Tag Archives: Magisterium

The Vocation of a Theologian

Theologians gathered in Washington, D.C. earlier this month for a symposium to help prepare them for the new evangelization. The event was open to selected non-tenured theology or religious studies faculty members who have received their doctoral degrees within the last five years.

The speakers looked to the Church’s rich history as they offered advice on how to present the Gospel in a modern university setting.

One of the speakers that caught my attention was Archbishop J.A. DiNoia, O.P., who serves as the secretary for the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He addressed the symposium participants on the nature of theology as a field of study having internal roots within man.

God’s immense love for us is not something that we could have figured out simply “on the basis of thinking about God,” he said.

The infused theological virtue of faith received in Baptism allows for “the participation in God’s knowledge of Himself,” he added.

Therefore, the archbishop explained, the principles of theology come from the knowledge of God infused in us.

The challenge for the new evangelization, said Archbishop DiNoia is “securing the integrity and finality of theology as a distinctive field of inquiry.”

He urged the symposium participants to resist the “fragmentation of theology into disparate subviews and specializations,” as well as internal secularization within the Church.

In addition, he called for them to be courageous in recognizing the “compatibility between an academic profession and an ecclesial vocation,” seeing their work not merely as a job, but as a calling.

Courtesy of Catholic News Agency. For more on the vocation of the theologian and his or her relationship to the Magisterium, see this 1990 instruction from the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith.

The Word of God and the Consecrated Life

My men’s group has been reading Verbum Domini (“Word of the the Lord”), a 2010 apostolic exhortation by Pope Benedict XVI. This document synthesizes and puts the Pope’s stamp on the deliberations of the 2008 Synod of Bishops at the Vatican devoted to the topic of the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church.

This past week, we came to paragraph 83, which is devoted specifically to the relationship between the Word and consecrated life. Leaving out only the footnotes, that section is reproduced below:

With regard to the consecrated life, the Synod first recalled that it “is born from hearing the word of God and embracing the Gospel as its rule of life.” A life devoted to following Christ in his chastity, poverty and obedience thus becomes “a living ‘exegesis’ of God’s word.” The Holy Spirit, in whom the Bible was written, is the same Spirit who illumines “the word of God with new light for the founders and foundresses. Every charism and every rule springs from it and seeks to be an expression of it,” thus opening up new pathways of Christian living marked by the radicalism of the Gospel. Continue reading The Word of God and the Consecrated Life