Another thing I love about being Catholic

Here’s another thing I love about being Catholic: all the heavy lifting has been done for me. I am not responsible for establishing the faith, I am not responsible for interpreting the Bible for myself or anybody else, and I am not responsible for determining what constitutes the Bible. This is because there is a Deposit of Faith that was “once delivered to the saints” (Jude 3). It can be summed up thusly by Jesus himself: “My doctrine is not mine, but him who sent me.” (John 7:16).

EWTN has a great summary of this Deposit. I added hyperlinks to the scripture references:

“St. Paul uses the Greek word ‘paratheke,’ ‘deposit,’ meaning something precious entrusted to a depositary for safekeeping. He means by it not an inert object like gold or diamonds or a sum placed in the trust department of a bank, but a living body of doctrine. O Timothy, guard the “paratheke,” the ‘deposit’ (1 Tim. 6:20). This urgent appeal of the Apostle to his Successor is not only thematic for the ‘Acts of the Apostles’ and their Epistles but also for the Gospels. The reason is the fact that this deposit is the doctrine and the teaching program which Jesus entrusted to his Apostles when he taught them, and mandated them to take it out to all nations (see Matt. 28:16-20). He entrusted it therefore also to their Successors, including the men of Holy Orders as a whole until his Second Coming at the end of the world. This concept of a priceless divine deposit entrusted to the teaching Church belongs to the New Testament as one of its principal themes.

“The origin of the deposit, then, is Jesus the Divine Teacher. It originated in his teaching of his Apostles, when he prepared them to carry his program forth to all nations. What is the value of the deposit? Unique and priceless. Jesus himself states it: ‘My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me’ (John 7:16). It is the Word of God, not diffused throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, but gathered into a brief teachable synthesis and summary by Jesus himself. It was a stroke of genius, humanly speaking, that Jesus made his revelation of the Three Divine Persons the pattern of this teachable summary of divine revelation. Jesus was preparing teachers in the age-old oral methods of mankind; printing, printed catechisms and printed textbooks were still fifteen centuries in the future…”

1 Cor 15:3 seems to echo John 7:16: “For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures…”

I want to learn about this Faith but I don’t have to figure it out as if to establish it. See the difference? It was already established a long time ago and so we enter into what has already been established. We are children of God, and it is His good pleasure to give us the Kingdom. treasure-box-2

The Church has been like a Christian treasure box for me, with so many wonderful things to discover. I don’t have to dig to get to them; I am not responsible for bringing them forth as if I was in labor. They are there for anybody to discover and enjoy.

It makes perfect sense that God would set it up this way.

Advertisements