Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thur, Jan 3, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog Content: Dogma, First John 22:29-36, Psalms 98:1-6, John 1:29-34, Feast Most Holy Name of Jesus, Catechism of the Catholic Church - Section 1:2

Thursday, January 3, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog Content:

Dogma, First John 22:29-36, Psalms 98:1-6, John 1:29-34, Feast Most Holy Name of Jesus, Catechism of the Catholic Church - Section 1:2
Good Day Bloggers!  Happy New Year, Bonne Annee!
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!
Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013 

Added to blog For 2013:  Catechism of the Catholic Church 
P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.
The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


January 2, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World: 
Dear children, with much love and patience I strive to make your hearts like unto mine. I strive, by my example, to teach you humility, wisdom and love because I need you; I cannot do without you my children. According to God’s will I am choosing you, by His strength I am strengthening you. Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. I will give them to my Son and in return, He will give you the gift of Divine peace. You will carry it to all those whom you meet, you will witness God’s love with your life and you will give the gift of my Son through yourselves. Through reconciliation, fasting and prayer, I will lead you. Immeasurable is my love. Do not be afraid. My children, pray for the shepherds. May your lips be shut to every judgment, because do not forget that my Son has chosen them and only He has the right to judge. Thank you. 

December 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
Our Lady came with little Jesus in her arms and she did not give a message, but little Jesus began to speak and said : “I am your peace, live my commandments.” With a sign of the cross, Our Lady and little Jesus blessed us together.

December 2, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
Dear children, with motherly love and motherly patience anew I call you to live according to my Son, to spread His peace and His love, so that, as my apostles, you may accept God's truth with all your heart and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. Then you will be able to faithfully serve my Son, and show His love to others with your life. According to the love of my Son and my love, as a mother, I strive to bring all of my strayed children into my motherly embrace and to show them the way of faith. My children, help me in my motherly battle and pray with me that sinners may become aware of their sins and repent sincerely. Pray also for those whom my Son has chosen and consecrated in His name. Thank you." 


Today's Word:  dogma   dog·ma  [dawg-muh, ]

 Origin: 1590–1600;  < Latin  < Greek,  equivalent to dok ( eîn ) to seem, think, seem good + -ma  noun suffix
Noun official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc., as of a church. doctrine, teachings, set of beliefs, philosophy.
2. a specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church: the dogma of the Assumption; the recently defined dogma of papal infallibility. tenet, canon, law.
3. prescribed doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true by a particular group: the difficulty of resisting political dogma.
4. a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle: the classic dogma of objectivity in scientific observation. conviction, certainty.



Today's Old Testament Reading - Psalms 98:1-6

1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his saving power is in his right hand and his holy arm.
3 mindful of his faithful love and his constancy to the House of Israel. The whole wide world has seen the saving power of our God.
4 Acclaim Yahweh, all the earth, burst into shouts of joy!
5 Play to Yahweh on the harp, to the sound of instruments;
6 to the sound of trumpet and horn, acclaim the presence of the King


Today's Epistle - First John 2:29--3:6

29 If you know that he is upright you must recognise that everyone whose life is upright is a child of his.
1 You must see what great love the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God's children -- which is what we are! The reason why the world does not acknowledge us is that it did not acknowledge him.
2 My dear friends, we are already God's children, but what we shall be in the future has not yet been revealed. We are well aware that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is.
3 Whoever treasures this hope of him purifies himself, to be as pure as he is.
4 Whoever sins, acts wickedly, because all sin is wickedness.
5 Now you are well aware that he has appeared in order to take sins away, and that in him there is no sin.
6 No one who remains in him sins, and whoever sins has neither seen him nor recognised him. 


Today's Gospel Reading - John 1:29-34

The next day, he saw Jesus coming towards him and said, 'Look, there is the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world. It was of him that I said, "Behind me comes one who has passed ahead of me because he existed before me." I did not know him myself, and yet my purpose in coming to baptise with water was so that he might be revealed to Israel.' And John declared, 'I saw the Spirit come down on him like a dove from heaven and rest on him. I did not know him myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water had said to me, "The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and rest is the one who is to baptise with the Holy Spirit." I have seen and I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.'

