Thursday, August 9, 2018
The three letters, First and Second Timothy and Titus, form a distinct group within the Pauline body of work. In the collection of letters by the Apostle to the Gentiles, they differ from the others in form and contents. All three suggest they were written late in Paul’s career. The opponents are not “Judaizers” as in Galatians but false teachers stressing “knowledge”. Attention is given specially to correct doctrine and church organization. Jesus’ second coming. The three letters are addressed not to congregations but to those who shepherd congregations. These letters were first named “Pastoral Epistles” in the eighteenth century because they all are concerned with the work of a pastor in caring for the community or communities under his charge. 1 Timothy is presented as having been written from Macedonia. Timothy, whom Paul converted, was of mixed Jewish and Gentile parentage. He was the apostle’s companion on both the second and the third missionary journeys and was often sent by him on special missions. In 1 Timothy, he is described as the administrator of the entire Ephesian community. The letter instructs Timothy on his duty to restrain false and useless teaching and proposes principles pertaining to his relationship with the older members of the community and with the presbyters. It gives rules for aid to widows and their selection for charitable ministrations and also deals with liturgical celebrations, selections for the offices of bishop and deacon, relation of slaves with their masters, and obligations of the wealthier members of the community. This letter also reminds Timothy of the prophetic character of his office and encourages him in his exercise of it. The central passage of the letter expresses the principal motive that should guide the conduct of Timothy—preservation of the purity of the church’s doctrine against false teaching. On this same note the letter concludes.
1 Timothy, Chapter 5, Verse 20
A brilliant philosopher who stopped believing in God when she was fourteen, Edith Stein was so captivated by reading the autobiography of Teresa of Avila that she began a spiritual journey that led to her Baptism in 1922. Twelve years later she imitated Teresa by becoming a Carmelite, taking the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. Born into a prominent Jewish family in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), Edith abandoned Judaism in her teens. As a student at the University of Gottingen, she became fascinated by phenomenology, an approach to philosophy. Excelling as a protege of Edmund Husserl, one of the leading phenomenologists, Edith earned a doctorate in philosophy in 1916. She continued as a university teacher until 1922 when she moved to a Dominican school in Speyer; her appointment as lecturer at the Educational Institute of Munich ended under pressure from the Nazis. After living in the Cologne Carmel (1934-1938), she moved to the Carmelite monastery in Echt, Netherlands. The Nazis occupied that country in 1940. In retaliation for being denounced by the Dutch bishops, the Nazis arrested all Dutch Jews who had become Christians. Teresa Benedicta and her sister Rosa, also a Catholic, died in a gas chamber in Auschwitz on August 9, 1942.
Things to Do: In the month of August we celebrate two martyrs of Auschwitz, St. Maximilian Kolbe and St. Teresa Benedicta.
While the day’s origins may be shrouded in mystery and rumor, the books themselves are not. Started from carving on stone tablets, the book was designed to make portable the writings and drawings of those that could not carry around stone tablets. Originally it was parchment or vellum (calf skin, in case you were wondering) was bound tightly with a wooden cover.