It’s all Greek to me…

Okay, I know this title is an incredibly obvious pun (and far below my usual, high standards), but I thought I would make it now before anyone else did. 🙂

As most of my friends know, I’ve been wanting to study New Testament Greek for some time. However, this has been easier said than done. For a start, my geographical wanderings in recent years have made committing to a course of study difficult. Also, finding somewhere that teaches New Testament Greek is not such a simple task as one might imagine and finding one which is cost-effective only adds to the fun…

When I began my “Introduction to the New Testament” course about a month ago at the Pastoral Center I asked the instructor for suggestions as to how I could bring this desire to learn Biblical Greek to fruition. He suggested that I:

1. Contact Bethel Seminary
2. Learn using a self-study course

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Meditation From Cardinal Newman

The other night I had a meeting with some of the Young Adult leaders in the Diocese. We shared dinner together and were offered a reflection by a Miles Christi priest.

The evening was opened with a meditation by the recently beatified Cardinal John Henry Newman. Newman is someone I’ve like for some time. I haven’t read any of his works in their entirety (yet), but I’ve always enjoyed the excerpts I’ve come across.

One thing I’ve always admired about Newman was his single-minded determination to follow the truth where ever it lead him and to serve Christ whatever the cost…

God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission, I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next.

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Friday Frivolity: Can I have your adoration hour?

In previous “Friday Frivolity” segments I have covered some of the best pick-up lines the Catholic world has to offer. Well, this week’s offering comes courtesy of Catherine. If you haven’t seen Mad TV’s skit “Can I have your number?” it’s probably a good idea you watch that first otherwise this’ll make no sense:

Who’s your daddy? St. Polycarp

Today is the feast day of St. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. Contrary to the insistence of some of my friends, “Polycarp” does not mean “much fish” 😉 Rather, his name means “much fruit”, an appropriate appellation for a man whose life was full of the fruit of one whose life was devoted to Jesus Christ:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”

– John 15:5

Polycarp, perhaps more so than any other Apostolic Father, provides us with a bridge between the Apostles and the Early Church. When Polycarp was young he sat at the feet of St. John and when Polycarp was old, another young man, St. Irenaeus sat at his feet and would later become one of the great defenders of the faith against the Gnostics.

Polycarp has a link to another Early Church Father. In fact, I have mentioned St. Polycarp on this blog before, when I wrote about the letter of St. Ignatius of Antioch to the Smyrnaeans and his letter to the bishop of that city, Polycarp. In his letter, Ignatius exhorts Polycarp:

“The times call for you, as pilots do for the winds, and as one tossed with tempest seeks for the haven, so that both you and those under your care may attain to God. Be sober as God’s athlete: the prize set before you is immortality and eternal life”

– Ignatius to Polycarp

The turbulent times did indeed call for a great bishop and they did indeed find one in Polycarp…
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Friday Frivolity: Please turn off your cell phones

Haven’t done too well with blogging this week – I’ve been too busy planning my vacation/holiday back to England.  However, I’ve got a chunk of time marked out this weekend to finish a couple of entries I’ve started. Until then, please remember, turn off your phones when you go to church…

Nostra Aetate

In the concluding post for the “Introduction to Islam” series I quoted the Second Vatican Council document “Nostra Aetate” since it provides Church teaching regarding non-Christian religions in general, and Islam in particular.

In the JP2 Group we will be working through this Council document, once we have concluded our current series.

In preparation for this study I have put together a formatted PDF of this document. I also recorded the text onto MP3, which I thought I would also post here:

Nostra Aetate (Download)

Friday Frivolity: Unto thy own self be true…

There are a few things I know about my on limitations.

For example, I can’t pull off wearing a leather jacket.  Just can’t do it.  Whatever personal quality is necessary to wear a leather jacket and look cool, I just don’t have it.  There are just some things you shouldn’t try….

(Please watch to the end – it gets even better)

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