erected public associationadministers the goods which it possesses according to the norm of the statutes under thehigher direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in ⇒ can. 312, §1, to which it mustrender an account of administration each year.§2. It must also render to the same authority a faithful account of the expenditure of theofferings and alms which it has collected.Can. 713 §1. Members of these institutes express and exercise their own consecration inapostolic activity, and like leaven they strive to imbue all things with the spirit of the gospelfor the strengthening and growth of the Body of ChristCan. 713§2. In the world and from the world, lay members participate in the evangelizingfunction of the Church whether through the witness of a Christian life and of fidelity towardtheir own consecration, or through the assistance they offer to order temporal thingsaccording to God and to inform the world by the power of the gospel.They also cooperate in the service of the ecclesial community according to their own secularway of lifeCan. 715§2. Those who are incardinated in an institute according to the norm of ⇒ can. 266,§3, however, are subject to the bishop like religious if they are appointed to the proper worksof the institute or to the governance of the institute.Can. 718 The administration of the goods of an institute, which must express and fosterevangelical poverty, is governed by the norms of Book V, The Temporal Goods of theChurch, and by the proper law of the institute.Likewise, proper law is to define the obligations of the institute, especially Financial ones,towards members who carry on work for it.Can. 719 §1. For members to respond faithfully to their vocation and for their apostolicaction to proceed from their union with Christ, they are to devote themselves diligently toprayer, to give themselves in a Fitting way to the reading of sacred scripture, to observe anannual period of spiritual retreat, and to perform other spiritual exercises according to properlaw.§2. The celebration of the Eucharist, daily if possible, is to be the source and strength of theirwhole consecrated life.§3. They are to approach freely the sacrament of penance which they are to receivefrequently.§4. They are to obtain freely necessary direction of conscience and to seek counsel of thiskind even from the moderators, if they wish.Can. 720 The right of admission into the institute, either for probation or for the assumptionof sacred bonds, whether temporary or perpetual or definitive, belongs to the major
  17. 17. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 17 of 68moderators with their council, according to the norm of the constitutions.Can. 722 §1. Initial probation is to be ordered in a way that the candidates understand morefittingly their own divine vocation, and indeed, the one proper to the institute, and that theyare trained in the spirit and way of life of the institute.§2. Candidates are properly to be formed to lead a life according to the evangelical counselsand are to be taught to transform their whole life into the apostolate, employing those formsof evangelization which better respond to the purpose, spirit, and character of the institute.Can. 729 A member is dismissed from an institute according to the norm of cann. ⇒ 694 and⇒ 695; moreover, the constitutions are to determine other causes for dismissal provided thatthey are proportionately grave, external, imputable, and juridically proven, and the method ofproceeding established in cann. 697-700 is to be observed. The prescript of ⇒ can. 701applies to one dismissed.Can. 731 §1. Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life; their members,without religious vows, pursue the apostolic purpose proper to the society and, leading a lifein common as brothers or sisters according to their proper manner of life, strive for theperfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions.§2. Among these are societies in which members assume the evangelical counsels by somebond defined in the constitutions.Can. 735 §1. The proper law of each society determines the admission, probation,incorporation, and formation of members.Can. 741 §1. Societies and, unless the constitutions determine otherwise, their parts andhouses are juridic persons and, as such, capable of acquiring, possessing, administering, andalienating temporal goods according to the norm of the prescripts of Book V, The TemporalGoods of the Church, of cann. ⇒ 636, ⇒ 638, and ⇒ 639, and of proper law.Can. 744 §1. It is equally reserved to the supreme moderator with the consent of the councilto grant permission for a definitively incorporated member to transfer to another society ofapostolic life; the rights and obligations proper to the society are suspended in the meantime,without prejudice to the right of returning before definitive incorporation in the new society.§2. Transfer to an institute of consecrated life or from one to a society of apostolic liferequires the permission of the Holy See, whose mandates must be observed.Can. 746 For the dismissal of a definitively incorporated member, ⇒ cann. 694-704 are to beobserved with appropriate adaptations.Can. 747 §1. The Church, to which Christ the Lord has entrusted the deposit of faith so thatwith the assistance of the Holy Spirit it might protect the revealed truth reverently, examine itmore closely, and proclaim and expound it faithfully, has the duty and innate right,independent of any human power whatsoever, to preach the gospel to all peoples, also usingthe means of social communication proper to it.
