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Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, Anton von Werner (1877) Martin Luther at the Diet of Worms, Anton von Werner (1877)

Rev. Nick Blaha (’02)Rev. Nick Blaha (’02)In his homily this past Sunday, alumnus priest Rev. Nicholas Blaha (’02) took up the topic of the Reformation — the 500th anniversary of which falls on October 31 — and its meaning for Catholics today.

“Throughout my studies, I’ve wondered why was it that God allowed His church to be divided in this way, especially because much of Jesus’ prayer and ministry was centered on creating and fostering unity within the body of His believers,” he began. “For five centuries, Western Christianity has been divided, afflicted by a deep lack of unity in faith and belief and in worship. And while this is objectively undesirable — it’s explicitly contrary to Our Lord’s wish — still, I think, as Catholic Christians we have to hold fast to the truth that God is at work in this.”

A priest in the Diocese of Kansas City (Kansas) who runs the Didde Catholic Campus Center at Emporia State University, Fr. Nick was careful to note that the differences that divide Catholics and Protestants are serious. “Are we being faithful to God’s intentions for receiving the gift of eternal life?” he asked. “That’s not a trivial question. That can’t be brushed aside.” Nonetheless, he continued, “In the context of the Reformation, our approach should be: What gifts can we receive from one another? How can we learn?”

To that end, Fr. Nick then considered each of Luther’s three “solas” — scriptura, fides, and gratia (Scripture, faith, and grace) — through the lens of the teachings of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, with an eye toward areas of compatibility with Catholic doctrine. “We can benefit, I think, from receiving a great love for the words of Scripture and the revelation that comes to us through it,” he said, as an example. “To have the same eagerness to receive the gifts of grace through Scripture that Luther and other reformers did, I think, would benefit all of us enormously.”

The full podcast is available via the Didde Center website.