• In the Gospel of John, history and the symbol join together. In today’s text, the symbolism consists above all in recalling texts of the Old Testament which we know and which reveal something concerning the identity of Jesus of Nazareth. In these few verses (Jn 1, 29-34) we find the following expressions which contain a symbolical density or depth: 1) Lamb of God; 2) Who takes away the sins of the world; 3) He existed before me; 4) The descent of the Spirit in the form of a dove; 5) Son of God.

Lamb of God. This title recalls, brings to mind, the Exodus. The night of the first Passover. The blood of the Paschal Lamb, with which the doors of the houses were signed, was for the people a sign of liberation (Ex 12, 13-14). For the first Christians Jesus is the new Paschal Lamb who liberates his people (1 Co 5, 7; 1 P 1, 19; Rev 5, 6.9).

Who takes away the sins of the World. This recalls a very beautiful phrase of the prophecy of Jeremiah: “There will be no further need for everyone to teach neighbour or brother: “You will know the Lord, they will all know me, from the least to the greatest, says the Lord; since I shall forgive their guilt and never more call their sin to mind” (Jer 31, 34).

He existed before me. This recalls several texts of the Books of Wisdom, in which it is spoken about God’s Wisdom which existed before all the other creatures and which was with God, like a master of the works in the creation of the Universe and that, at the end, fixed her dwelling among the people of God (Pro 8, 22-31; Eccl 24, 1-11).

The descent of the Spirit in the form of a dove. It recalls the creative action where it is said that the “Spirit of God sweeping over the waters” (Gen 1, 2). The text of Genesis suggests the image of a bird which flies over its nest. An image of the new creation in movement thanks to the action of Jesus.

Son of God; this is the title which summarizes all the others. The best comment of this title is the explanation of Jesus himself: “The Jews answered him: ‘We are stoning you not for doing a good work, but for blasphemy: though you are only a man, you claim to be God”. Jesus answered: “Is it not written in your Law: I said: you are gods? So it uses the word ‘gods’ of those people to whom the word of God was addressed (and Scripture cannot be set aside), Yet to someone whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world you say, ‘You are blaspheming’ because I said, ‘I am Son of God’? If I am not doing my Father’s work there is no need to believe me, but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for certain that the Father is in me and I am in the Father” (Jn 10, 33-38).

Personal questions
• Jesus offered himself, completely, for the whole of humanity, and I, what can I offer to help my neighbour?
• We have also received the Holy Spirit. How conscious or aware am I that I am his Temple?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


 Saint of the Day:  Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus

Feast DayJanuary 3
Patron Saint

The Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus is a feast of the liturgical year celebrated by a number of Christian denominations, on varying dates.[1]

The feast of the Holy Name of Jesus has been celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church, at least at local levels, since the end of the fifteenth century. The celebration has been held on different dates, usually in January, because 1 January, eight days after Christmas, commemorates the circumcision and naming of the child Jesus; as recounted in the Gospel read on that day, "at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb."[2] Medieval Catholicism, and many other Christian churches to the present day, therefore celebrated both events as the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ, usually on 1 January. Bernardino of Siena placed great emphasis on the Holy Name, which he associated with the IHS Christogram, and may be responsible for the coupling of the two elements.

In the Latin Rite Catholic Church it is observed as an optional memorial on 3 January by Catholics following the present General Roman Calendar. Franciscans, Carmelites, and Augustinians kept the feast on 14 January; Dominicans on 15 January; in some localities the date was 8 January, in others 31 January, in some localities in Great Britain on 7 August. The date of the second Sunday after Epiphany was chosen by the Carthusians, then by Spain. This was the date assigned to the celebration when, on 20 December 1721, it was inserted into the General Calendar of the Roman Rite by Pope Innocent XIII. In the reform of Pope Pius X, enacted by his motu proprio Abhinc duos annos of 23 October 1913, it was moved to the Sunday between 2 and 5 January inclusive, and in years when no such Sunday existed the celebration was observed on 2 January; this is still observed by Catholics following calendars of 1914 to 1962. The reform of the liturgical calendar by the motu proprio Mysterii Paschalis of 14 February 1969 removed the feast "since the imposition of the name of Jesus is already commemorated in the office of the Octave of Christmas." However, the Mass texts of the Holy Name of Jesus were preserved, being placed with the Votive Masses.[3] The celebration was restored to the General Roman Calendar with the 2002 Roman Missal.

