Significance of Theology in Enriching Christian Life

The focus of the study is based on offering evidence on how theology helps to equip one to achieve the call of holiness and apostolate. To hold relevance in the study, the analysis will cover on the introduction; God’s calling to holiness and apostolate, and the theological perspective of achieving a holy life. Additionally, the research will include on how theology equips one to make a spiritual life and the challenges of living a religious life. The research will further offer recommendations on the strategies towards the achievement of a spiritual life. Finally, the study will provide a comprehensive conclusion on the study.

Abstract

The focus of the study is based on offering evidence on how theology helps to equip one to achieve the call of holiness and apostolate. To hold relevance in the study, the analysis will cover on the introduction; God’s calling to holiness and apostolate, and the theological perspective of achieving a holy life. Additionally, the research will include on how theology equips one to make a spiritual life and the challenges of living a religious life. The research will further offer recommendations on the strategies towards the achievement of a spiritual life. Finally, the study will provide a comprehensive conclusion on the study.

Introduction

The study of theology is resourceful in nurturing the way of life of Christians in various instances. It is important to identify that discipleship can never be reduced to learning and teaching. However, Christian education through theology plays a critical role in shaping and driving the acts and the attitudes of Christians (John Paul II, 2017). Theology is more involved as it goes beyond the content of Christian education rather it involves the process of instructions and the discernment. The individuals are therefore taught in personal identity and help to interpret the realities of life (Pope Paul IV, 1965). The foundation of theological studies is structured to model the lives of Christians towards the achievement of holy life. In this analysis, the central focus of the study is on how theology equips one to achieve the call for Holiness and apostolate.

God’s Call to Holiness and the Apostolate Life

Before the analysis of the significance of theology in the promotion of faith, it would be important to identify the universal call to holiness in the church. It is evident that Christ, God and the spirit is uniquely holy. Through showing love to the Church, Jesus gave up his life so that every Christian would get a chance to be sanctified from sins and achieve a spiritual life. It is within the demands of Christianity that every follower should manifest the virtues of holiness. The manifestation on individuals differs within the disciples and Christians as there are diverse ways towards achieving a divine life free from sin.

Jesus Christ is the spiritual teacher on holiness which He made through preaching to his disciples. He further invoked the Holy Spirit to aid the disciples and the followers to act as a helper in the achievement of a holy life. The followers of Christ are called by God in accordance to His purpose and grace. The calling makes them sons of God and them, therefore, share in the divine nature of God.

It is within the expectation that Christians should achieve a holy life regardless of the social status or rank in the society. Christians are called to the fullness of life and for the perfection of charity life (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964). The duties and the responsibilities of a Christian are many, but it is within the expectation that achieving Holiness is among the requirements. Depending on the stage of growth and development the expectations on living a proper life of Holiness continue to change. The married couples should follow the correct path and the parents are expected to achieve faithful love. It is within the expectation that they should sustain each other in grace in the entire life of the individuals.

Theological Perspective on the Holy Life

The study on theology helps people to understand what God means when he demands a life of holiness (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2017). According to the old covenants, it reflects on the significance of adherence to dozens of laws that help to achieve a clean life that defines a better relationship with God. For example, some of the laws required that Christians should not eat some of the animal organs. The old covenant regulations are defined in Leviticus. The book developed many laws that governed the nature of one being holy and not being holy.

The old testaments teachings and regulation were brought to fulfillment through Jesus Christ (Matthew5:17). The teachings of Jesus Christ were focused on showing the moral and ethical behavior that defined the acts of being clean and unclean. The old approach to the laws and regulation of the book of Leviticus were overridden on the cross upon the death of Christ.

For example, after the cross the policies and the legislation that separated the Gentiles and the Jews they were no longer enforced.

In the new covenant, the reflection on living a righteous life is significantly affected by the purity and the conditions of the heart (John Paul II, 2017). According to Christ, he identified that the terms of the heart significantly determines the moral behaviors adopted by an individual. The beginning of living a holy life begins with accepting Jesus as the Lord and savior and further accepting the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (International Theological Commission, 2017). Therefore, achieving a holy life does not require for individuals to follow the physical rituals. Christians can acquire a spiritual life due to the sacrifice that Christ did on the cross. The fact that one accepts Jesus as the Lord and savior, it implies that the followers will continue to pursuit of a life that pleases Him through righteousness. Therefore, the new covenant is all about achieving a life of spiritual cleanness.

The theme on holiness runs through the scriptures in the Bible and theological studies. God is perceived as holy, and people should emulate the life of Jesus Christ as he is also holy and go wants Christians to be holy. Many Christians are caught up in a dilemma on what it means to be holy and the separation from the ordinary life. In the theological studies, the meaning of holiness is considered as the separation from the ordinary. It is evident that God is holy and the fact that He requires us to emulate Him it is difficult as Christians can never achieve the life of holiness as God (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964). Therefore, the demand for the human beings is to behave righteously by doing what is right. The dynamic of holy life is attributed by doing what is right, and therefore, Christians can achieve to be holy without living a righteous. The New Testament foes not do away with bodily practices; it perfects them. The center of the New Testament Christian life is in the Sacraments, which are physical signs that confer spiritual grace.

