Traditionally, the day before Easter is known as “Holy Saturday.” It’s one of the few times of the year when there are no liturgical colors on the altar. It is one of just two days of the year (Good Friday and Holy Saturday) that the Catholic Church does not say Mass.
This is a great and cheeky little introduction to the doctrine of the Trinity at the expense of our friend, St. Patrick. (As far as I know, the only of these analogies that St. Patrick ever used was that of the clover…and even that is historically questionable.) The doctrine of the Trinity is difficult. I often tell my students that every attempt to make an analogy to the Trinity will result in heresy. St. Patrick was no better.
Some scholars believe that the “Christ Hymn” in Philippians 2 may be the oldest liturgical prayer or hymn of the Christian church. We know that the early church was singing the Psalms together, but likely they were singing short little songs like this one together, too. Unfortunately, we don’t have very much of this liturgical material available to us today. The early church didn’t put a book like the Psalms in the New Testament.
I believe a Christian can give only one response to the difficult question of suffering. This place is not what God had in mind and he will in fact set the whole world to rights one day…we pray that it comes quickly.
The media has made a big deal out of Pope Francis’s recent open letter. They have an uncanny ability to mess up all things theological, and I think this is no different. But then, “The Pope Teaches What the Church Has Always Taught” is not a very tantalizing headline.
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)
This statement is the primary reason that Roman Catholic Christians give such high regard to Mary, the mother of Jesus. The situation was obviously a terrifying one. Engaged to be married and met by an angel who gives word of her pending motherhood. Surely no one would believe the story of an angel’s message of her conception of a child. Would they? [Read more…]