CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDY - APOLOGETICS &
THEOLOGY RESOURCES + ARTICLES, FORUMS & STUDIES
Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible - There is no higher "Authority" than the Word of God when used in connection with the teachings of His Church. Click on "Search" and use key words to find verses from Sacred Scripture to help you in your spiritual life.
The Sacred Scriptures contain the greatest works of theology, apologetics, philosophy, and psychology known to man, and They should be the foundation of every discussion and teaching in everyday life, at every level of education. A DAILY reading of a few pages of Sacred Scripture (especially the New Testament) is critical to your spiritual life as Our Lord speaks to us through His Word. Other useful spiritual tools are Papal Encyclicals, Church Writings, Canon Laws, The Catholic Encyclopedia, and The Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Spiritually, to truly grow into the person Christ desires you to be, it is necessary to set these additional DAILY GOALS:
Participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, praying the Holy Rosary and meditating on at least a portion of the Stations of the Cross. Frequently confessing your sins (at least monthly) and finding a good spiritual director are also extremely important if you wish to advance in your spiritual life and truly come to know Jesus.
God bless you,
Vincent T. Bemowski - Website Editor
Holy Spirit, which is the essence of truth, could not be teaching
people conflicting doctrines regarding the same Bible verses. Catholics
would say that the Holy Spirit certainly does make many spiritual
truths clear to us individually, but that the gift of never interpreting
Scripture incorrectly is only handed down through the Church led by
Peter’s successors (the popes). The articles below get to the heart of
the issue of authority..."
Commentary: The correct interpretation of the Holy Scriptures depends upon your degree of faith and the gift of wisdom. Therefore, many have been deceived and falsely believed they knew and understood God's Will and in the process started their own brand of "religion." vtb
COMMENTARY ON STUDYING THE BIBLE
One of the easiest and best ways to study the Holy Bible is to read the New Testament three times (slowly - a few paragraphs or pages each day) and get to know Jesus. Then read the Old Testament. However, it is very important to ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and our Blessed Mother to help you as you are reflecting on God's Word for your soul and the souls of those near you. It is also important to have a Concordance handy as you read (provides Bible verses based on key words - or use the above Douay-Rheims Bible Link and It's Search box). In addition, it is helpful to use a Bible that has a lot of footnotes: vtb
Here are more resources that will help you learn about who Jesus is:
Agape Bible Study- "Mission Statement: Agape Bible Study is dedicated to providing free Bible study materials to everyone who desires to explore the fullness of God’s Truth in Sacred Scripture and Tradition."
AnswersInGenesis.org - Memo only - Not recommended. The following was given to me by a visitor to Catholic Messages USA.com:
"AnswersInGenesis.org" is owned and operated by Tom A. Ham. Mr. Ham isn't Catholic and has made numerous anti-Roman Catholic statements. See:
Book of Revelations and Holy Mass - A page from "Scripture Catholic" website - ties between what is revealed in the Book of Revelations to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Catholic Bible Study Online- "The format for this Bible Study podcast will consist of a 15 minute (or longer) recording from the great teachers of our faith. The podcast recordings will consist of talks by Father Larry Richards, Scott Hahn, Kimberly Hahn, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, and many many more." Daily Gospel - "Daily Mass readings e-mailed to you free of charge...run by an international team of lay Catholics and volunteers." Free Catholic Bible Study through St. Lambert Parish- "On August 30, 2008, Dr. Scott Hahn (one of the most remarkable theologians and Catholic authors of our time) was the featured guest speaker at St. Lambert Parish. He gave a three-part presentation (totaling 158 minutes) on St. Paul and the Sacred Scriptures. We made this into an 18-part video clip presentation for YouTube as well as a 4-part presentation on Google." Presentation Ministries - Reflection on one of today's Mass Readings. E-mail subscription available - You can also order booklet: "One Bread, One Body" with an offering. Scripture Catholic - "Providing Scriptural Evidence for the Teachings of the Catholic Faith." The Bible and the Catholic Church - "In order to more fully appreciate the Catholic Church's understanding of the Bible, one must first grasp the Church's view of Divine Revelation as a whole." The WORD Among Us - "Daily meditations based on the Mass readings of the Catholic Church, inspirational essays and stories of the saints and other Christian heroes and more! We also publish a full, printed version of the devotional with over 500,000 subscribers world wide."
ADDITIONAL APOLOGETICS &
THEOLOGY RESOURCES + ARTICLES, FORUMS & STUDIES
Making the old new: Vatican encourages a recovery of 'apologetics' - "While there have been scattered attempts to train Catholics to explain their faith to others since Vatican II, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has asked for a more widespread effort to get apologetic material into the hands of Catholics... The congregation included a reference to the biblical admonition from the First Letter of Peter: "Always be ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope."
