In this study, we examine the scriptural basis for Purgatory and explore perspectives on sin and forgiveness.
We continue through the Letter of James discussing overcoming sin at its root and the progression from sinfulness to sin to death contrasting the path to death with the path to life. We digress a bit onto the subject of first fruits and conclude with an exploration of the literal meaning of our rebirth.
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.
We covered about half of Psalm 18 tonight with an emphasis on understanding specific events in David's life that shape the images in this Psalm along with references to the Exodus. We read about Cherubim, examine David's musings on how God treats us according to how we are and perceive God, and conclude by discussing the role of humility in exaltation.
We finish our exploration of Psalm 18 by examining how some of the colorful images of conquest are more than images but reflect events from David's life. We reflect on God's humility and how He makes us "sound" as He is "sound". We saw how David perceived the living God by observing God's actions in his life and how we do the same. We also mused on how Christians understand verses about vengeance upon the wicked.
We begin tonight's study with a discussion of the Ordinary, Proper, and Common regarding Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours as well as a discussion of Solemnities, Feasts, Memorials, and Optional Memorials. We proceed to explore the Benedictus, the Canticle of Zechariah as part of the Ordinary of the Liturgy of the Hours including its historical setting, powerful Old Testament references, and images of light, darkness, and peace.
The second half proceeds to Psalm 57 which we will use when we pray the Morning Office from Thursday week I. We show the possible connection to David's early flight from Saul and the treachery of Doeg and David's trust in God's deliverance. We touch upon the constant spiritual threat to our lives.
We expound Psalm 30 in the first half of tonight's study including its liturgical history, the story of David and the census and the altar in Jerusalem, the influence of Satan and the demons in our lives, and the experience of feeling abandoned by God.
We explore Psalm 32 in the second half. We discuss the importance of love covering a multitude of sins, the connection between sincerity and forgiveness, and the dangers of ignoring God.
Tonight's study begins with Psalm 4 as a possible response of David to Absalom's rebellion. We branched into how we can and must find joy in our afflictions, digressed into one reason for intercessory prayer including prayer to Saints, and concluded with a discussion of complete trust in and surrender to the will of God.
We then continued on to Psalm 134 by first introducing the Songs of Ascents. We referenced the round the clock praise of God in the temple and its extension into our need and desire as a community to provide for those who today offer their lives in constant prayer and praise. With finished by dwelling on the deep intimacy we can have with God.
We then turned off the cameras and prayed Night Prayer of the vigil of All Saints which uses Pss 4 and 134 as the psalmody.
In this study, we begin by setting the context of Psalm 15 as David bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Zion. To do so, we spend time exploring the history of the Ark and its journey including the abuse of religion while the Ark is in Shiloh, the capture and return of the Ark, and the disturbing incident of Uzzah being killed for steadying the Ark during transport. This leads to a discussion on conscience. We then expound the psalm itself including the issues of "despising the reprobate" and not lending money at interest.
This study explores Psalm 63 including its possible context of Absalom's rebellion against David. We considered how we can still see God's power and glory in His sanctuary today. We dwelt upon what it means to value God's love even more than life itself. We spoke of spiritual delights and intimacy with God and challenged ourselves to see how close we are to Him gauged against this psalm.