  18. 18. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 18 of 68§2. It belongs to the Church always and everywhere to announce moral principles, even aboutthe social order, and to render judgment concerning any human affairs insofar as thefundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls requires it.Can. 748 §1. All persons are bound to seek the truth in those things which regard God and hisChurch and by virtue of divine law are bound by the obligation and possess the right ofembracing and observing the truth which they have come to know.§2. No one is ever permitted to coerce persons to embrace the Catholic faith against theirconscience.Can. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teachingwhen as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens hisbrothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith ormorals is to be held.§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gatheredtogether in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faithand morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to beheld definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond ofcommunion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authenticallytogether with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particularproposition is to be held definitively.Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism ofsome truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the totalrepudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiffor of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.Can. 754 All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees whichthe legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscribeerroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops putsforth.Can. 758 By virtue of their consecration to God, members of institutes of consecrated lifegive witness to the gospel in a special way and the bishop appropriately calls upon them as ahelp in proclaiming the gospel.Can. 759 By virtue of baptism and confirmation, lay members of the Christian faithful arewitnesses of the gospel message by word and the example of a Christian life; they can also becalled upon to cooperate with the bishop and presbyters in the exercise of the ministry of theword.Can. 760 The mystery of Christ is to be set forth completely and faithfully in the ministry ofthe word, which must be based upon sacred scripture, tradition, liturgy, the magisterium, andthe life of the Church.Can. 766 Lay persons can be permitted to preach in a church or oratory, if necessity requiresit in certain circumstances or it seems advantageous in particular cases, according to theprescripts of the conference of bishops and without prejudice to ⇒ can. 767, §1
  19. 19. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 19 of 68Can. 768 §1. Those who proclaim the divine word are to propose first of all to the Christianfaithful those things which one must believe and do for the glory of God and the salvation ofhumanity.Can. 772 §1. In the exercise of preaching, moreover, all are to observe the norms issued bythe diocesan bishop.§2. In giving a radio or television talk on Christian doctrine, the prescripts established by theconference of bishops are to be observed.Can. 774 §1. Under the direction of legitimate ecclesiastical authority, solicitude forcatechesis belongs to all members of the Church according to each one‘s role.§2. Parents above others are obliged to form their children by word and example in faith andin the practice of Christian life; sponsors and those who take the place of parents are boundby an equal obligation.Can. 777 Attentive to the norms established by the diocesan bishop, a pastor is to take care ina special way:1/ that suitable catechesis is imparted for the celebration of the sacraments;2/ that through catechetical instruction imparted for an appropriate period of time children areprepared properly for the first reception of the sacraments of penance and the Most HolyEucharist and for the sacrament of confirmation;3/ that having received first communion, these children are enriched more fully and deeplythrough catechetical formation;4/ that catechetical instruction is given also to those who are physically or mentally impeded,insofar as their condition permits;5/ that the faith of youth and adults is strengthened, enlightened, and developed throughvarious means and endeavors.Can. 778 Religious superiors and superiors of societies of apostolic life are to take care thatcatechetical instruction is imparted diligently in their churches, schools, and other worksentrusted to them in any way.Can. 779 Catechetical instruction is to be given by using all helps, teaching aids, andinstruments of social communication which seem more effective so that the faithful, in amanner adapted to their character, capabilities and age, and conditions of life, are able tolearn Catholic doctrine more fully and put it into practice more suitably.Can. 780 Local ordinaries are to take care that catechists are duly prepared to fulfill theirfunction properly, namely, that continuing formation is made available to them, that theyunderstand the doctrine of the Church appropriately, and that they learn in theory and inpractice the methods proper to the teaching disciplines.Can. 781 Since the whole Church is by its nature missionary and the work of evangelization
  20. 20. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 20 of 68must be held as a fundamental duty of the people of God, all the Christian faithful, consciousof their responsibility, are to assume their part in missionary workCan. 782 §1. The Roman Pontiff and the college of bishops have the supreme direction andcoordination of endeavors and actions which belong to missionary work and missionarycooperation.§2. As sponsors of the universal Church and of all the churches, individual bishops are tohave special solicitude for missionary work, especially by initiating, fostering, and sustainingmissionary endeavors in their own particular churches.Can. 783 Since by virtue of their consecration members of institutes of consecrated lifededicate themselves to the service of the Church, they are obliged to engage in missionaryaction in a special way and in a manner proper to their institute.Can. 784 Missionaries, that is, those whom competent ecclesiastical authority sends to carryout missionary work, can be chosen from among natives or non-natives, whether secularclerics, members of institutes of consecrated life or of societies of apostolic life, or other laymembers of the Christian faithful.Can. 785 §1. Catechists are to be used in carrying out missionary work; catechists are laymembers of the Christian faithful, duly instructed and outstanding in Christian life, whodevote themselves to setting forth the teaching of the gospel and to organizing liturgies andworks of charity under the direction of a missionary.§2. Catechists are to be formed in schools designated for this purpose or, where such schoolsare lacking, under the direction of missionaries.Can. 786 The Church accomplishes the specifically missionary action which implants theChurch among peoples or groups where it has not yet taken root especially by sendingheralds of the gospel until the young churches are established fully, that is, when they areprovided with the proper resources and sufficient means to be able to carry out the work ofevangelization themselves.Can. 787 §1. By the witness of their life and word, missionaries are to establish a sinceredialogue with those who do not believe in Christ so that, in a manner adapted to their owntemperament and culture, avenues are opened enabling them to understand the message of thegospel.§2. Missionaries are to take care that they teach the truths of faith to those whom theyconsider prepared to receive the gospel message so that they can be admitted to receivebaptism when they freely request it.Can. 788 §1. When the period of the precatechumenate has been completed, those who havemade known their intention to embrace faith in Christ are to be admitted to thecatechumenate in liturgical ceremonies and their names are to be inscribed in the bookdesignated for this purpose.§2. Through instruction and the first experience of Christian life, catechumens are to beinitiated suitably into the mystery of salvation and introduced into the life of the faith, the
