The Portal April 2018 - Page 9

THE P RTAL April 2018 Page 9 Catholic Social Teaching The Old Testament Fr Ashley Beck I n the Catholic tradition all moral teaching, like theology in general, rests on both reason and revelation. We assert that we can deduce some things about the nature of God and about how we should live in the world simply by observing the world around us – this is the basis of what we call the ‘Natural law’ tradition and enables us to say that some moral norms (for example, not killing innocent people) are universal and not restricted to members of one or other particular religious faith. I will look at this idea in more detail in a future article. At the same time, we believe in revelation – that is, we believe in a personal God, engaged with the life of the world (not the masonic ‘Grand Architect’) who communicates with those whom he has created. He has revealed something about himself – for example, that he is one God in three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The sources of this revelation are the Sacred Scriptures and the teachings of the Catholic Church. This series is about Catholic Social teaching, that part of the Christian moral tradition which looks at how we should live in society and how the world which God has created should be ordered according to his will. This draws both on reason and revelation, so it’s right to look at the Bible for signs of what God has revealed to us about how we should live in the narrative of salvation which the scriptures put before us – and this month we will look briefly at the Old Testament. This is actually an area in which converts from Anglicanism might have something distinctive to offer: back in the 1930s, the great Monsignor Ronald Knox used to reflect that ‘cradle’ Catholics, compared to other Christians, were very unfamiliar with the Old Testament and in his preaching he used to try to put this right.  One reason for this is that until the current Mass lectionary was published in 1969 Catholics hardly ever heard the Old Testament read ]X\ ۛHX[H]YZ^HX\\š[[ [XY[][H\H\[HXXYX]] [H]\[Y H\X[H[[[ \XX[H[[ۙ\]X]X\™[Z[X\]H]H\[Y[ \X\[[ۙBH[[X[Xܛ[[]HXZ]Y[ܙBو\[Z\\[[˂[HX^HX[ H[Hو[[ۈ^Y\B[][[ۈ\XK܈[\X[\\ۙHقHܙX][\وH[ܘ[]Έ\H\HYX[ۂۈ][H]X\K[وH[X[Y[˜\HX]H[]H\[H8$[[[K[Z][Y[\KX[[[ۋ[Y[H]H\وH8&]&H\][Y܂H[[Hو\ܘY[[H\]HقH\[Y[[H[[]Z[Y[\X]H[][]H\H[؛[\\BHY [\HX[YY [HYX]Y[وHYHܜ[[H[\\\^[\H8$H[\܈HܙZYۙ\\HX]Y8$\XYH[[\ܝ[\\ق۝[\ܘ\H]XXX[X]ZYܘ[˜\HH\XY[\ܝY HXۙوX]\X[\HZ[\HوB]ˈHX\H\H\و[ZX[HX[[YX H[^X\H[ݙ]Y[ B[ K[H۸&]YYYH][HܞKH[B\N]H[\]H][ZZۙ۝˜[ۙ[[H[X]\HH\[B[^X\وX[^]Y[K[[YYY[H[\H]X] HܜH[وZX\]HX[\\ ܈[ZZ[H\] [[XK\ZXZ[ۊB\H\[[[X[]Y[Y]KHܜ\و[H[[\XH[Y]KH\]^HHHܜ\وHۙHYH^]B܎^HZ^HH[وH܋[H[B]و\Y\[[]H[K\H\[ Bܜ\[XܚYX\XH\HX[\[ٙ\\]\XH[KۛH] [ܙ]ݙ\Z\XXHۜܚ\[[B[Z\\ZY\˂[H\[Y[H[YHH[ܘ[\]]HY\YHHX[XX[Y][ۂ[وX]\X[XݙH[8$H][H]ˈ[HHYHHX][ۈۈBHۘ\[[]XX[XX[ق[[وH[[\[]\[[8&]\[]&HH8&Y\[X[[ۈ܈Hܸ&H]]Xق]\[[H[[\ܝ[[ܘ[H[H][\][ۈHH^\[XXZ•\[Y[ H[[X[Y[XY \YHوY\][H\[Y[