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March 22, 1963     Catholic Northwest Progress
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"FrTcJay, arcl 2, '1963" THEOLOGY FOR THE LAYMAN: (Lesson 13) ,CHRISTIAN CULTUR,E SERIES God The Holy Spirit Chapter XII The Kingdom Is Preserved To The Endof Time We have reached a vantage pointqn our study of the history of God's Kingdom come on Under God the Father have seen the creation of the Kingdom, its fall and eventual re-establishment through Moses. Under God the Son, we have witnessed the perfection of the Kingdom and its complete re- demption. The means to Pare- have been restored. Under God the Holy Spirit, we are about to see how that wonderful Kingdom, restored, perfected and redeemed, has _been preserved and. made avail- ale to human beings of every age. This miraculous preserv a - tion through 2,000 years has been the work of God in the per- son of the Holy Spirit. Acts of the Apostles And 21 Epistles ' The Acts of the Apostles was about 63 A.D: by St. the author of the third Gospel. Beginning w i t h our Lord's farewell instructions to the Apostles just before His Ascension, it first narrates the chief events in the history of the infant Church up to about the ar 42, when St. Peter definitely Beparted from Palestine. From this point the Acts traces the spread of the Church principally through the missionary journeys of St. Paul, and closes with a short account of his labors in Rome. In this way it covers a eriod of about thirty-five years am the Ascension to the second year of St. Paul's imprisonment. Keeping to the main course of events as showing the growth of the Church, it is silent about the internal development of the churches after their establish- ment. The Acts is a necessary and beautiful supplement to the history of the Gospels, describ- ing with great accuracy and lit- erary charm the fulfillment of our Lord's promise to send the Holy Spirit to sanctify and guide His church, and so it has aptly been called the Gospel of the Holy Spirit. Promise of the Holy Spirit Our Lord was not going to re- main on earth in His bodily form forever. Yet He desired that His Life remain with men. The Human means for the transmis- sion of His Life had been estab- lished. Yet without Divine help, these human means were like a plant trying to grow without sunlight, like an electric bulb without current, like a body without a vitalizing life-giving principle. Since the body of Christ's Church had as its mission the generation, preservation a n d strengthening of Christ's Divine Life among, men, it must have as its :very soul and vitalizing principle Divine Life Itself. Christ constantly and repeat- edly 'promised His Apostles that after He had ascended into heaven, The Father would send His Holy Spirit to vitalize the Church, so that Christ could truly live on in His members. Christ warned His Apostles that if He did not ascend to the Father, if He did not leave them, The "Advocate" (The Promised Holy Spirit) would not come. In our Lord's farewell address to His Apostles on the night be- fore His Passion and Death, St. John makes it very clear that Christ wanted no misunderstand- ing about His earlier references to the Holy Spirit. It is clear that the Holy Spirit is a Divine Person, the Third Person of the triune God whose role in the Divine plan of Salvation will be to preserve and to vitalize the Kingdom with Divine Life in order that Christ might truly live on in His body the Church. "And I will ask the Father and he will give you an- other Advocate to dwell with you forever, the Spirit of Truth whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you shall know him, because he will dwell with you, and be in you." (Jn. 14:16-17). "I will not leave you orphans . . . These things I have spoken to you while yet dwelling with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatever I have said to you." (Jn. 14:19; 25-26). Pentecost, Clearly the Apostles knew of this tremendous p r o m i s e of Christ to send the Holy Spirit of God to dwell with them and to preserve their Kingdom not made with hands. After Christ ascended into heaven the Apos- tles felt alone, frightened, help- less, yet, they knew what to do, they recalled that Christ had commanded them to go out and preach the Gospel to every na- tion; to baptize all mankind in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. But of themselves they were helpless. Left To Themselves This was too great a task for man alone to accomplish. Our Lord left them to themselves for some time after His Ascension in Order to convince them that of themselves they were nothing and that without His Holy LET DISCUSS IT ! FOR YOUR INFORMATION CATHOLIC INFORMATION CENTER THE Catholic Information