In some Anglican churches including the Episcopal Church in the United States of America and the Anglican Church of Canada, the feast is observed on 1 January. In the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America since 1979, the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ celebrated on 1 January is now listed as the "Feast of the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ".[1] In the Church of England, the calendar of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer stipulates a festival "The Name of Jesus" to be observed on 7 August, but in the more recent Common Worship resources the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ (1 January) takes its place as the primary festival of the name of Jesus.[1]


  1. ^New Book of Festivals and Commemorations by Philip H. Pfatteicher 2008 ISBN 0-8006-2128-X pages3-5
  2. ^ Luke 2:21
  3. ^ See Variationes in Calendarium Romanum Inductae in Calendarium Romanum [Vatican Polyglot Press, 1969], page 115.


Featured Items Panel from Litany Lane


Today's  Snippet  IThe Holy Name of Jesus

In Christianity, The Holy Name of Jesus refers to the theological and devotional use of the name of Jesus. The reverence and affection with which Christians have regarded the Holy Name of Jesus goes back to the earliest days of Christianity.[1]

The devotions and venerations also extend to the IHS christogram (a monogram of the Holy Name), derived from the Greek word IHSOUS (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ) for Jesus, or referring to Iesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus saviour of mankind, representing the Holy Name.[2][3][4]

Devotions to the Holy Name of Jesus exist both in Eastern and Western Christianity.[5] The feast day is celebrated either as the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus or as that of Circumcision of Jesus, in various Christian churches.

The Gospel of Matthew provides a specific meaning and intention for the name Jesus (as the one who "saves his people from sin") and indicates that it was selected by Heavenly guidance. For centuries, Christians have invoked the Holy Name, and have believed that there is intrinsic power in the name of Jesus.

Biblical references and theology

An 11th century Gospel of Matthew (1:18-21), with Matthew 1:21 which indicates a) Jesus as the saviour, and b) the name Jesus selected by a Heavenly command.[6][8]
In the New Testament, in Luke 1:31 an angel tells Mary to name her child Jesus, and in Matthew 1:21 an angel tells Joseph to name the child. The Gospel of Matthew places special emphasis on the origin of the names of Jesus, Matthew 1:21-23 discussing the two names Jesus and Emmanuel.[6][9][10] The significance is underscored by the fact that Matthew pays more attention to the name of the child and its theological implications than the actual birth event itself.[9][10]

In Matthew 1:21 the message of the angel in Joseph's first dream includes the origin of the name Jesus, and has salvific implications when the angel instructs Joseph: "you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins".[6][11] It is the only place in the New Testament where "saves his people" appears with "sins".[12]

Matthew 1:21 provides the beginnings of the Christology of the name Jesus. At once it achieves the two goals of affirming Jesus as the saviour and emphasizing that the name was not selected at random, but based on a Heavenly command.[8] The name Emmanuel (meaning God is with us) is also given to Jesus in Matthew 1:23 ("they shall call his name Emmanuel").[8] Emmanuel does not appear elsewhere in the New Testament, but in the context of Matthew 28:20 ("I am with you always, even unto the end of the world") indicates that Jesus will be with the faithful to the end of the age.[8]

Reverence for the Holy Name is emphasized by Saint Paul in Philippians 2:10 where he states: "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth".[3] In Romans 10:13 St. Paul reiterates the salvific nature of the Holy Name by stating that those who "call on the name of the Lord" will be saved.[13]

The power of the name Jesus used in petitions is stressed in John 16:23 when Jesus states: "If you ask the Father anything in my name he will give it you." Many Christian prayers thus conclude with the words: "Through Our Lord Jesus Christ".[3] Several episodes in the New Testament refer to the power of the invocation of the Holy Name. In Mark 9:38-39 demons are driven out by the power of the name Jesus, in Acts 2:38 baptisms take place and in Acts 3:6, Acts 4:7-11 and Acts 9:34 miracles are performed.[2][3] Many Christians believe that as in Acts 16:18 the invocation of the name of Jesus provides protection by repelling evil.[14]

There is widespread belief among Christians that the name Jesus is not merely a sequence of identifying symbols but includes intrinsic divine power, and that where the name of Jesus is spoken or displayed the power of Jesus can be called upon to obtain peace, sanctity and as protection against evil.[7][3][14]

