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.
June 9, 2020
“Many people simply cannot believe that there can be a large, leisurely center to life where God can be pondered” wrote the late Dr. Eugene Peterson. “They doubt they can enter realms of spirit where wonder and adoration have a place to develop, and where play and delight have time to flourish. Is all this possible in our fast-paced lives?”
That 1994 article by Eugene Peterson was ironically entitled “The Good-for-Nothing Sabbath.” It had a profound influence on the way I thought about not only Sunday, but rest and leisure in general. It also served as the one of the first critiques I read of the modern American concept of time that sees each Sunday and holiday as nothing but “a day off” in the service of returning to work.
Dr. Kent Lasnoski here at Wyoming Catholic College has spent a good deal of time considering and writing about the Sabbath. And his concerns have only been amplified by the enforced fast from Sunday Mass and the sacraments due to COVID-19. We may have formed or enhanced some bad habits.
May 19, 2020
“Right from the beginning liturgy and music have been closely related. Wherever people praise God, words alone do not suffice. Conversation with God transcends the boundaries of human speech; everywhere it has, according to its nature, called on music for help, on singing and on the voices of creation in the sound of the instruments. Not only man has a role in the praise of God. Worship is singing in unison with that which all things bespeak.”
That quotation is from Joseph Ratzinger’s essay, “The Image of the World and of Man in the Liturgy and Its Expression in Church Music,” an essay Wyoming Catholic College juniors recently read for the course “Music in the Western Tradition.”
On this podcast, their professor, Dr. Stanley Grove comments on that essay and the nature of music in worship.
April 14, 2020
About 100 years ago, Frank Morison, an English journalist, set out to disprove the resurrection of Jesus by examining the facts. As a result Morison, the skeptic, came to believe that Jesus, the Son of God, crucified, dead, and buried, rose again to give eternal life. Morison’s book, Who Moved the Stone? is still in print today.
This being the Tuesday in the Octave of Easter, I thought of Morison’s experience as I listened to this week’s podcast—a conversation between Dr. Kent Lasnoski and Dr. Jeremy Holmes about faith and reason centering around Dei Filius, the dogmatic constitution of the First Vatican Council issued in 1870.
This document from the 19th century, we'll discover, speaks eloquently to our situation today.
April 9, 2020
St. Jerome famously said, “Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.” Thus knowledge of the Scriptures is knowledge of Christ and the more we know Scriptures—assuming that our hearts are right—the more we will know Christ.
While reading through the Bible is of great value and scholarly study of the Bible is also of great value, the Medieval Masters developed a method of reading the Bible they called lectio divina—and it’s not just for monks in the Egyptian desert. It’s a mystical practice for all of us.
Dr. Baxter explains more addressing “How to Perform Scripture: Lectio Divina and Reading with the Heart” in this final session of “Into the Lenten Desert: Learning to Pray with the Medieval Masters” from Wyoming Catholic College.