Tonight's study covers most of Psalm 95 including its place in the Divine Office, its context, and its abrupt shift of mood. We examine the novelty of the view of God as creator of all nature and review the historical background in Exodus and Numbers. We touch upon the idea of God forgiving sins and at that same time exacting punishment. Finally, we begin an examination of the use of this psalm in the Book of Hebrews.
This evening's study introduces the Psalms, discusses Liturgy and communal prayer, and introduces the Liturgy of the Hours as an example of using the Psalms in communal prayer.
In the short first half of tonight's study, we address the question, "do we have to suffer to learn to love God?"
In the second half, we begin our introduction to the book of Psalms including structure, origin, editing, challenges in translation, and, very importantly, what does it mean when we say the Bible is the Word of God.
As we conclude our study of the Letter of James, we briefly review judging each other and mercy, examine James' treatment of anointing, illness, and healing, observe James' appeal to oral tradition, and address the need to pray for each other and our fellow sinners as part of being doers of the word in keeping with James' theme.
In tonight's study, we revisit the important role of suffering in bringing us to holiness, explore the signs of breakdown in Christian communities growing weary under suffering, and examine the difference between the way the merciful and the merciless are judged.
We examine James' exhortation to patience in the face of oppression and supplement it with similar exhortations in II Peter, the message to the Ephesians in Revelation 2, and the in the letter to the Hebrews. We explore how the discipline of suffering brings us to the adulthood of Christianity and read several excerpts on suffering from the Diary of Saint Faustina.
In our study of James 5:1-6, we revisit the subject of wealth, voluntary poverty, detachment, solidarity with the poor, and proper use of wealth. We examine the echos of the Law and Prophets regarding economic justice in James. Finally, we discuss whether or not we should resist oppression.
We began James chapter 5 in earnest tonight and immediately plunged into the challenges of wealth. We cross referenced the words of Jesus, Paul, and Solomon to help shape our understanding of wealth and Jesus' admonition to poverty.
We resume a discussion of questions raised in the last study and new questions tonight. We address the difference between Baptism and Confirmation as two sacraments involving the Holy Spirit. We begin an overview of Grace, Faith, and Salvation and digress into the topics of Original Sin and Infant Baptism.
Tonight's study consisted entirely of comments and questions. The initial questions sprang from our reading of James 5 and deal with the idea of saving a soul by bringing them back to the practice of the faith. We then proceed to a discussion about the roles of faith and grace in salvation.
We discuss sins of omission based on James 4:17 and see how it leads to a life of doing the love God places in front of us and how this dovetails into living a life free of self-will. We then begin James 5 and enter a discussion of how the world has not changed much, the seeming futility of battling against a world that never changes, and finding meaning in each moment.
We begin this study with a further exploration of last week's question about moving off the beach into the interior, i.e., moving from immature to mature Christianity, including examining how false humility can keep us from advancing in the Christian life. We then continue with the issue of self-will, sacrificing our wills to God's will, and the height and depth of what that means. We illustrate these issues of self-will brought up in James 4:13-16 with writings from Saint Faustina and Saint Teresa of Avila.
We start tonight with a question about going beyond superficial Christianity into Christian maturity and walking with the Saints. We next continue with the themes of purification as we approach God, humbling ourselves before God, and the interaction of humility and judgment. We end introducing a discussion on self-will.
We suggest you begin here:
Foundations of Bible Study