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Monday, February 11, 2013

Catechism of the Catholic Church - God Reveals His Holy Name - CCC #50-73

Catechism of the Catholic Church*

The Profession Faith
Chapter 2 God Comes to Meet Man CCC #50-141

God Reveals His Holy Name
CCC #50-73 A Study
We  have seen in our study of Chapter 1, that through our natural reason and the created world we can come to know God exists.  In Chapter 2 we will discover another way that God comes to meet man, divine Revelation.

This Revelation is a love and knowledge of God that we cannot possibly arrive at by our own power. Divine Revelation will be communicated to us gradually, beginning with our first parents, down through the prophets and finally culminate with the Word made Flesh, Jesus. 

It will be an utterly free decision that God will reveal himself to man.  He does this by "revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men."  (CCC #50)

Our "reflection and study of the Catholic faith is an invitation to understand and accept the revelation of God in Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.  By revealing himself, God wishes to make each of us capable of responding to him, of knowing and loving him far beyond our own natural human capacity.  Faith is the human response to God revealed."**
God Reveals His Plan of Loving Goodness
"God, who "dwells in unapproachable light," wants to communicate his own divine life to the men he freely created, in order to adopt them as his only-begotton Son. (1 Timothy 6:16, Ephesians 1:4-5)
By revealing himself God wishes to make them [man] capable of responding to him, and of knowing him, and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity...God communicated himself to man gradually. He prepares him to welcome by stages the supernatural Revelation that is to culminate in the person and mission of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ." (#52-53)
The Stages of Revelation
"Long ago God spoke to our ancestors
in many and various ways by the prophets,
but in these last days he has spoken
to us by a Son
." (Hebrews 1:1-2)
"God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities...he manifested himself to our first parents from the very begining.  He invited them to intimate communion with himself...This revelation was not broken off by our first parents' sin."  (#54-55)
"After the human race was shattered by sin God at once sought to save humanity part by part." (#56)  First with the covenant with Noah (Genesis 9:16) which will remain in force as long as the world lasts." (#71) Then, in order to gather together our scattered humanity, "God chose Abraham and made a convenant with him and his descendants.  By the covenent God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses. (#72)  
Finally through the prophets, God gave his people the hope of salvation, "in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts."  (Jeremiah 31:31-34, Hebrews 10:16, CCC #64)  
Christ - the Fullness of all Revelation
God spoke everything to us with one Word.  "Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one, perfect, and unsurpassable Word.  In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one...In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say...because what he spoke before to the prophets, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son." (#65)
Though there has been throughout time, "private" revelations, some which have been approved by the Church, they are not part of the "Deposit of Faith."  Meaning though there is nothing contrary to the faith or good morals, we are under no obligation to believe them.
As to public Revelation, Jesus Christ is the final Word, "the new and definitive Covenant, [which] will never pass away...Yet even if [public] Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries."  (#66)
Faith is Required 
"In Revelation, the tremendous gulf between God and the human race is bridged. More profoundly God desires to have an intimate relationship with all people. The process of Revelation, which took centuries to unfold, reached its magnificent fulfillment in the life, death, and Resurection of Jesus Christ...

It requires faith to respond to God's revealing word and to perceive the divine action in history. There are those who do not have faith or who consciously reject living in faith. They cannot or will not perceive God's presence or action in the world and sometimes scoff at or ridicule those who do. But for many people, God makes faith possible and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit faith helps those people to grow in an appreciation of how God has worked in history to love and save us."***
Questions to Reflect Upon***

How does God reveal himself?  (#50, 53, 66, 68)
How does God plan for us to respond to this revelation? (#52)

"In times past, God spoke in partial and various ways to our ancestors through the prophets; in these last days, he spoke to us through a son, whom he made heir of all things and through whom he created the universe, who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being, and who sustains all things by his mighty word."  (Hebrews 1:1-3)  Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one perfect, and unsurpassable Word.  In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one.
Next:  The Profession of Faith
Chapter 2 God Comes to Meet Man - CCC #50-141
Proclaim the Gospel to Every Creature - CCC - #74 - 141
*Catechism of the Catholic Church Vatican Site
Moses and the Burning Bush (God reveals Himself) - Bourdin Sebastien - Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
**Study Guide for the U.S. Adult Catholic Catechism, Jem Sullivan, pg. 12
The Trials and Calling of Moses - Sandro Botticelli
God Establishes His Covenant with Noah - Willem de Pannemaker
The Mystical Nativity - Sandro Botticelli
Annunciation (Mary's Fiat) - Sandro Botticelli
***United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, USCCB, pg 13
Original Post of Catechism of the Catholic Church with index

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