"DON'T PRAY AT HOLY MASS, BUT PRAY THE HOLY MASS"
"The Holy Mass is a prayer itself, even the highest prayer that exists. It is the Sacrifice dedicated by our Redeemer at the Cross, and repeated every day on the Altar. If you wish to hear Mass as it should be heard, you must follow with eye, heart, and mouth all that happens at the Altar. Further, you must pray with the Priest the holy words said by him in the Name of Christ and which Christ says by him. You have to associate your heart with the holy feelings which are contained in these words and in this manner you ought to follow all that happens on the Altar.
When acting in this way you have prayed Holy Mass."
--- His Holiness, Pope Saint Pius X
Assumption College for Sisters - "ACS awards two degrees and a Certificate: the Associate in Arts, the Associate in Religious Arts, and a Certificate in Theological Studies. We welcome lay persons to earn credits in theology and philosophy courses and to pursue the Certificate in Theological Studies." Augustine Institute - "Founded in 2005, the 1650th anniversary year of Augustine's birth, provides academic and formational programs on the master's level which combine the disciplines of theology, history and pedagogy in order to form those who will, in their turn, form others." Barna Group - "The company provides primary research; printed resources; leadership development; spiritual training; and church facilitation and enhancement. We seek to use our strengths in partnership with organizations and entrepreneurs to be a catalyst in moral, social, and spiritual transformation. We accomplish these outcomes by providing vision, information, strategy, evaluation and resources."
NOTE: The Department of Communications of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) commissioned CARA to conduct this survey. The following are the primary topic areas of the survey:
How Catholics have entered the Church.
The general sacramental lives of Catholics.
The Mass and Eucharist.
Anointing of the Sick.
Ordinations and vocations.
Religious devotions and practices in daily life.
General Catholic beliefs and attitudes.
Parish life in a time of fewer priests.
Satisfaction with Church leaders."
Catholic Answers - "We explain Catholic truth." Also contains useful information for non-Catholics. Catholic Apologetics International - See: 'Consulting' - CAI will take your personal calls and discuss theological, biblical, religious or social concerns with you, providing a Catholic perspective on your concerns." Catholic Community Forum- "This site gets over 8 million page hits each month from 1.5 million visitors...we hope to continue growing and leading people to Christ and His Church for years to come." Catholic Education Resource Center - "Prepare Catholics for engagement in the world by providing them with effective apologetics, derived from a sound Christian anthropology, on the critical social and moral issues of the day." Catholic Evangelists - "This Website offers you some tips and techniques on how to share your Catholic faith respectfully with Christians of other denominations or those who have no faith at all." Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights - "Motivated by the letter and the spirit of the First Amendment, the Catholic League works to safeguard both the religious freedom rights and the free speech rights of Catholics whenever and wherever they are threatened." Catholic Resources - "This website contains a variety of materials, mostly related to biblical and liturgical studies, intended for scholars, teachers, students, pastors, and others." Catholic Theological Union - "CTU has grown to be the largest Roman Catholic graduate school of theology and ministry in North America. Students from all over the world, of every age and vocation, study together. They learn about the Catholic faith as well as how to dialogue with other Abrahamic faith traditions – Protestant, Jewish and Muslim." Catholic Theological Society of America- "To promote studies and research in theology, to relate theological science to current problems, and to foster a more effective theological education, by providing a forum for an exchange of views among theologians and with scholars in other disciplines." Center for Thomas More Studies- "To promote the study of Thomas More, especially the contemporary implications of his principles of statesmanship in the pursuit of peace." ChurchYear.net- "Ancient-Future.Net and ChurchYear.Net exist to help individuals of all denominations and perspectives better understand Catholic Teaching, Practice, Spirituality, and Morality." Conservapedia - "An encyclopaedia with articles written from a conservative viewpoint." Courage, an apostolate of the Roman Catholic Church - "Persons with homosexual desires have always been with us; however, until recent times, there has been little, if any, formal outreach from the Church in the way of support groups or information for such persons. Most were left to work out their path on their own. As a result, they found themselves listening to and accepting the secular society's perspective and opting to act on their same-sex desires...." Doctors of the Catholic Church - Listing arranged in alphabetical order, from Albert to St. Thomas Aquinas. Includes biographies, references, and Links. Plus section on Our Blessed Mother.
Documents of Vatican II Council - An opportunity to learn the truth from actual documents produced by this controversial Council. As with any great work, the interpretation of these documents will vary, depending on the spiritual state of the interpreter's soul.