How Theology Equips One to Fulfill the Call to Holiness and the Apostolate

Before the analysis of theology provides people to the appeal made by Holiness it is rational to identify the objective and the goals of the Catholic universities which acts as the primary facilitators of theology. The core purpose of the institutions is to instill an institutional manner in which there is a Christian presence in the educational facilities. Therefore, the Catholic Universities are identified with the following characteristics that facilitate the growth in holiness. Firstly, the facilities act as a source of Christian inspiration for the individuals and the university community. Secondly, the services operate as a continuous reflection of the Christian faith on the living treasure of human knowledge. Additionally, the institutions encourage fidelity as Christians message as gets to them through the church. Therefore, besides the characteristics, it is evident that teachings, research, and services are commonly oriented at achieving the call to Holiness and developing the apostolate personality.

It is important to identify that theology holds the importance of the church in every stage of Christian growth and helps people to respond to the plan of God. The relevance of theology in aiding to achieve the set objectives and the call to holiness is witnessed through the values it equips Christians. It is evident that Donum Veritatis acts as a guide towards leaving a morally upright life (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964). Christian morality is among the strategies that aid in achieving a holy life. Theology, therefore, helps to define the right and the not correct actions. A life of holiness implies living a life that one does what is good without necessarily being righteous. The Gospel acts as the word of life, and therefore, it serves as the guide for human behavior and inspires the adoption of a Christian life.

Among the most important values that theology equips Christians including achieving the life of truthfulness. There are key identifiers that make Christians identified as appreciating the call of happiness (John Paul II, 2017). The key attributes that help achieve the life of holiness include the life of truth. According to the Donum Veritatis, it identifies that a life of Christian faith that integrates knowledge, faith, and existence which are intrinsically connected. The truth helps to set Christians free, and it is considered as a gift of Jesus Christ. The teachings on theology identify that “Man’s nature calls him to seek the truth while ignorance keeps him in a condition of servitude.” The emphasis on the need for the truth, therefore, aids in achieving a life of holiness and the segregation from ills. Through attaining the life of truthfulness, Christians partially fulfill the call to holiness.

Theology contributes to the communication of faith, and therefore it helps to create an appealing understanding to the people who do not know Christ yet. Therefore, it helps create a pull to the non-Christians to help them seek and find faith in Jesus. The call of salvation marks the beginning of living a life of faith and holiness. Therefore, the incentive to the non-Christians is a resourceful tool in achieving a life of faith. The origin of theology was inscribed on the interior life of Christians and developing the missionary vocation and the discipleship life.

The core task of theology is to create the understanding and the meaning of the revelation, and therefore, the phenomena require the application of the philosophical concepts. Theology, therefore, draws the theories from the surrounding, the culture and other variables that influence the human nature. The integration of the world diversity helps to develop the challenges that may affect the secure adoption of the Christian religion. In response to the challenges, it aids to nurture the Christian life in achieving a life of holiness.

The Catholic Universities and theological schools are objected with the responsibility to reserve to the cause of truth. Therefore, it helps to dignify man and the right of the church. The school activities, therefore, serve a critical role in the promotion of Christian religion and morally upright life. Most significantly, the facilities serve a significant role in equipping the students with resourceful knowledge on how to achieve a holy life. In the current society, it is common that the youths and the adolescents are caught up in the dilemma of morality, and peer pressure serves a critical role in influencing the behavior. The Catholic universities and the organizations that facilitate theological studies are focused on raising a better society that appreciates morals and value for human life. The current generation significantly requires the type of the disintegrated services that nurtures behavior, values, and morals.

Challenges of Fulfilling of the Call to Holiness and the Apostolate

Although theology and other Christian services serve a significant role in modeling people in achieving a life of faith, there are adamant challenges that inhibit the growth of Christian life as apostles of Christ. The core problems are the increase of sciences and technology in the society (Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 1964). The technological and scientific discoveries contradict the developments as they identify enormous growth in the economy and industrial genres, and thus leave the spiritual realm unaccounted for.

It is important to recognize that some of the increase in sciences compromise the spiritual beliefs and it is the reason the rise of some atheists continue to grow. For example, scientific research significantly criticizes the theory of creation and offer scientific explanations that nullify the religious beliefs of Christians (Pope Paul IV, 1965). Theology serves a critical role in emphasizing on the significance of human value. The responsibility of the church in the achievement of a holy life is therefore intense.

