Editorial Comments -
We are pleased to introduce Richard Maffeo in a new column: We Believe. Richard is a convert to Catholicism from evangelical Protestant faith. He wrote forty meditations based on the Nicene Creed to stir a passion within the hearts of his fellow Catholics - a passion "for the faith that was once for all handed down to the holy ones" (Jude 1:3). His meditations are compiled in his book, "We Believe: Forty Meditations on the Nicene Creed." The book is available through bookstores and his website.
The ScripturesCreed Statement: On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures…But you, remain faithful to what you have learned and believed, because you know from whom you learned it, and that from infancy you have know (the) sacred scriptures, which are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work
From We Believe - A reflection series on the Nicene Creed
By Rich Maffeo
(2 Timothy 3: 14-17).
The Church has always taught that God is the author of the Scriptures. That's why she venerates Scripture as she venerates the Lord's Body (Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 103, 105). St. Gregory the Great, called the Bible, "A letter from Almighty God to His creatures. "St. Jerome admonished, "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."
But some people are not so sure.
"How do we know the Bible is God's word:" Jason interrupted my lesson.
My high school catechism class had been studying St. Paul's letter to the Colossians, but his question caught the interest of the other teens in the class. I sensed we needed to take a detour from St. Paul's letter.
"Well," I answered, "What's your definition of God?"
He scrunched his forehead and asked what I meant.
"Is God omnipotent?" I looked at the others, inviting them to consider my question, too. "Is He all-powerful? Can He do whatever He wants, whenever He wants, however He wants?"
Jason shrugged. "Sure"
"Is God omniscient? Does He know everything about everything? There aren't any mysteries to Him?"
"What about omnipresence? Is God everywhere at every moment? Is He in this classroom and, at the same time, in France, India, and Mexico?
He nodded again.
"One more question," I said. "Is God a loving God?"
"Uh-huh," he agreed.
"Are you sure?"
"Okay, let's work backwards. If God is loving God, then we can expect Him to want to communicate with those He loves, right?
I smiled and walked closer to Jason.
"Since God loves us, and He is all-powerful-how difficult do you think it would be for Him to ensure His message is accurately transmitted across the centuries? Since He is all-knowing, He knows the best way to communicate with us, and because He is everywhere at the same time, He can simultaneously speak to anyone who reads His Word with an open heart."
I walked back to the lectern and took the Bible in my hand. "That's one reason an ancient Israelite king said, "Trust in his prophets and you will succeed.' And St. Paul added, 'See to tit that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ'" (2 Chronicles 20:20 and Colossians 2:8).
I looked at the students and wondered if I was making sense to them. My reasons for believing the inerrancy of God's work might not have satisfied Jason and the others, but rehearsing those reasons reminded me once again why the Church teaches us we can trust the Bible to be the unfailing and inerrant word of God. When we recite, "in fulfillments of the Scriptures," we can stand confident of God's commitment to guide us to salvation through the inspired words of Scripture. For Good reason, the Catechism urges us "to learn 'the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ,' by frequently reading God's work" (Paragraph 133).Prayer: Lord, Your work is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Teach me Your ways and I will walk in Your truth. Amen.
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These meditations are compiled in the book, "We Believe: Forty Meditations on the Nicene Creed." The book is available through bookstores and this website.