"With the passing of the years, the Vatican Council's documents have lost nothing of their value or brilliance. They need to be read correctly, to be widely known and taken to heart as important and normative texts of the Magisterium, within the Church's tradition." --- Pope John Paul II
Dominican House of Studies - "A school of theology...It is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools."
"The essence of the Mass is not changing. But the way it is celebrated will be noticeably different... many of the prayers and responses of the liturgy have been newly translated into English from the original Latin text. In addition, new observances for recently canonized saints, additional prefaces for the Eucharistic prayers, additional Masses for various needs and intentions, and updated instructions for the overall celebration of the Mass will be added. The most significant changes people will notice, however, is the new translation of the actual words of the Mass." (Taken from the Holy Family Parish bulletin, Nov. 5, 2011, Cahokia, Illinois).
Commentary: As older Catholics will remember, these current changes are being made to more accurately conform to the traditional Tridentine (Latin) Mass prayed before, and a few years after Vatican II. However, neither Vatican officials or our bishops are admitting that those changes to the Mass (approved in 1969) were grave errors and should never have been put into place. Therefore, they are also being careful not to even mention the Tridentine Mass. Those changes, along with the approval of the Saturday "afternoon" Mass were designed to "modernize" the Church and please man, but without prayerfully considering that they may offend Almighty God. As a result, those appeasements have greatly contributed to the spiritually lukewarm state of today's Church.
As you are aware, when changes are made in the Church they can cause some members to lose faith. Their "protests" against the authority of the Church may reach the stage where they no longer attend Mass on a regular basis on the weekend, and/or not at all during the week. This is very wrong because they are also turning their back on Jesus.
When we truly profess a high degree of faith we have a strong desire to receive Jesus through Holy Communion. Therefore, certain weaknesses of our priests or bishops will not prevent us from attending Holy Mass as often as possible. It will cause us to pray more deeply for their souls.
While it is good to be make others aware of the immoral conduct of the clergy so that more prayers are said for them, it is never good to let their conduct dominate or interfere with our spiritual relationship with our Lord to the degree that we leave the Church, avoid attending Mass, or receiving Him in Holy Communion. vtb
Guide to Early Church Documents- "New Testament Canonical Information - The Apostolic Fathers - Patristic Texts - Creeds And Canons - Later Text - Related Documents - Miscellaneous Documents - Relevant Internet Sites." In Defense of the Roman Catholic Church - Mission: "This web site was developed mainly for non-Catholic Christians, but is also for Catholics who want to explain their faith to Protestants and non-Christians." Major Councils of the Church - 1st Council of Nicaea - Constantinople One - Council of Ephesus - Council of Chalcedon - Constantinople Two - Constantinople Three - 2nd Council of Nicaea - Constantinople Four - Lateran One - Lateran Two - Lateran Three - Lateran Four - 1st Council of Lyons - 2nd Council of Lyons - Council of Vienne - Council of Constance - Council of Florence - Lateran Five - Council of Trent - First Vatican Council - Second Vatican Council Nazareth Resource Library- Highly recommended - provides answers to many questions about Catholicism. "Bringing quality Christian literature to the world wide web. Because my areas of specialization are in the areas of apologetics, the Bible, and theology..." Our Catholic Faith - "To spread the truth of the Christian Faith, the truth of the Catholic Faith. Many of our brothers and sisters are misinformed or have no knowledge about our Catholic Faith." Papal Encyclicals Online - "Your guide to online Papal and other official documents of the Catholic Church." Complete collection of papal encyclicals & church councils. Pontifical Academies - These five academies have a very important role in the Church - Cultorum Martyrum, Ecclesiastical, Life, Sciences, Social Sciences. Pontifical College Josephinum - The Catholic Priesthood - "A Roman Catholic seminary whose primary purpose is to provide human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral formation for the priesthood. There are two divisions: The College of Liberal Arts and The School of Theology." PopeChart - "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." Pope John Paul II Cultural Center - "Do not be afraid to serve the human person. Do not be afraid to open borders with States, to open economic and political systems, the vast fields of culture, civilization and development to the power of divine grace." -- Pope John Paul II. "The Center offers a wide variety of experiences that allow visitors to take a journey of faith." Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice - Highly recommended - a much needed Work that helps combat the lukewarmness in today's Church. "Many Catholics have become increasingly concerned about the growing crisis in the Church...It has manifested itself in this country in the following ways:
Mass attendance in free fall· lack of belief in and reverence for the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament · a declining number of Catholics frequenting Confession · far fewer baptisms, confirmations and marriages · a reluctance to encourage non-Catholics to convert to the Faith coupled with an increasing prevalence in false ecumenism...."