Other challenges that face the Christian religious life include the miss-conceptualization of the teachings of the gospel. It is common that the meaning of some important values has been disputed by the new ideas (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 2017). Furthermore, the development of new religions, some of them borrows some of the ideas from the theological teachings. Therefore, it has led to confusion on the correct and appropriate religion that people should follow. The general confusion has, therefore, resulted in the misinterpretation of the biblical teachings. There is need to address the challenges to promote knowledge of the Christian gospel teachings.

Recommendations on Achieving a Holy Life

Although technology and science challenge the call to happiness, the technology can be inversely used to promote the call to Holiness. Technology in this context can, therefore, be used as a tool for communication and the promotion of the gospel. For example, using the social media forum, the evangelists can use the panels to educate and train Christians on ways on achieving a righteous life of truth (International Theological Commission, 2017). Other tools of technology include the internet which serves a critical role in offering a knowledge base on the gospel teachings and the models that guide Christian morality. Videos, texts, images, articles, and documentaries can be developed and posted in the online websites to facilitate the knowledge of Christian teachings. Other strategies that can aid addressing the pointed challenges is the intense promotion of the teachings of the gospel (John Paul II, 2017). The theological teachings should not be bounded in the University institutions rather it should be spread in the global context to eliminate the confusion and the wrong conceptualization of the biblical teachings. The full range includes the use of the religious campaigns, the mass media, conventions and other tools like the social media. The strategy will help promote knowledge of the requirements and the need for developing and fulfilling the call to holiness. However, it is important to recognize that theology has served a critical role in the promotion of achieving the call to Holiness.

Conclusion

The current world is intensely intricate in the devaluation of Christian values and achieving the call of holiness has been significantly challenged. However, theology has considerably served a critical role in the promotion of Christian religion gospel, teachings, and further faith. Through the teachings and the development of knowledge, it has enabled Christians to fulfill the call to holiness and apostolate (Pope Paul IV, 1965). The theological perception of religion has attached critical significance on the segregation from the ordinary life of sins. It emphasizes the call to Holiness as a requirement for all Christians who are expected to emulate Christ because He is holy.

The core challenges to fulfilling the call to holiness are aggravated by technological and the scientific researchers. The study contradicts the teachings, and the findings further question religion. Other problems include the current generation that is anchored on deception and wrong articulation of morals. However, the problems can be addressed using technologies to facilitate the promotion of knowledge and gospel on Christian teachings of faith and holiness (Pope Paul IV, 1965). Despite the challenges, it is evident that theology has served a critical role in the promotion of Christians towards the fulfillment of the call to Holiness and the apostolate.

References

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (2017). Instruction Donum Veritatis on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian.

Dogmatic Constitution on the Church. (1964). Lumen Gentium: Solemnly Promulgated by his Holiness Pope Paul IV.

International Theological Commission. (2017). Theology Today: Perspectives, Principles and Criteria .

John Paul II. (2017). Apostolic Coonstitution of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II on Catholic Universitiees.

Pope Paul IV. (1965). Decree on the Apostolate of the Laity, Apostolican Actuositatem Solemnly Promulgated by his Holiness, Pope Paul IV.

Trinity Sunday- June 16, 2019

On the feast of the most Holy Trinity we read from the Gospel of John. It is quite interesting that the word “Trinity” is not mentioned at all in either the Old or the New Testament. Trinity comes from a Latin-based word meaning the number three or triad. Although in the New Testament there are many texts that speak of God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; there is never a direct reference to the Trinity.

Gospel Acclamation: Rev 1:8

Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; the God who is, who was, and who is to come.

Unknown.jpegOn the feast of the most Holy Trinity we read from the Gospel of John. It is quite interesting that the word “Trinity” is not mentioned at all in either the Old or the New Testament. Trinity comes from a Latin-based word meaning the number three or triad. Although in the New Testament there are many texts that speak of God as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; there is never a direct reference to the Trinity.

Today’s reading is where Jesus, the Son, is speaking making references to the Spirit and to the father. There is a dynamic relationship between each of the three persons that the Trinity represents, and it is expressed in a variety of ways throughout the various different scriptural passages. Today’s particular gospel from John gives us a hint of the relationship that will be explored for many centuries.

The passage today we experience the notion of the “Spirit of Truth” rather than the  “Holy Spirit” that we all are very Unknown.pngfamiliar with.  This Spirit of Truth has a particular task that is bestowed upon them, which is to guide the disciples through the truth—bringing to them the message that is heard from the Father, Son, and Spirit.   The Spirit of Truth also functions to glorify the Son—and to then take from the Son, whom has everything the Father has—declaring it all to the disciples—HOW WONDERFUL!

images-1.jpegWe run into problems is the fact that we are given several different reference points to try and explain the Trinity.  One of the most popular is the shamrock—followed closely by the image relation of using the sun.  God is of course more than a leaf on a clover, and more than the sun [Father the sun itself, Son is the light, and Spirit the heat].  No matter what image that you use, all of the references lack in some way, creating an incomplete and problematic approach to trying to explain the presence of the Trinity.  It is, of course, best to go back to the Scripture for the understanding.

