Friday 4/29/ 16
At the Last Supper Jesus told the Apostles there was much more that they would need to know, but they were not ready for it. He went on to say that when the time came, the holy Spirit would lead them to all truth. In line with that, the Apostles came together a dozen years later to determine how to deal with Gentile converts who had not been raised to observe Kosher. After asking for the Spirit’s guidance they sent out a report saying,
“It is the decision of the Holy Spirit and of us not to place on you any burden. Etc.”
Over these past twenty-one centuries the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, have come together for twenty-one general councils. At them they asked the Holy Spirit for guidance for decisions for conducting Church life, and at the Second Vatican Council, following the lead of that first council, they have publicized their decisions. This time it comes in seventeen documents, four of which they have highlighted as Constitutions.
In their “Constitution on the Liturgy” the bishops declared, “At Mass all Christ’s faithful . . . should take part in the sacred action, conscious of what they are doing with full devotion and full collaboration.”
In the “Constitution on the Church” the bishops declared, “All men are called to this catholic unity . . . in different ways to it belong or are related: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ. . . . Nor shall divine providence deny the assistance necessary for salvation to those who without any fault of theirs who have not arrived at an explicit knowledge of Go, but who, not without grace, strive to lead a good life.”
In the Constitution on Divine Revelation the bishops declared, “To compose the sacred books God chose certain men who all the while he employed them in this task made full use of their own powers and faculties. . . . It follows that the interpreter of Sacred Scripture . . should carefully search out the meaning which the sacred writer had in mind. . . attention must be paid to literary forms for truth is expressed in the various types of historical writings, in prophetic and poetic texts.”
In the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World the bishops declared, “The dignity of men rests above all on the fact that he is called to commune with God. The invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being.”