  21. 21. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 21 of 68liturgy, the charity of the people of God, and the apostolate.§3. It is for the conference of bishops to issue statutes which regulate the catechumenate bydetermining what things must be expected of the catechumens and by defining whatprerogatives are to be recognized as theirs.Can. 789 Neophytes are to be formed through suitable instruction to understand the gospeltruth more deeply and to fulfill the duties assumed through baptism; they are to be imbuedwith a sincere love for Christ and his Church.Can. 790 §1. It is for the diocesan bishop in the territories of a mission:1/ to promote, direct, and coordinate endeavors and works which pertain to missionaryaction;2/ to take care that appropriate agreements are entered into with moderators of instituteswhich dedicate themselves to missionary work and that relations with them result in the goodof the mission.§2. All missionaries, even religious and their assistants living in his jurisdiction, are subjectto the prescripts issued by the diocesan bishop mentioned in §1, n. 1.Can. 791. To foster missionary cooperation in individual dioceses:1/ missionary vocations are to be promoted;2/ a priest is to be designated to promote effectively endeavors for the missions, especiallythe Pontifical Missionary Works;3/ an annual day for the missions is to be celebrated;4/ a suitable offering for the missions is to be contributed each year and sent to the Holy See.Can. 792 Conferences of bishops are to establish and promote works by which those whocome to their territory from mission lands for the sake of work or study are received asbrothers and sisters and assisted with adequate pastoral care.Catechism citationsCopyright © Libreria Editrice VaticanaLearning the Catechism is a life long study, just like the Bible, a daily time should be set forreading and discussion. It is important that the Spirit of God‘s love/ grace be implanted in theperson by the Sacraments or the Word is only interpreted as Law and not read as a livingtruth.Only selected citations have been used as key points are meant to be a vademecum but it isrecommended that the complete Catechism is studied and a reference copy is available if any
  22. 22. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 22 of 68questions arise in the students mind.CCC. 50 By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. Butthere is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers:the order of divine Revelation.1Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himselfand given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of lovinggoodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fullyrevealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.The covenant with NoahCCC. 56 After the unity of the human race was shattered by sin God at once sought to savehumanity part by part. The covenant with Noah after the flood gives expression to theprinciple of the divine economy toward the "nations", in other words, towards men grouped"in their lands, each with (its) own language, by their families, in their nations".957 This state of division into many nations, each entrusted by divine providence to theguardianship of angels, is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the prideof fallen humanity10united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel.11But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantlythreaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.1258 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until theuniversal proclamation of the Gospel.13The Bible venerates several great figures among theGentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek - a figure of Christ - and the upright"Noah, Daniel, and Job".14Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reachedby those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to "gather into onethe children of God who are scattered abroad".15God chooses Abraham59 In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, hiskindred and his fathers house,16and makes him Abraham, that is, "the father of a multitude ofnations". "In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."1760 The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to thepatriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all hischildren into the unity of the Church.18They would be the root on to which the Gentileswould be grafted, once they came to believe.1961 The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and alwayswill be honoured as saints in all the Churchs liturgical traditions.God forms his people Israel62 After the patriarchs, God formed Israel as his people by freeing them from slavery inEgypt. He established with them the covenant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave themhis law so that they would recognize him and serve him as the one living and true God, theprovident Father and just judge, and so that they would look for the promised Saviour.20
  23. 23. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 23 of 6863 Israel is the priestly people of God, "called by the name of the LORD", and "the first tohear the word of God",21The people of "elder brethren" in the faith of Abraham.64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation ofa new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts.22The prophetsproclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, asalvation which will include all the nations.23Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord willbear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah,Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israels salvation. The purest figure among them isMary.24CCC. III. Christ Jesus -- "Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation"25God has said everything in his Word65 "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in theselast days he has spoken to us by a Son."26Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Fathersone, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no otherword than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews1:1-2:In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everythingto us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spokebefore to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the AllWho is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelationwould be guilty not only of foolish behaviour but also of offending him, by not fixinghis eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.27There will be no further Revelation66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will neverpass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestationof our Lord Jesus Christ."28Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been madecompletely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance overthe course of the centuries.67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which havebeen recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the depositof faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christs definitive Revelation, but to helplive more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church,the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whateverconstitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or correct theRevelation of which Christ is the fulfilment, as is the case in certain nonChristianreligions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such "revelations".I. The Apostolic Tradition
  24. 24. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 24 of 6875 "Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up,commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by theprophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. Inpreaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel wasto be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline."32In the apostolic preaching. . .76 In keeping with the Lords command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways:- orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by theexample they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received -whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they hadlearned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit";33- in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under theinspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing".34. . . continued in apostolic succession77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church theapostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teachingauthority."35Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in theinspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."3678 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it isdistinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "theChurch, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation allthat she herself is, all that she believes."37"The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness tothe life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in thepractice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."38CCC. 79 The Fathers self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remainspresent and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with theSpouse of his beloved Son. and the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospelrings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, andmakes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."39II. The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred ScriptureOne common source. . .80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, andcommunicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal."40Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promisedto remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".41. . . two distinct modes of transmission81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of theHoly Spirit."42
