It's pretty ironic that after I tilted at Protestant minister windmills I open my own Catholic diocesan newspaper and find enough raw meat to make your average agnostic happy. At least in my Protestant minister's newsletter there's no chance you're going to see an article on how there was no connection between King David and Jesus (dismissing the genealogies as silly attempts to link the unlinkable).
So I continued my "annoy-via-emails" ministry, writing to Catholic Times & the bishop excerpted below:
...I'm writing about the latest column about Peter, where Fr. Hummer explains how there is much doubt about what "the rock" means.Part of the reason I so admire and love Pope Benedict XVI is that he is a Scripture scholar who hasn't lost his faith. Modernity is all skepticism and no consolations. Compare and contrast Fr. Hummer's article (not online but here's a good column that is, regarding a downsized exec) with this random excerpt from Fr. Farrell's "My Way of Life", a summary of the Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquinas:
No there isn't. Not if you're Catholic. The Church has definitively interpreted THIS passage for us. But you wouldn't know it from Fr. Hummer's column....
Flannery O'Connor said of the Eucharist: "if it's just a symbol, to hell with it". And to paraphrase, if Peter wasn't called "the rock" because of Christ's intention to found a Church, then the hell with the church! Because that would make the church a purely human institution just as the Eucharist, if a symbol, would be merely bread.
The sacraments are a wonderful gift of God to men. Through them, the power of Christ's Passion is applied to the souls of men for their salvation. Through the sacraments men are reborn and remade into the likeness of Christ. Through the sacraments men become the children of GOd and heirs of heaven. Because they are effective signs of the grace which they signify, they give men an easy way to obtain the grace of God. They are another tender sign of God's mercy. He has not left men to wonder whether they have obtained the grace of God or can obtain the grace of God. No one need roam restlessly through life seeking in out-of-the-way places for some uncertain sign of God's mercy. The sacraments are the visible signs of God's love for men.And the Church itself is also a visible sign of God's love for men.