Center, 910 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, offers you a selection of thousands of pamphlets, and paper-backs explaining the faith. I is a lending library and if has a comfortable reading room. The Informa- tion Center is opened to serve you Monday thru Friday from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M., and on Saturdays from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. During the past year information was given fo thousands seeking to be informed on a variety of subjects, such as, parish boundaries, movie raf- ings, inquiry classes, correspondence courses, hours of Masses, etc. You are cordially invited to visit us. 910 Fourth Avenue, Seattle MA 2-2097 Spirit they could not preach His new law, teach His doctrine, rule in His name, offer His sacrifice nor communicate His life thru use of His Sacraments. Huddled in an upper room on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost which was celebrated fifty days after the feast of the Passover, Mary and the 72 disciples who formed the nucleus of Christ's Church were all aware of their desperate need for the Holy Spirit. The Apostles feared the Jews outside would put them to death for believing in Christ: They were frightened to death and utterly helpless. But Christ is God and He kept His promise! "And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting, And there appeared to them parted tongues as of fire, which settled upon each of them, And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in for- eign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak." (Acts. 2:2-4). Now, at last the body of Christ's Church became alive, vibrant with the Divine Life the Holy Spirit alone could give it. Peter and the Apostles filled with the Holy Spirit fearlessly began to preach the Gospel of Salvation, to assume their right- ful authority as Christ's ambas- sadors, to offer the unbloody re- newal of the Sacrifice of Cal- vary, to baptize, confirm and administer the other Sacraments which Christ had left them. At last the Kingdom of God come on Earth could look gloriously to the future, for the Holy Spirit, God Himself, was operating in and through her. To get a clearer picture of how the Holy Spirit operated in the infant church read the entire Acts of the Apostles. Epistles "Epistle" means letter. The Church spread so rapidly in the first years of its development that it was impossible for the Apostles to visit each Christian community with desired regu- larity. The Apostles therefore kept in contactwith the churches in their charge by writing "let- ters" or Epistles to be read to the various communities or nationali- ties involved. Twenty-one of these letters have come down to us as inspired by the Holy Spirit. They are most valuable in shed- ding light upon the internal workings of the Infant Church, the various problems which the Church encountered, the way in which the Apostles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit solved them. Also, especially in the letter of St. Paul we find a wealth of theology and gain deeper in- sights into the inner meaning of the mysteries of Christianity. Un- fortunately e do not have the time, nor is it our purpose here to examine these precious letters in detail. The instructions and advice given to the early Chris- tians by the Apostles can well be applied to Christians of the present day and just such an application is made at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. In almost every Mass formulary there is a portion of one of these 21 Epis- tles read for the instruction and edification of the people. The Kingdom Preserved By the Holy Spirit Is The Roman Catholic Church Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would be with His King- L dam all days even to the con- summation of the world. This means that each of the essential elements of Christ's perfect re- ligious society must be found in the world today intact and flourishing. Let us now see how the Holy O =- = 8 = =__ THE PROGRESS-.--9 : i iii ii " salvation" has been preserved and perfected by the Holy Spirit through the oral and written transmission known as Divine Tradition. Under "Pophets of the Old Law and Witnesses of, the New" we shall discover how morrow. This He told His Apos- 1. What personal lesson does tile Apostles'nead for and reception of the Holy Spirit bring home to each one of us? 2. In the light of what is treated in this lesson, why is Vatican I! more than just a convention of prominent men? 3. Does the Doctrine of Infallibility seem at all unreasonable when we recall the "Spirit of Truth" remaining always with the Church? 4. In what five modern elements of the Catholic Church do we find the God-given plan of true Religion? What five elements of the Old Testament did they succeed? 