theologians imitate the Doctors of the Church

We are all called to imitate God, and Christ, and the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints.

[Matthew]
{5:48} Therefore, be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.

[1 Corinthians]
{11:1} Be imitators of me, as I also am of Christ.

But in a particular way, theologians are called to imitate the great Doctors of the Church. In this context, the word ‘doctor’ means ‘teacher’. The Doctors of the Church are Her best teachers. Every theologian should have the goal to be like the Doctors of the Church, to both live and teach the Faith, just as each of them did.

The Universal Church includes all the holy Angels and all the Elect in Heaven, who have the Beatific Vision of God. The Universal Church includes the holy souls in Purgatory, who no longer sin at all. The Church has Jesus as Her head, and the Holy Spirit as Her spirit. The teachings of the infallible Sacred Deposit of Faith (Tradition and Scripture) are guarded within the bosom of the Church. So in one sense, the Church does not need anyone to teach Her.

But the Universal Church includes very many persons on earth, the formal members who know that they are children of the Church, along with many members who are in a state of grace despite not knowing that they are members of the Church. The Universal Church includes very many persons who are sinners, whose knowledge is limited, whose lives could benefit greatly from a deeper understanding of the truths and the mysteries of God.

The goal of every theologian should be to teach the faithful on earth, just as the great Doctors of the Church taught them (and continue to teach them), with simplicity and clarity, with love, faith, hope, and all the virtues, by word and by example. It is a daunting task that is impossible to fulfill without the grace and providence of God.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in theologian. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to theologians imitate the Doctors of the Church

  1. Mike Price says:

    Dear Sir,

    I recently came across your website while searching for which portions of Scripture are not read in a Catholic Church. I have a question regarding your post however.

    You stated “We are all called to imitate God, and Christ, and the Blessed Virgin Mary and all the Saints.” I understand your scripture references to imitating Christ (God incarnate) and also the Saints as Paul indicates to imitate him as he imitates Christ, but what would be the reference to Mary?

    Blessings in Christ,

    Mike

    • ronconte says:

      The Virgin Mary is one of the Saints, and she is the Queen of Saints. Also, she is Christ’s most perfect imitator. So if we can and should imitate God and Christ, then certainly also Mary and the Saints.

      The teachings of the Faith are found in Tradition and Scripture and the teachings of the Magisterium, not solely in Scripture.

  2. Mike Price says:

    Paul states in Romans 7:24-25 “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”

    Obviously this is not the means by which he exhorts us to imitate him I would assume. It is only in regards to how he imitates Christ, is it not? Therefore, as the Saints were sinners in need of a Saviour by their own proclamation, wouldn’t it be that the common denominator is imitating Christ rather than the imitating the one who is only sometimes imitating Christ?

    A good example can be found in industry. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has a piece of material that is what the US uses for determining all the weights in the US. It happens to be the kilogram (which is actually a copy of the chunk of material in France deemed “The Kilogram”) There are of course many copies of this kilogram that are used through various companies in the US. However, all of these copies and derivations thereof (lbs, ounces, etc.) have to be able to trace back to the kilogram at NIST, which has to trace back to “The Kilogram”. While the kilograms used throughout the country may have the mass closely equal to “The Kilogram”, the only true kilogram is “The Kilogram”. That is because even though there may be very good imitations, even those can be flawed at times.

    Taking Romans and 1 Corinthians and performing a little boolean algebra would seem to indicate that Paul only tells us by the Holy Spirit to imitate him ONLY when he imitates Christ, therefore in essence, imitate Christ, who is the only primary standard. And while the secondary standards are used for comparison, they are only valid when they accurately match up to that primary standard, but they are never equal to primary standard.

    Thoughts?

    • ronconte says:

      Yes, we are to imitate the Saints only in so far as they imitate Christ. Which Saint is the best imitator of Christ? The Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the sinless and perfect creation of God. She is a flawless (but finite) reflection of Christ. But Christ is God, and she is merely human.

  3. Mike Price says:

    Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:5 – “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake. ”

    “Which Saint is the best imitator of Christ? The Blessed Virgin Mary. She is the sinless and perfect creation of God. She is a flawless (but finite) reflection of Christ.”

    According to Church doctrine at what time? Certainly not when Luke was written, nor the Bible for that matter.

    1:47 “And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. “, Saint Mary

    • ronconte says:

      You are speaking as if you believe only in the Bible as a source of truth, and not also Tradition and Magisterium. Are you Catholic or Protestant?

      Pope John Paul II, quoting Pope Paul VI:
      In this sense Mary, Mother of the Church, is also the Church’s model. Indeed, as Paul VI hopes and asks, the Church must draw “from the Virgin Mother of God the most authentic form of perfect imitation of Christ.”

  4. Mike Price says:

    Probably neither, but I would say more Catholic in terms of a member of the universal Church. Tradition is perfectly acceptable, only if it adheres and does not contradict Biblical Doctrine.

    “Indeed, as Paul VI hopes and asks, the Church must draw “from the Virgin Mother of God the most authentic form of perfect imitation of Christ.””

    Do you have a source that gets a bit closer to to the first century AD and makes a doctrinal statement like this that adheres vs contradicts Scripture?

Comments are closed.