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Daily Catholic Question

Are the symbols on the dollar bill anti-Christian?

What do the pyramid and eye on the back of our one-dollar bill mean? Are they anti-Christian?

The symbols to which you refer are the reverse side of the Great Seal of the United States: the triangle and eye atop an unfinished pyramid with the words Annuit Coeptis above them and the date 1776 in Roman numerals below with the words Novus Ordo Seclorum. We are more accustomed to seeing the front side of the seal with the American eagle clutching 13 arrows in its talons.

The Department of State, keeper of the seal, says the pyramid symbolizes strength and durability. The 13 layers of stone represent the original states. The fact that the pyramid is unfinished means the United States is always growing, building, and improving.

In Christian symbols a triangle represents the divine Trinity and an eye the all-seeing eye of God. It suggests the importance of divine guidance. Annuit Coeptis can be translated "He [God] has favored our undertakings" and Novus Ordo Seclorum, "A new order of the ages," meaning the new American era.

There is nothing inherently anti-Christian in any of these symbols.

Click here for the rest of today's answer

Monday, February 18, 2013
Daily Catholic Question for 2/17/2013 Daily Catholic Question for 2/19/2013


Jerome: Most of the saints are remembered for some outstanding virtue or devotion which they practiced, but Jerome is frequently remembered for his bad temper! It is true that he had a very bad temper and could use a vitriolic pen, but his love for God and his Son Jesus Christ was extraordinarily intense; anyone who taught error was an enemy of God and truth, and St. Jerome went after him or her with his mighty and sometimes sarcastic pen. 
<p>He was above all a Scripture scholar, translating most of the Old Testament from the Hebrew. He also wrote commentaries which are a great source of scriptural inspiration for us today. He was an avid student, a thorough scholar, a prodigious letter-writer and a consultant to monk, bishop and pope. St. Augustine (August 28) said of him, "What Jerome is ignorant of, no mortal has ever known." </p><p>St. Jerome is particularly important for having made a translation of the Bible which came to be called the Vulgate. It is not the most critical edition of the Bible, but its acceptance by the Church was fortunate. As a modern scholar says, "No man before Jerome or among his contemporaries and very few men for many centuries afterwards were so well qualified to do the work." The Council of Trent called for a new and corrected edition of the Vulgate, and declared it the authentic text to be used in the Church. </p><p>In order to be able to do such work, Jerome prepared himself well. He was a master of Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Chaldaic. He began his studies at his birthplace, Stridon in Dalmatia (in the former Yugoslavia). After his preliminary education he went to Rome, the center of learning at that time, and thence to Trier, Germany, where the scholar was very much in evidence. He spent several years in each place, always trying to find the very best teachers. He once served as private secretary of Pope Damasus (December 11).</p><p>After these preparatory studies he traveled extensively in Palestine, marking each spot of Christ's life with an outpouring of devotion. Mystic that he was, he spent five years in the desert of Chalcis so that he might give himself up to prayer, penance and study. Finally he settled in Bethlehem, where he lived in the cave believed to have been the birthplace of Christ. On September 30 in the year 420, Jerome died in Bethlehem. The remains of his body now lie buried in the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome.</p> American Catholic Blog O fire of love! Was it not enough to gift us with creation in your image and likeness, and to create us anew to grace in your Son’s blood, without giving us yourself as food, the whole of divine being, the whole of God? What drove you? Nothing but your charity, mad with love as your are! –St. Catherine of Siena

 
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