5. DISCUSS: Our confidence in the teaching authority of the Catholic Church is based on the knowledge of the guiding pres- ence of the Holy Spirit in the Church. For one having such confidence, what otherwise would be an unsophisticated, blind, trust, now becomes a very reasonable act of confidence and trust. = _-: _= | llfflllffllillllllllfl III fl Iffllllllltl IIIlllllll Ifflllllllffllllllllilllflllffllll rlllllll Ill lfll)llilllllll I111 lllllTfflllf Illllfll Ill ltlll Iflillltllllfl]tt IIl IIIIIIIIHII IIIflllqill]tfnllrl IlllilllIFIIlIll(llllillif IIl[llll In lllllllltlllfllffllllFIlll Spkit has preserved the five es- sential elements of true religion: Law, Prophets. Redeemer-King, Sacrifice, and Sacred-Signs in exactly the way Christ perfected them. Let us see how Christ's promise to be with His Church has come true during the past 2,000 years. Let us come to un- derstand why the Kingdom pre- served by the Holy Spirit must be the Holy Roman Catholic Church, for no other Church in the world possesses ALL five of the essential elements which Christ perfected as the founda- tion of His New and Perfect Religious Society. Guided Peter Under "A History of Papal Authority" we shall see how the Holy Spirit has preserved and guided Peter and His successors through trials enough to crumble a thousand man-made societies and bring the Church victorious- ly through to the present day, even to the recent election of John XXIII now reigning as the 261st successor of St. Peter. Under "Divine Tradition" we shall come to understand how the New Perfect Law of Love preached by Christ and known as the Gospel or "good news of the Holy Spirit has kept alive the prophetic mission of the Old Law through the Saints and mar- tyrs of the new. Inspired To Bear Witness In every age of the Church the Holy Spirit has inspired men and women to bear witness to Christ and His Gospel through word and example. These men and women are living witnesses to the holiness of the Kingdom and its actual ability to sanctify its members. Under the "Sacri- fice of the Mass" we shall try to fathom the mystery of the Last Supper and Calvary. Christ suffered and died but once. By this great'sacrificial act the world was redeemed, but every individual was not automatically assured Salvation. In order that the merits of Christ's Passion and Deathbe made available to men and women of every age, Christ in- stituted the Sacrifice of the Mass. At the Last Supper the night before He died, Christ took bread and wine and, changing it into His own body and blood, performed an unbloody sacrifice m anticipation of the bloody sacrifice to take place on the ties to do in commemoration of Him. After Christ's passion and death, recalling Our Lord's com- mand and understanding now what it implied, the Apostles in Christ's name changed bread and wine into the Master's own body and blood and offered it to the Father in a perfect un- bloody sacrifice which is exactly identical to Calvary save that it is unbloody. This Sacrifice has been preserved by the Apostles and performed by priests of every age in perfect fulfillment of Christ's c am m a nd. Thus Christians of every age, through the Mass, (for this is what that unbloody Sacrifice is called)c once again themselves be present at Calvary though in a sacramen- tal and unbloody way, and by proper assistance at this true sacrifice make the merits won by Christ on the cross for all men actually applicable to their own lives. As their dispositions and receptivity increase, the infinite merits of the Mass are more and more to perfectly applied*to their lives and the work of - . demption comes more and more to perfection in them. Under 'Sacred-Signs are Preserved in the Kingdom through The Sac- raments" we shall come to ap- preciate how Christ has made it possible for Life to be preserved and strengthened in the King- dom through means of the Sacraments. We have seen how Christ took the sacred signs of the Old Law and, transforming them, made new signs "Sacraments". They are seven in number, they have ever been in the Kingdom from the beginning and this fact can be traced through the History of the Kingdom itself. It is through DIVINE TRA- DITION, SAINTS, POPE, MASS, SACRAMENI'S that the essential elements of Christ's per-! fect Kingdom have been pre-, served and made available to each one 6f us. And these essem  tial elements constitute the es-- sential elements of one Church;: and are one Church alone: The Holy Roman Catholic Church.' It is through this Church alone that all the essential elements of the Kingdom ae preserved and made available to its members. Now in the articles that fol- low let us examine each of these' elements in detail. (To be continued) / / l