"Should Catholics Join Non-Catholic Bible Studies?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Bible studies for Catholics are neither numerous nor well appreciated. Catholics are generally satisfied with complying with the obligation of attending Mass once a week on Sunday and then going on their way.

Many Catholics (dare I say MOST?) don't know the difference between John 1;1 and Genesis 1;1. Careful, you all, that's a trick question. I do know that most Catholics know the basic Bible stories.

I also know that if you ask them whether or not the story that they have just identified is from the Old Testament or the New Testament, they would hem and haw and venture a guess, but not produce a solid, assured answer.

I also know that Catholics generally will not set time aside to participate in a neighborhood Bible Study Group. They have "too many other things to do." Besides, they go to Mass, don't they? They'll hear what the priest has to say about it on Sunday. It's the Church's job to tell me what the Bible means.

It is also true though, that there are Catholics who seek Catholic Bible Study Groups and often to no avail. These are the same Catholics who will ultimately find a Bible Study Group composed of spiritually minded people from other religions. Since it is essentlally the "same Bible", isn't it?
These Catholics will attend, with a slight twitch of conscience, but with the rationalization that it is better than what they could find in their own Catholic Community.

All of this having been said, the burning question is: SHOULD CATHOLICS JOIN NON-CATHOLIC BIBLE STUDIES?

We want your response. Now is your chance to sound off. If your response includes a commitment, rest assured that this is the place where your sacrifice will be accepted and offered to God and Community.

Stay tuned.


Why do we pray for the dead?

Burning Question of the Week
By Paul Dion, STL

It is the month of November. This is the month when we Catholics are reminded by the Church to keep the welfare of our departed loved ones in our prayers.

Ah, yes, Catholics. We sure have a lot of things to think about. One of them is that we pray for our dearly departed, actually pray for them. It is one thing to pray for one another. We do that often. Please pray that I get that job. Please pray so that my mother will get better. Please pray that my son will go back to church again. Please pray that my husband will stop drinking. We are sure that you have heard all these, and even more.

It is a big part of our lives as Christians, not only Catholics. We do it and we do not connect it to what the Israelites of three thousand years ago believe about this sort of prayer. It is in our Bible. People offered sacrifice for one another so that God would look favorably down on those for who they prayed. So, we do the same.

In fact, we go one further, we pray for the dearly departed souls. We pray that they will be greeted heartily into heaven after their life of travail and hardship. But, they are already dead. They are no longer here. What effect will our prayers for them have? All of you reading this pray for your dearly departed relatives. You pray for the repose of the souls of your relatives and friends. So, what do we mean when we say "repose of the souls"?

Think about it. Why do we pray for the dead? Post a comment below.

Click here to view the answer to the Burning Question