October 12, 2021
While Genesis 2 tells us that on the seventh day God rested, Thomas Aquinas noted, “It would seem that God did not rest on the seventh day from all His work. For it is said (John 5:17), ‘My Father worketh until now, and I work.’ God indeed ‘worketh until now’ by preserving and providing for the creatures He has made, but not by the making of new ones.”
Perhaps taking a cue from Aquinas, the hymnist wrote, “What God’s almighty power hath made His gracious mercy keepeth.” God made all things and preserves all things whatever “preserves all things” means.
Wyoming Catholic College theologian, Dr. Travis Dziad has been considering this question for some time now taking St. Thomas as his guide.
September 21, 2021
In the first chapter of his letter to the Christians in Rome, St. Paul wrote, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 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. So they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).
History bears out the truth of St. Paul’s statement. You don’t need a Bible to know that God exists and that he is eternal, powerful, intelligent, just, and creative. We all live on the same planet, see the same nature, and are able to come to the same obvious conclusions—even if some people refuse.
Nonetheless, Christianity is not a nature religion. It is a revealed religion. God has spoken through the words of the inspired writers of Scripture and through the Church.
So where are the boundaries between what any human can understand about God through reason and what requires revelation?
Prof. Kyle Washut has been discussing just that with our Wyoming Catholic College sophomores as they read St. Thomas Aquinas’ Compendium Theologiae together.
August 10, 2021
Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner wrote, “Christians are, in their practical life, almost mere ‘monotheists.’ We would never know they believed in the Trinity, because nothing about their lives reflects trinitarian engagement.”
While Christians are monotheists—that is we believe in only one God—we are not what Rahner called mere monotheists. We believe there is one God who exists eternally as a Trinity of Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “God in three Persons, blessed Trinity,” as the hymnist put it.
On May 4, our podcast featured this week's guest, Dr. Jeremy Holmes, talking about his new book Cur Deus Verba: Why the WORD Became Words. The book is a theology of Scripture, but it begins with a chapter entitled “Why God Created: The Trinity.”
May 25, 2021
When he delivered his “Regensburg Address” in 2006, Pope Benedict XVI set off a firestorm of anger. Not only had he criticized Islam and modern scientism, he had the temerity to suggest that what the world really needs is Catholicism. Nearly fifteen years later, sound far less profligate and far more prophetic.
Of course, the Regensburg Address was not primarily about Islam or about scientism. Pope Benedict argued for the place of reason in human life. Without it, we either end up with subjective religiosity ungoverned by reason and leading toward fanaticism or we limit reason to mathematics and physics leading to a cold, calculated science that erases religion and morality and with them our humanity.
Dr. Michael Bolin read Pope Benedict’s Regensburg Address with our Wyoming Catholic College seniors in the weeks before graduation.
May 4, 2021
Quoting St. Jerome, the great fifth century Bible scholar, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (133) tells us:
The Church “forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful. . . to learn the surpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
Theologians throughout the life of the Church pointed out not just a connection, but a identification between Jesus Who is the Word of God made flesh and the Scriptures, the Word of God written and handed down to us.
But how does that work? What does it mean?
Theologian Dr. Jeremy Holmes hopes that his new book will answer that question. The title is Cur Deus Verba: Why the WORD Became Words.
To sign up for the free distance learning course "Reading Your Bible for All It's Worth," visit the Wyoming Catholic College website.
April 6, 2021
“The Resurrection of Jesus,” says the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross.”
The resurrection is not reincarnation. It’s not reanimation. Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, second Person of the Blessed Trinity really and truly died on the cross, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and rose again from the dead.
During Holy Week, our podcast featured Dr. Jeremy Holmes discussing the Gospel of John chapter 19—the cross. During this Easter Octave, Dr. Kent Lasnoski joins us to discuss John chapter 20 and the resurrection.
March 30, 2021
Faithful cross, above all other,
One and only noble tree:
None in foliage, none in blossom,
None in fruit thy peers may be:
Sweetest wood and sweetest iron,
Sweetest weight is hung on thee.
While each time we see a cross or a crucifix and every time we attend Mass we have the opportunity to ponder Christ’s great sacrifice, during Holy Week it becomes almost the exclusive focus of our attention.
Writing about Good Friday in his book Death on a Friday Afternoon, Fr. Richard John Neuhaus wrote, “This is the axis mundi, the center upon which the cosmos turns. In the derelict who cries from the cross is, or so Christians say, the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. The life of all on this day died. Stay a while with that dying.”
The Gospel of John, chapter 19 tells the story of that dying. In this podcast Dr. Jeremy Holmes discusses John 19 and the death of Jesus.
March 9, 2021
We Americans are nothing if not activists. In our homes, in our careers, in our parishes we’re the people who want to make things happen. And so it may come as a surprise to read Pope St. John Paul II’s words, “In the consecrated life the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole world finds fresh enthusiasm and power.”
In 1996, after a synod about the consecrated life, St. John Paul wrote the Apostolic Exhortation Vita Consecrata, “On the Consecrated life and its Mission in the Church and in the World.”
The consecrated life—that is, the life led by monks and nuns—“is at the very heart of the Church as a decisive element for her mission, since it ‘manifests the inner nature of the Christian calling’ and the striving of the whole Church as Bride towards union with her one Spouse.”
This past week, theologian Dr. Jeremy Holmes led our seniors through a discussion of Vita Consecrata and he is our guest on this edition of The After-Dinner Scholar.
January 12, 2021
St. James wrote, “Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith will save the sick man, and the Lord will raise him up; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:13-15)
What with COVID, you’d expect we’d hear rather a lot about the sacrament of anointing the sick or as it has been called in the past Extreme Unction.
We in our day, however, are most likely to call our physician for an appointment or possibly the telehealth line than we are to call our priest asking to be anointed with oil. At least until doctors, hospitals, and the great pharmacopeia fail us and death seems imminent.
Is there still a place for anointing the sick?
Having recently taught about the sacraments, Dr. Kent Lasnoski has been reflecting on the meaning of anointing the sick.
December 1, 2020
Summing up the reign of Israel’s first king, 1Chronicles 10 tells us, “So Saul died for his unfaithfulness; he was unfaithful to the Lord in that he did not keep the command of the Lord, and also consulted a medium, seeking guidance, and did not seek guidance from the Lord. Therefore the Lord slew him, and turned the kingdom over to David the son of Jesse.”
Saul did not, however, begin his reign unfaithful to the Lord. In fact, given his druthers, he probably would not have begun his reign at all. Saul started out as the reluctant king, but that didn’t last.
During the fall, Dr. Jeremy Holmes leads Wyoming Catholic College freshmen through the history of God’s People in the Old Testament. He always pauses to discuss the short, troubling reign of King Saul.