  25. 25. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 25 of 68"and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted tothe apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of theapostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound andspread it abroad by their preaching."4382 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation isentrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scripturesalone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments ofdevotion and reverence."44Apostolic Tradition and ecclesial traditions83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they receivedfrom Jesus teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. the firstgeneration of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testamentitself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical ordevotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms,adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light ofTradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance ofthe Churchs Magisterium.III. The Interpretation of the Heritage of FaithThe heritage of faith entrusted to the whole of the Church84 The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith (the depositum fidei),45containedin Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. "By adhering to [this heritage]the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of theapostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining,practising and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkableharmony between the bishops and the faithful."46The Magisterium of the Church85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its writtenform or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of theChurch alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47Thismeans that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with thesuccessor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches onlywhat has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, itlistens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that itproposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."4887 Mindful of Christs words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me",49The faithfulreceive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in differentforms.
  26. 26. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 26 of 68The dogmas of the faith88 The Churchs Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extentwhen it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation oralso when it proposes in a definitive way truths having a necessary connection with them.89 There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas arelights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life isupright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas offaith.5090 The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the wholeof the Revelation of the mystery of Christ.51"In Catholic doctrine there exists an order orhierarchy 234 of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christianfaith."52The supernatural sense of faith91 All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have receivedthe anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them53and guides them into all truth.5492 "The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic isshown 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 mattersof faith and morals."5593 "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the Peopleof God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . the faith, oncefor all delivered to the saints. . . the People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it moredeeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life."56Growth in understanding the faith94 Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and thewords 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";57it is in particular "theological research [which] deepens knowledge of revealed truth".58- "from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience",59The sacredScriptures "grow with the one who reads them."60- "from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in theepiscopate, the sure charism of truth".6195 "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 oneof them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under theaction of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls."62104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, forshe welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God".67"In thesacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with
  27. 27. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 27 of 68them."68105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which arecontained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under theinspiration of the Holy Spirit."69"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred andcanonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts,on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as theirauthor, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."70106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, Godchose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of theirown faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authorsthat they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more."71107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacredwriters affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge thatthe books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for thesake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."72108 Still, the Christian faith is not a "religion of the book". Christianity is the religion of the"Word" of God, "not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living".73If the Scripturesare not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through theHoly Spirit, "open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures."74III. The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly,the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to whatGod wanted to reveal to us by their words.75110 In order to discover the sacred authors intention, the reader must take into account theconditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes offeeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presentedand expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, andin other forms of literary expression."76111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle ofcorrect interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripturemust be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written."77The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordancewith the Spirit who inspired it.78112 Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as thebooks which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of Gods plan, ofwhich Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.79
  28. 28. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 28 of 68The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known hisheart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture hasbeen opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it,consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.80113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to asaying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Churchs heart rather thanin documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial ofGods Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of theScripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church"81).114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.82By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence ofthe truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.The senses of Scripture115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture:the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral andanagogical senses. the profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness tothe living reading of Scripture in the Church.116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered byexegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture arebased on the literal."83117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of Gods plan, not only the text of Scripture butalso the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.1. the allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events byrecognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type ofChrists victory and also of Christian Baptism.842. the moral sense. the events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paulsays, they were written "for our instruction".853. the anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events interms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church onearth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.87119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a betterunderstanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their researchmay help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said aboutthe manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Churchwhich exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over andinterpreting the Word of God."88But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Churchalready moved me.89
