31 May 2014

The History of the Faith Simplified

Sub Tuum.

The history of the Faith simplified: The mass and the priesthood were instituted by Christ at the Last Supper. This was also the start of Sacred Tradition in the Christian context. The Apostles were consecrated by the Holy Spirit at the first Pentecost, initiating the line of succession of bishops. The diaconate was instituted during the Apostolic time (see Acts). The Minor orders were later formalized as the various functions developed. Early Scripture was diverse and traditions were continuing to develop. Different locations often held vastly divergent viewpoints. There was much conflict and debate. Finally Scripture was codified into the Canon as we know it in the 4th century at Nicea. This was done in context of the Sacred Tradition already existing. From this point theology, doctrine, dogma, and tradition developed in a manner also consistent with Scripture. As Canon Law became formalized, it likewise had to be developed in a manner consistent with Scripture and tradition. The liturgy (which, for the mass, goes back to the Last Supper, and for the Offices even extended back into the Jewish period) also developed in a manner consistent with Scripture, Tradition, and, in time, Canon Law. Thus, one could say that Scripture is at the center of the Mass, but the Mass is at the center of Scripture. Without the Mass and what it represents and truly is, Scripture is meaningless. Similarly, one can say that tradition is at the center of the Mass, but the Mass is also at the center of tradition. Scripture, Tradition, Liturgy, and Canon Law must all be consistent with each other. To know the hierarchy of determining this consistency, return to first principles. What is the first principle of the Christian Faith? Christ on the Cross. Derive everything else from there.