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Daily Catholic Question

What is the significance of the number three in the Bible?

Howard Joseph Sorensen notes in an entry in Volume 10 of the New Catholic Encyclopedia that the number three indicates completeness and is superlative—a thing is entirely what it is said to be. A person dead three days is really dead. One who is thrice holy is perfectly holy.

Seven
also indicates completeness, and can be used of good or evil. Mary Magdalene, for instance, was possessed by seven devils.

In the end Sorensen makes the important statement that the Bible never attributes a special power to numbers and a number has no special meaning apart from the thing signified.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Monday, November 5, 2012
Daily Catholic Question for 11/4/2012 Daily Catholic Question for 11/6/2012


Augustine of Hippo: A Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience. 
<p>There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother (August 27), the instructions of Ambrose (December 7) and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love. </p><p>Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned, with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism. </p><p>In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. “I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:9).</p> American Catholic Blog Silence is the ability to trust that God is acting, teaching, and using me—even before I perform or after my seeming failures. Silence is the necessary space around things that allows them to develop and flourish without my pushing. God takes it from there.

 
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