  29. 29. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 29 of 68IV. The Canon of Scripture120 It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to beincluded in the list of the sacred books.90This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament(45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.91The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua,Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah,Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, theSong of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah,Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.The New Testament: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, theActs of the Apostles, the Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians,Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letters of James, 1 and 2Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, and Revelation (the Apocalypse).The Old Testament121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinelyinspired and retain a permanent value,92for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.122 Indeed, "the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately SO oriented that it shouldprepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men."93"Eventhough they contain matters imperfect and provisional,94The books of the OldTestament bearwitness to the whole divine pedagogy of Gods saving love: these writings "are a storehouseof sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderfultreasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way."95123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. the Church has alwaysvigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the Newhas rendered it void (Marcionism).The New Testament124 "The Word of God, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, isset forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the NewTestament"96which hand on the ultimate truth of Gods Revelation. Their central object isJesus Christ, Gods incarnate Son: his acts, teachings, Passion and glorification, and hisChurchs beginnings under the Spirits guidance.97125 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures "because they are our principal source forthe life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Saviour".98
  30. 30. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 30 of 68126 We can distinguish three stages in the formation of the Gospels:1. the life and teaching of Jesus. the Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whosehistoricity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while helived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he wastaken up."992. the oral tradition. "For, after the ascension of the Lord, the apostles handed on to theirhearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructedby the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed."1003. the written Gospels. "The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain ofthe many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form; othersthey synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, the whilesustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us thehonest truth about Jesus."101127 The fourfold Gospel holds a unique place in the Church, as is evident both in theveneration which the liturgy accords it and in the surpassing attraction it has exercised on thesaints at all times:There is no doctrine which could be better, more precious and more splendid than thetext of the Gospel. Behold and retain what our Lord and Master, Christ, has taught byhis words and accomplished by his deeds.102But above all its the gospels that occupy my mind when Im at prayer; my poor soulhas so many needs, and yet this is the one thing needful. Im always finding freshlights there; hidden meanings which had meant nothing to me hitherto.103The unity of the Old and New Testaments128 The Church, as early as apostolic times,104and then constantly in her Tradition, hasilluminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, whichdiscerns in Gods works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in thefullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen.Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but itmust not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelationreaffirmed by our Lord himself.105Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light ofthe Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament.106As an oldsaying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled inthe New.107130 Typology indicates the dynamic movement toward the fulfilment of the divine plan when"God [will] be everything to everyone."108Nor do the calling of the patriarchs and the exodusfrom Egypt, for example, lose their own value in Gods plan, from the mere fact that theywere intermediate stages.V. Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church131 "and such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as hersupport and vigour, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the
  31. 31. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 31 of 68soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life."109Hence "access to Sacred Scripture oughtto be open wide to the Christian faithful."110132 "Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. theministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christianinstruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthilynourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture."111133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful... to learn thesurpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignoranceof the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.112I. The Obedience of Faith144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to "hear or listen to") in faith is to submit freely to theword that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself.Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. the Virgin Mary isits most perfect embodiment.Abraham - "father of all who believe"145 The Letter to the Hebrews, in its great eulogy of the faith of Israels ancestors, laysspecial emphasis on Abrahams faith: "By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to goout to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing wherehe was to go."4By faith, he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in the promised land.5By faith,Sarah was given to conceive the son of the promise. and by faith Abraham offered his onlyson in sacrifice.6146 Abraham thus fulfils the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Faith is the assurance ofthings hoped for, the conviction of things not seen":7"Abraham believed God, and it wasreckoned to him as righteousness."8Because he was "strong in his faith", Abraham becamethe "father of all who believe".9147 The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. the Letter to the Hebrews proclaimsits eulogy of the exemplary faith of the ancestors who "received divine approval".10Yet "Godhad foreseen something better for us": the grace of believing in his Son Jesus, "the pioneerand perfecter of our faith".11Mary - "Blessed is she who believed"148 The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Marywelcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that "with Godnothing will be impossible" and so giving her assent: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord;let it be [done] to me according to your word."12Elizabeth greeted her: "Blessed is she whobelieved that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."13It is forthis faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.14149 Throughout her life and until her last ordeal15when Jesus her son died on the cross,Marys faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfilment of Gods word. andso the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.