Roman Catholic Catechism - "When we talk to other catechists and parents we find that they would like to know the best Catholic answers to questions of the Faith, also. Many of our friends are converts and they, too, rejoice to find precise and concise answers. Once one knows the basic Catholic beliefs, one can make good decisions and then find good stories to match!" Saint Gabriel Communications - "Faithful to the traditional teachings of the Supreme Magisterium of the Church; defending the Splendor of the Truth to refute the 'Dictatorship of Relativism', dissent and false ecumenism; seeking unity in one Lord, one Faith, one Baptism in the One Church founded by Our Lord Jesus Christ, 'the ground and mainstay of the Truth'." Sensus Catholicus Society - "The SCS is a body of like-minded Christian men and women who aspire to the highest standards of theological investigation and moral behavior." SicutInCælo.org - "Dedicated to offering Free Down loadable Booklets particularly pertinent to the present crisis in the Catholic Church." States probe limits of abortion policy - "While the makeup of the Supreme Court is the focus of much of today’s political calculations about the future of abortion in America, the role of states would become pivotal if the landmark decision were overturned. Any substantial weakening of Roe v. Wade would trigger an epic battle between 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice' forces that would be fought in state capitols – and perhaps also in Congress."
Commentary: The above article offers a rare look at the history of abortion in the USA and is worth studying.
The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - "Consisting of the biographies of the 16th to the 21st century cardinals and of the events and documents concerning the origin of the Roman cardinalate and its historical evolution." The Catholic Church in Africa - "When one thinks of Africa, one is immediately confronted by its vastness, diversities, complexities as well as its mysteriousness. The Church in Africa is wrapped up in these factors which need to be unpacked before anyone can understand the reality of the Church in this continent." The Catholic Liturgical Library - From Catholic Online. "Dedicated to providing accurate historical and current information about the liturgies of the Latin (Roman) rite of the Catholic Church." The Cornell Society for a Good Time - Blogs - Express your opinions on current Church issues. "Taking our name from a childhood group of St. John Bosco, we study to eschew anything which causes sadness, that is, anything which is contrary to the will of God." The Roman Curia- "In exercising supreme, full, and immediate power in the universal Church, the Roman pontiff makes use of the departments of the Roman Curia which, therefore, perform their duties in his name and with his authority for the good of the churches, and in the service of the sacred pastors." The Roman Theological Forum - "An association of scholars working with other interested persons for the advancement of theology and philosophy within the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. It addresses contemporary questions of theology and philosophy, beginning from a Thomist point of view, and it is promoting with special attention a neo-Patristic approach to the interpretation of Sacred Scripture." These Stone Walls - "Many of the faithful are scandalized yet again when beloved priests disappear in the night, presumed by their shepherds to be guilty of crimes claimed to have occurred two, three, or four decades earlier. Many accused priests have been simply abandoned by their bishops and fellow clergy. Church laws governing their support and defense have been routinely set aside, and many have languished under dark clouds of accusation for years. Some, far too many, have been summarily dismissed from the priesthood at the behest of their bishops without due process or adequate civil or canonical defense." The Six Ages of the World - "A Christian historical periodization outline first written about by Saint Augustine circa 400 AD." The Society of Catholic Social Scientists - "Composed of Catholic scholars, professors, teachers, practitioners, and others in political science and political philosophy, sociology, social thought, social work, counseling, history, economics, psychology, psychiatry, law, anthropology, geography, and other disciplines whose work touches social or public concerns (e.g., theology, philosophy, medicine)." Thomas More Law Center - "We live in a culture increasingly hostile to Christians and their faith. America has become a nation where public school students are prohibited from praying, acknowledging their dependence upon God, and forming religious clubs; where schools and communities are challenged from displaying nativity scenes, the Ten Commandments, and other symbols of our religious and moral heritage. The Thomas More Law Center affirms the right of Christians to publicly practice their religion and freely express their religious beliefs. Our Founding Fathers fought for a nation built on a foundation of religion and morality. Our lawyers are committed to restoring and preserving that foundation." Your Catholic Voice Foundation - "We strive to make the extraordinary themes of his pontificate known, understood, lived and accessible to as many as we can reach. 'Cultivate Your Faith' is dedicated to offering this treasury of insight accessible not only to Catholics, but to all Christians, other people of faith and all people of good will who are seeking the deeper meaning of human existence."
Conservative Commentary on today's grave moral issues
Variety of Links