May a Catholic or other Christian recite the Shema?


#1

The Shema is the holiest verse in Judaism: "Hear O Israel, the Lord is G-d, the Lord is One." May a Catholic recite this, given that Catholics believe there is one G-d but also believe in the Trinity, that G-d is three distinct, non-separate Persons?


#2

There is no theological reason not to. Even Jesus recited it when asked what the "greatest commandment" was.

That said, it is often discouraged for a Catholic to try to appear Jewish, since that might cause undue distress.


#3

Morally, there's no reason for us not to, as the poster above me said.


#4

I do so regularly. To clarify our beliefs regarding the Trinity here is the Athanasian Creed:

Quicunque Vult (Athanasian Creed):
If anybody wants to be saved, first of all it is necessary that they hold the Catholic Faith.
Because unless everyone keeps this Faith completely and purely, without doubt they shall not be saved.
And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, neither mixing up the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.
What the Father is, that is what the Son is, and also what the Holy Spirit is.
The Father was not created by anyone, the Son was not created by anyone, and the Holy Spirit was not created by anyone.
The Father is beyond our understanding, the Son is beyond our understanding, and the Holy Spirit is beyond our understanding.
The Father is eternal, the Son is eternal, and the Holy Spirit is eternal.
And yet they are not three who are eternal, but one who is eternal.
And they are not three who are beyond our understanding, nor three who were not created by anyone, but one uncreated, and one beyond our understanding.
So in the same way the Father is Almighty, the Son is Almighty, and the Holy Spirit is Almighty.
And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God.
And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.
So in the same way the Father is Lord, the Son is Lord, and the Holy Spirit is Lord.
And yet they are not three Lords, but one Lord.
For just as the Christian Truth forces us to acknowledge each Person in and of himself to be both God and Lord, so the Catholic Religion forbids us to say there are three Gods, or three Lords.
The Father is from no one, neither created, nor begotten.
The Son comes from the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten.
The Holy Spirit is from the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.
So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits.
And in this Trinity none is before or after another; none is greater or less than another;
So that in all things, as was said before, the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.
Whoever wants to be saved must thus think of the Trinity.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation also to believe correctly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Human;
God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Human, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world;
Perfect God and perfect Human, continually existing as a rational soul and human flesh together;
Equal to the Father, as God; and inferior to the Father, as human.
Who although he is God and Human, yet he is not two, but one Christ;
One, not by changing the Godhead into flesh, but by taking the Humanity into God;
One altogether; not by mixing up the Substance of God and Human, but by uniting them in one person.
For as the rational soul and flesh together in one person is one human, so God and Human together in one person is one Christ;
Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead.
He ascended into heaven, he sits at the right hands of the Father, God Almighty, from whence he shall come to judge the living and the dead.
At whose coming all persons shall rise again with their bodies and shall give account for their own works.
And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil into everlasting fire.
This is the Catholic Faith, without which there is no salvation.

Any questions?
(BTW this prayer is where I truly learned the place of mary, as it makes clear that he is of one substance with the father in his divine nature, and in a similar manner of one substance with his mother in his human nature.)


#5

Catholics affirm the truth of that statement, so yes. It is of course also included in the Christian Bible with the rest of the Hebrew Bible.


#6

Considering that it's part of the Liturgy of the Hours (Night Prayer for Saturday), I doubt that the Church has a problem with it being prayed.

-ACEGC


#7

[quote="meltzerboy, post:1, topic:314855"]
The Shema is the holiest verse in Judaism: "Hear O Israel, the Lord is G-d, the Lord is One." May a Catholic recite this, given that Catholics believe there is one G-d but also believe in the Trinity, that G-d is three distinct, non-separate Persons?

[/quote]

Absolutely. I recall it was made much of during RCIA when I converted.


#8

I distinctly recall a procession of clerics singing it before a mass that was given in Latin. :wink: And it was “schema”, not a Latin “audi”.


#9

Thank you all. I take it the consensus is yes.


#10

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