KEY PHRASE:

Everything of the Fathers is mine—and from mine will be given unto you!

Focusing on the Gospel today we see that the three people are relational.  The Son have obtained everything from the Father, while the Spirit functions as a commutator relaying the message of fullness and unity of the Father and Son.  Within God there is shown a completeness, and a relationship between the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.  We see that all are necessary to complete the outpouring of everything among them. Because we are made in the likeness of God, we are called to participate in this community.  To pour everything from within—to be then filled with the mercy, forgiveness and love of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In the readings we are introduced to a figure of “Lady Wisdom”.  In the first reading the Lady sings a song of self-revelation.  This hymn tells us of a long-lived relationship that developed over time.  It was a relationship of Joy.  It is a complete relationship that is of mutual respect.  It is a relationship of dependence.  It is a humble gift that should be met with humility and JOY!

 PSALM:

O Lord our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth!

images.jpegTaking a look at this mystery we can see that it is nearly impossible to fully understand it.  The mystery of the Trinity is not something we can understand in this world, and we should not try to understand it.  We should engage in a deeper relationship to get to know God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  There is no distinct answer that can ever be given, but then why would you want to solve that mystery.  By maintain the mystery of the Trinity we care thus called into a developing relationship.  We can be continually filled with wonder and LOVE!

Let us take His message out and breathe new life among all God’s disciples.maxresdefault.jpg

St Maximilian Kolbe, PRAY FOR US!

Deus lo Vult!

†lvm†

How did the Catholic Church Start?

The word “catholic” means universal. Jesus created one universal church for all of mankind. The Catholic Church was established by Jesus with his words spoken in Matthew 16. Jesus asked his disciples “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” The disciples then offered various answers – “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”  But the question that Jesus then asked was crucial: “But who do you say that I am?”

The answer provided by Simon Peter set in motion the formation of the Catholic Church by Jesus. “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” With this answer, Jesus established the Catholic Church with Simon Peter designated the first Pope.

“Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.“

Many try to imply that it was Peter’s faith on which Jesus established the Church. But closer examination of the words of Jesus reveal that the selection was of divine nature.

“For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father.” His knowledge of Jesus was not the reason for Peter’s confession to the true identity but it was the fact that it had been revealed to him by God. In the words of Jesus gives Peter his new name – “The Rock”. A foundation on which his Church will be built.

Many separated from the Catholic Church cling to the notion that the Church was built on the faith of Peter and not him as a man as justification for their position. Unfortunately, their understanding is incorrect.

The bible is full of references to the need for respect of authority. It is also full of references for the need for unity. In one parable Jesus is explaining how he could not be of Satanic origin (Mark 3:22), “How can Satan drive out Satan?” In this parable he points out the importance of leadership. “If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.” Throughout the scripture we always see – One God, One Son, One Holy Spirit, One Church.

The Church today has become a free enterprise operation. If you can access the Internet you can be ordained in some church. The reformation began a splintering of the Church – in so many words, a kingdom divided.

It is much easier to understand Peter’s role of leadership by reading Acts. He is clearly the leader of the Church. One such example, there are others, is Acts 15:6 where Peter addressing the other Apostles clearly states his leadership role: “My brothers, you are well aware that from early days God made his choice among you that through my mouth…

Around or about 45 AD, Peter went to Rome and from there lead the Catholic Church. As of today, there have been 265 Popes in direct succession to Peter. The position of Pope was established by Christ and the office has been maintained in an apostolic manner since the time of Christ. Although the Church has fragmented since the time of Christ with various leadership centers emerging, the apostolic line of succession in the Church is seated in Rome until this very day. Many throughout time have tried to rationalize away and deny the authority and structure of the Church as established by Jesus. In my heart I know that Catholic Church is the Church established by Jesus and has maintained a clear line of apostolic leadership to this very day. The Church has celebrated the sacraments and worshiped the Lord in essentially the same way since the time of Christ.

Every Church suffers occasionally because of the weaknesses of human nature. But I believe that regardless of temporary problems experienced by the Church, abandoning the Catholic Faith is not an option. Jesus was more forgiving and understanding of human nature. When Jesus was arrested Judas had betrayed Him, Peter denied him three times, and the remaining apostles ran away. If Jesus supported and anointed their apostolic role after some of their human failings, I can’t imagine abandoning my faith for human shortcomings. After all, your faith is in the Church established by Jesus, not in any person involved in the Church. Of course problems in the Church must be addressed and corrected, but the faith and Church established by Jesus can never be denied.

Watch A Video on how the church started.