Second Sunday of Advent and a second (unofficial) modern Father of the Church

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J.

Here is a link to a doctrinal homily outline for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

Here is a link to the same for the Second Sunday of Advent for Year B.

Fr. Robert Spitzer, S.J.

A second unofficial kind of Father of the Church I wish everyone to know about is the Jesuit priest Fr. Robert Spitzer. Certainly he is qualified to be a Catholic theologian. Recall that Catholic theology is the rational study of Divine Revelation. The Church, on her part, teaches us that God wants us to make an act of faith in Divine Revelation. The act of faith is the grace-assisted affirmation or yes to what God has revealed. The act of faith is a living yes to what God shows us.

However, a great deal of Fr. Spitzer work is in apologetics. Apologetics is the defense of the faith. Fr. Spitzer’s work helps people today be more able to assent to what God has revealed about Him, ourselves, creation, and the moral law. He helps to give the act of faith a reasonable and responsible basis.

Fr. Spitzer does this through an intellectually rigorous updating of two areas of apologetics. One is the preambles of the faith and the other is the motives of credibility.

Preambles of faith

The preambles of faith are the things one needs to believe to be true in order to say yes to God’s revelation. They are, for example, rational arguments and evidence for the existence of God, for the spirituality and immortality of the human soul, for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and for the existence of miracles. These truths come before saying yes to God. Back in the day, I was shocked to discover that the Church does not consider the existence of God a matter of faith but of reason. Fr. Spitzer offers many philosophically, sociologically, and scientifically sound arguments and proofs for the existence of God. His latest book is called Science at the Doorstep to God. Its subtitle is “Science and Reason in Support of God, the Soul, and Life after Death.”

Motives of credibility

The motives of credibility are rational reasons to believe in Christ’s Catholic Church. Some of these are based on the goodness that has arisen in the world during the past two millennia from people living out the faith. We take for granted the idea of human dignity and inherent human rights, regardless of sex or race; the existence of social services like hospitals and orphanages; the rise of educational and university systems; the origin of experimental science; the Western tradition of art, music, and architecture; and modern medicine. In addition, we have the witness of countless heroic and holy men and women who have lived out their Catholic faith. Like Jesus Christ, who went about doing good, his followers have done the same.

Little leap of faith

Fr. Spitzer calls what we do when we say yes to God’s revelation “a little leap of faith.” Before the little leap, reason tells us it is safe to jump. On the other side, Catholic witness says come join us.

I have carefully studied eleven of Fr. Spitzer’s books and highly recommend them to you. Here is a link you might find helpful if you want to do the same.







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