Development of devotions

IHS monogram, Montmorency, France
If you think on the name Jesus continually and hold it stably, it purges your sin and kindles your heart — Richard Rolle, 14th century.[15]

The reverence and affection with which Christians have regarded the Holy Name of Jesus goes back to the earliest days of Christianity, as shown in Acts 4:10 and Philippians 2:10.[16] Devotion to and veneration of the IHS monogram, (derived from the Greek word IHSOUS (ΙΗΣΟΥΣ) for Jesus, or referring to Iesus Hominum Salvator, Jesus saviour of mankind) also dates back to the early days of Christianity, where it was placed on altars and religious vestments, ornaments and other objects.[2] The IHS monogram is also found on a gold coin from the eighth century.[3][4]

Medieval devotions to the Holy Name in England were promoted by Anselm of Canterbury early in the 12th century.[17] In continental Europe, shortly after Anselm, the veneration of the Holy Name was strongly encouraged by Bernard of Clairvaux in his sermons and writings. Bernard's writings such as the Sermon on the Canticles later influenced others such as Richard Rolle who expressed similar views, e.g. that of the Holy Name acting as a "healing ointment" for the soul.[18][19]

The Jesuit logo has three nails (symbolizing the Crucifixion) below the IHS monogram with a cross.
Official recognition for the Holy Name was provided by Pope Gregory X at the Council of Lyons in 1274.[17][20] In the 14th century, Henry Suso in Germany and Richard Rolle in England promoted devotions to the Name of Jesus.[15] Rolle believed that the name Jesus has awesome intrinsic power, in a manner reminiscent of the Old Testament reverence of the name Yahweh.[15] In Rolle's view the act of calling on the Holy Name purifies the soul and amounts to a reconstruction of the self as a contemplative.[21] Rolle composed a number of lyrics about the Holy Name.[15]

The tradition of devotion to and reverence for the Holy Name continued through the 14th and 15th centuries in England as the belief in its miraculous powers became widespread.[17] Walter Hilton's classic work Scale of Perfection included a long passage on the Holy Name.[22] In this period popular beliefs on the power of the Name of Jesus at times coincided with the belief in the power of the Holy Name of Mary.[17] The belief in the power of the Holy name had a strong visual component and the IHS monogram as well as Crucifixion scenes were widely used along with it.[17]

IHS with angels and a Crown of Thorns, in Hostýn, Czech Republic.
In the 15th century, the Franciscan Bernardine of Siena actively promoted the devotion to the Holy Name. At the end of his sermons he usually displayed the trigram IHS on a tablet in gold letters.[20] Bernardine would then ask the audience to "adore the Redeemer of mankind". Given that this practice had an unorthodox air, he was brought before Pope Martin V, who instead of rebuking Bernardine, encouraged the practice and joined a procession for it in Rome.[3] The devotion to the Holy Name became so popular in Italy that the IHS trigram was often inscribed over the doorways of houses.[23] The tablet used by Bernardine is now venerated at the basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli in Rome.[3]

John Calvin believed in reverence for the Holy Name and encouraged Christians to: "glorify His holy name with our whole life".[24] Martin Luther encouraged "pure faith and confidence, and a cheerful meditation of and calling upon His holy Name".[25]
A number of religious communities dedicated to the Holy Name Jesus have been formed since the Middle Ages, the Society of the Holy Name being an example.[26][27] In the 16th century, the Jesuits made the IHS monogram the emblem of their society, by adding a cross over the H and by showing three nails underneath it.[3]
A number of Christian prayers refer to the Holy Name. The Jesus prayer, which perhaps dates to the 4th century, is widely used in the Eastern Church. The Litany of the Holy Name used in the Western Church dates to around the late 6th century.

Devotions to the Holy Name continued also in the Eastern Church into the 19th and 20th centuries. St. Theophan the Recluse regarded the Jesus Prayer stronger than all other prayers by virtue of the power of the Holy Name and St. John of Kronstadt stated: "The Name of the Lord is the Lord Himself".

