Our discussion of Romans 10: 1-13 today was especially fruitful. Here are some highlights:

  • v. 4: Jesus fulfills the Law, but doesn’t destroy it. One way of looking at this is that the Law is a necessary guide because we don’t believe in “once saved, always saved.” [Further reflection on St. John Chrysostom’s commentary on this verse reveals that since we can’t observe the Law “aright,” we need Jesus for “wholeness.”]
  • vv. 9-10: Oral prayer (confessing Jesus with our lips) serves several purposes, including helping us to learn and believe, assuring us, protecting us, and unifying us with the Church. This discussion led to several interesting linguistic and other asides, including: a) We are united in community only through Jesus, like spokes on a wheel. b) We are united, but distinct. For example, in the Extraordinary Form Mass, the parts are in Latin throughout the world, but the readings and teachings are in the vernacular; also, in Heaven, we will all be together, but we will each have our distinct (glorified) body. c) Even in the Church’s second greatest prayer, the Liturgy of the Hours, when one is praying it alone, one is encouraged to at least to move her lips, if not actually speak the words aloud, to signify unity with the Church in praying the prayers. [I promised the ladies some links on the Divine Office. See this newly-revised post. I would love to find a way to introduce whoever is interested to this nourishing practice; perhaps I can bring my copy and we could try praying Morning Prayer before the study sometime.]
  • We also heard a report on the highlights of a local Catholic conference, including: a) the importance of following spiritual urges and inspirations; b) to dispose of negative thoughts and replace them immediately with the positive, as if the negative thoughts were hot coals; and c) a good way to diffuse anger is to ask “What is your expectation?”
  • The ladies who arrived early enough prayed a Rosary for Nathaniel. The group agreed that we are so grateful for how Nathaniel’s family shares their struggle with us, as our prayers and sacrifices for them are also serving to build our own faith.
  • There are a few dates that we will likely be without a meeting room, due to school resuming. An e-mail will be sent-out with the arrangements for those dates (which may include meeting in a home), starting with October 7.

As always, I invite the ladies to add to what I’ve posted or discuss it further in the space below.

9/8/10 — In preparation for our study of Romans 10, please see this link. (I’m not sure what our tech scene will look like tomorrow morning, so I’m going to try to have the links off of my post pre-loaded in my netbook for reference, but those of you with smartphones might be able to help, too, by bookmarking the link above. 🙂 )

Romans x.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Is for them. That is, for Israel, or the Israelites, named before. (Witham) — After having said that the greatest part of Israel was cast off by the Almighty, the apostle, to shew that he meant not to insult or provoke them, here testifies that he sympathizes in their misery, and with groans prays in their behalf to the Lord, that he would vouchsafe to grant them understanding, and open their eyes to the truth. Thus, though tenderly affected towards his countrymen, still he could not dissemble the truth, or flatter them in their incredulity, and hardness of heart. (Calmet)

Ver. 2. According to knowledge, &c. The Jews ran with ardour in the paths of the law, but saw not whither they were going; they followed the law, but did not know whither it conducted them. (Calmet)

Ver. 3. The justice of God. That is, the justice which God giveth us through Christ; as, on the other hand, the Jews’ own justice is that which they pretended to by their own strength, or by the observance of the law, without faith in Christ. (Challoner) — Seeking to establish their own. That is, for justice, or to be justified by their works, or the works of their written law. (Witham)

Ver. 5-7. Moses (Leviticus xviii. 12.[5.?]) wrote that the justice which is of the law….shall live by it. That is, shall have the recompense of a long temporal life, or even an everlasting life, by joining a faith in Christ their Redeemer, that was to come. But the justice which is of faith, speaketh thus, that is, Moses speaketh thus of it, (Deuteronomy xxx.) say not in thy heart, who shall ascend into heaven? &c. the apostle gives us the spiritual sense of the words, by adding, to bring Christ down, &c. The sense is, that it is now fulfilled in the new law, when Christ is come from heaven by his incarnation, and is also again risen from the abyss by his resurrection: and therefore,

Ver. 8. The word is near thee, is near to every one, who to be justified and saved, need but believe, and comply with the doctrine of the gospel which we preach, and make a confession or profession of it with his mouth; and then whether he hath been Jew or Gentile, he shall not be confounded. (Witham)