Society of the Holy Name

The Society of the Holy Name, formally known as the Confraternity of the Most Holy Name of God and Jesus, is a Roman Catholic confraternity of the laity and is one of several which are under the care of the Dominican Order. It is open to all Catholic adult males. The primary object of the society is to beget reverence for the Holy Name of God and Jesus Christ; it is also dedicated to making reparations, in particular, for blasphemy, perjury and immorality.

The Council of Lyons in 1274 emphasized the need for the faithful to have a special devotion to the Holy Name of Jesus. The Dominicans, who were actively spreading the Christian message at this time in a crusade against the Albegensians took on the challenge and preached the power of the Holy Name of Jesus. They spread the devotion extremely effectively. In every Dominican church, altars, confraternities and societies were erected everywhere in honour of the Holy Name.

The devotion grew rapidly with the preaching of the Dominican order and several saints (including Bernardino of Siena a Franciscan, and John of Capistrano). The devotion and confraternities were given a further boost by several grants of indulgence by Pope Boniface IX and Pope Julius II.

The first Holy Name Society, in the modern sense was founded in the early 15th century by Didacus of Victoria, one of the greatest preacher's of the devotion to the Divine Name. He founded the "Society of the Holy Name of God," and created a rule for its governance whose purpose "was to suppress the horrible profanation of the Divine Name by blasphemers, perjurers, and by men in their ordinary conversation." Long after Didacus' death in 1450 Pope Pius IV approved the society on April 13, 1564 and enriched it with many indulgences. In later years, the Society of the Holy Name of God, merged with the "Confraternity of the Most Holy Name Jesus" maintaining the rule laid down by Didacus. The society was thereafter also known under the title of the "Confraternity Against Oaths." Several Popes following Pius IV in the 16th and 17th centuries also made the Confraternity an object of special preference, including, most notably Pope Innocent IX who further enriched the confraternity with indulgences, strongly encouraged its promotion and issued orders regulating its organization.

The next major step in the formation of the modern society came on June 21, 1571, when St. Pius V issued his Motu proprio "Decet Romanum", which restricted the canonical erection of the confraternity entirely to the jurisdiction of the Dominican Order and formally recognised "The Confraternity of the Most Holy Names of God."

A final merger came on 26 May 1727, when Pope Benedict XIII confirmed the various privileges on both the "Confraternity of the Holy Name of God" and the "Society of the Name of Jesus" in his document Pretiosus. The two confraternities were essentially merged under the name "The Confraternity of the most Holy Names of God and Jesus," and exclusive rights to their governance were given to the Dominicans. In order to establish a local Society of the Holy Name, approval must be granted by the Dominican order, in the form of Letters patent.


  1. ^ Outlines of dogmatic theology, Volume 2 by Sylvester Hunter 2010 ISBN 1-146-98633-5 page 443
  2. ^ Christian sacrament and devotion by Servus Gieben 1997 ISBN 90-04-06247-5 page 18
  3. ^ Catholic encyclopedia: Holy Name of Jesus
  4. The Continuum encyclopedia of symbols by Udo Becker 2000 ISBN 0-8264-1221-1 page 54
  5. ^ Jesus: the complete guide by Leslie Houlden 2006 ISBN 0-8264-8011-X page 426
  6. ^ Bible explorer's guide by John Phillips 2002 ISBN 0-8254-3483-1 page 147
  7. ^ a b Theology of the New Testament by Georg Strecker, Friedrich Wilhelm Horn 2000 ISBN 0-664-22336-2 page 89
  8. ^ a b c d Who do you say that I am?: essays on Christology by Jack Dean Kingsbury, Mark Allan Powell, David R. Bauer 1999 ISBN 0-664-25752-6 page 17
  9. ^ a b Matthew by Thomas G. Long 1997 ISBN 0-664-25257-5 pages 14-15
  10. ^ a b The Gospel of Matthew by Rudolf Schnackenburg 2002 ISBN 0-8028-4438-3 page 9
  11. ^ All the Doctrines of the Bible by Herbert Lockyer 1988 ISBN 0-310-28051-6 page 159
  12. ^ The Westminster theological wordbook of the Bible 2003 by Donald E. Gowan ISBN 0-664-22394-X page 453
  13. ^ Christology and the New Testament by Christopher Mark Tuckett 2001 ISBN 0-664-22431-8 pages 58-59
  14. ^ a b Spiritual theology by Jordan Aumann 1980 ISBN 0-7220-8518-4 page 411
  15. ^ a b c d English spirituality: from earliest times to 1700 by Gordon Mursell 2001 ISBN 0-664-22504-7 page 191
  16. ^ Outlines of dogmatic theology, Volume 2 by Sylvester Hunter 2010 ISBN 1-146-98633-5 page 443
  17. ^ a b c d e Reading in the Wilderness: Private Devotion and Public Performance in Late Medieval England by Jessica Brantley 2007 ISBN 0-226-07132-4 pages 178-193
  18. ^ Richard Rolle, the English writings by Richard Rolle (of Hampole), Rosamund Allen 1988 ISBN 0-8091-3008-4 page 55
  19. ^ Medieval English lyrics: a critical anthology by Reginald Thorne Davies 1972 ISBN 0-8369-6386-5 page 322
  20. ^ a b The Jesus Prayer by Lev Gillet 1987 ISBN 0-88141-013-6 page 112
  21. ^ The English prose treatises of Richard Rolle by Claire Elizabeth McIlroy 2004 ISBN 1-84384-003-0 page 174
  22. ^ The scale of perfection by Walter Hilton, John P. H. Clark, Rosemary Dorward 1991 ISBN 0-8091-0440-7 page 54
  23. ^ Saints and feasts of the liturgical year by Joseph N. Tylenda 2003 ISBN 0-87840-399-X page 6
  24. ^ Writings on pastoral piety by Jean Calvin, Elsie Anne McKee 2002 ISBN 0-8091-0541-1 page 136
  25. ^ A Treatise on Good Works by Martin Luther 2009 ISBN 1-60450-609-1 page 47
  26. ^ Catholic encyclopedia: Society of the Holy Name
  27. ^ Catholic encyclopedia: Religious Communities of the Name of Jesus
  28. ^ Catholic encyclopedia: Litany of the Holy Name
  29. ^ On the Prayer of Jesus by Ignatius Brianchaninov, Kallistos Ware 2006 ISBN 1-59030-278-8 page xxiii-xxiv




II. Ways of Coming to Know God
31 Created in God's image and called to know and love him, the person who seeks God discovers certain ways of coming to know him. These are also called proofs for the existence of God, not in the sense of proofs in the natural sciences, but rather in the sense of "converging and convincing arguments", which allow us to attain certainty about the truth. These "ways" of approaching God from creation have a twofold point of departure: the physical world, and the human person.

32 The world: starting from movement, becoming, contingency, and the world's order and beauty, one can come to a knowledge of God as the origin and the end of the universe.

As St. Paul says of the Gentiles: For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made.Rom 1:19-20; cf., Acts 14:15, 17; 17:27-28; Wis 13:1-9.

And St. Augustine issues this challenge: Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea, question the beauty of the air distending and diffusing itself, question the beauty of the sky. . . question all these realities. All respond: "See, we are beautiful." Their beauty is a profession [confessio]. These beauties are subject to change. Who made them if not the Beautiful One [Pulcher] who is not subject to change?St. Augustine, Sermo 241, 2: PL 38, 1134

33 The human person: with his openness to truth and beauty, his sense of moral goodness, his freedom and the voice of his conscience, with his longings for the infinite and for happiness, man questions himself about God's existence. In all this he discerns signs of his spiritual soul. the soul, the "seed of eternity we bear in ourselves, irreducible to the merely material",GS 18 # 1; cf. 14 # 2 can have its origin only in God.

34 The world, and man, attest that they contain within themselves neither their first principle nor their final end, but rather that they participate in Being itself, which alone is without origin or end. Thus, in different ways, man can come to know that there exists a reality which is the first cause and final end of all things, a reality "that everyone calls God".St. Thomas Aquinas, S Th I, 2, 3

35 Man's faculties make him capable of coming to a knowledge of the existence of a personal God. But for man to be able to enter into real intimacy with him, God willed both to reveal himself to man, and to give him the grace of being able to welcome this revelation in faith.(so) the proofs of God's existence, however, can predispose one to faith and help one to see that faith is not opposed to reason.


  • CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - Latin text copyright (c) Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Citta del Vaticano 1993

...Coming Everyday This Month - Part One: The Profession of Faith