Day 2: How the Catechism Works (11-25)
Today we are reading the SECOND HALF of the PROLOGUE aka Paragraphs 11-25
Yesterday we learned: Here is what The Catechism is in the first place and Here is WHY it is in the first place
Today we will cover a couple different things
WHY did they make The Catechism?
WHO are the people that The Catechism was written to talk to?
THE STRUCTURE of The Catechism; There are FOUR PILLARS and we are going to talk about WHAT they are and WHY they are
Also The Church wants to offer practical directions on HOW TO USE The Catechism
On the sides of the pages of The Catechism you will notice some little numbers
What are those little numbers? 🤔
What do they refer to? 🤔
We also notice that sometimes it’s a LARGE FONT and sometimes it’s a small font
Why is that?? 🤔
And lastly, THE INVITATION that The Church is throwing out there saying, “Ok this is The Catechism that we have made. What’s going to happen is that based on this UNIVERSAL CATECHISM, there are going to be other, more LOCAL Catechisms.”
That was the original idea when the Universal Catechism was originally made
“Take this massive summary that is universal, and then apply it to your local community. You can make catechisms for young people, catechisms for old people, catechisms for all sorts of people.”
That’s the idea!!
One thing to note is we will also look at The Roman Catechism
What is that?
That is The Catechism that came out of THE COUNCIL OF TRENT around 1566
Fr. Mike checked Wikipedia so it must be true!! 😉
It was published as a response to the questions people were asking because of the protestant reformation
THIS Catechism was made because The Church realized we need an UPDATED WAY to express THE ETERNAL TRUTHS OF THE FAITH to a NEW GENERATION
So THAT is why we have THIS Catechism!!
So let’s say a prayer!!!
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and we thank you so much. Thank you so much for bringing us to this day. We ask you to please give light to our eyes, that we can see your goodness. Open our ears, that we can hear your truth. And open our heart, that we can be transformed by your goodness and transformed by your truth. We make this prayer in the mighty name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen”
THERE WE ARE!!
That is the end of The Prologue
A couple of things to note…
What is the aim and the intended readership?
The Church says the intended readership is originally for BISHOPS and then those who, in the Bishops’ name, go on to teach the faithful aka priests, catechists, etc.
BUT ALSO…it is also useful reading for ALL OTHER CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL
THAT IS US!!
Useful LISTENING for ALL THE CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL 😁
The structure of this Catechism is based on FOUR PILLARS
Pillar 1: The Profession of Faith
What is it that we KNOW about God Himself?
What is it that we KNOW about God, the Father?
What about God, the Son?
What about God, the Holy Spirit?
What is our RESPONSE to God? (That’s called FAITH!)
So we will be looking deeply into that
What are our sources for knowledge about God?
Pillar 2: The Sacraments
How God’s saving work in Jesus Christ, through The Holy Spirit are made present to us NOW through the Church’s Liturgy
Pillar 3: The Moral Life
Pillar 4: Prayer and the Life of Faith
So not only will we dive deeply into the meaning and importance of PRAYER but The Moral Life is based on The Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes
The Life of Prayer is based off of The Lord’s Prayer/The Our Father
THIS IS KEY FOR US!!
So Practical Directions for using The Catechism is also REALLY IMPORTANT
If you’re just LISTENING to the podcast, you’re not going to get the numbers on the side margins of the page next to the paragraphs
Many paragraphs have numbers on the side of the margin
Those numbers are REFERENCES
You’ll be reading about a topic, say SCRIPTURE, and there will be a number in the margin
That number is a reference to SOME OTHER PART OF THE CATECHISM that talks about what is currently being talked about in THIS CURRENT paragraph
It is a way to highlight the fact that THE WHOLE FAITH IS UNITED
It is NOT JUST SIMPLY ISOLATED
IT IS A UNITY!!
Also, there are some quotes
There are a BUNCH of quotes, in fact!!
There is also small print, large print, superscript (I wonder what superpower this superscript has? 🤔 Perhaps the ability to manifest a cheese sandwich at will? That would be so useful!! 😉)
Let’s conclude with this…
Fr. Mike mentioned that The Church gave us THE UNIVERSAL CATECHISM with the hope that people would take this MASSIVE WORK and be able to say, Ok how can this best be communicated to children?
To people in different cultures?
In different seasons of life?
In different situations of life?
So that still happens here and there
We get to dive into THE UNIVERSAL CATECHISM
The Roman Catechism (from The Council of Trent in 1566) says very clearly that we have to understand as teachers, as catechists, as preachers, and even The Church has to understand that there is not a SINGLE KIND OF SOUL
There are souls that are like BABIES
There are souls that are like ADOLESCENTS
There are souls that are FULLY MATURE and ready to eat the SOLID FOOD (BAKLAVAA!!!!! 😁😁😁)
TRUTH DOES NOT CHANGE
TRUTH IS ETERNAL
TRUTH IS CONSTANT LIKE THE LORD, THE SOURCE OF TRUTH
We are NOT
We have maturity and immaturity
We have degrees of understanding and lack of understanding
Here is The Church saying, “By the way you guys, when you teach please take into account the people who are listening.”
And that is what Fr. Mike will be trying to do as we read The Catechism
Paragraph 25 basically says:
The whole point of all of this is not just to know a bunch of stuff about God. It’s not just to know a bunch of facts about God that I didn’t know before. It’s not to win arguments. It’s the end and the goal and the whole purpose of this is LOVE.
Paragraph 25: “The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends (That is the LOVE OF GOD HIMSELF). Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope, or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love.” 🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯🤯
THAT IS THE GOAL OF THE NEXT 363 DAYS!!
WE COME FROM LOVE!!
WE HAVE BEEN MADE BY LOVE HIMSELF
WE ARE MADE FOR LOVE HIMSELF!!
363 more days to go!!
Fr. Mike is praying for YOU!!
Pray for Fr. Mike!!
I cannot WAIT to see you tomorrow!!
Scripture References & Reflections
- compiled by Andrew Adamany
Scripture Reflections (RSVCE)
IV. STRUCTURE OF THIS CATECHISM
Part One: The Profession of Faith
CCC 14 "Those who belong to Christ through faith and Baptism must confess their baptismal faith before men."
"So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."
"We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."
"The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved."
Part Two: The Sacraments of Faith
CCC 15 "how God's salvation, accomplished once for all through Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit, is made present in the sacred actions of the Church's liturgy, especially in the seven sacraments"
1 Peter 3:18–21
"For Christ also died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which he went and preached to the spirits in prison, who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ"
"And Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
"And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
"And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."
1 Corinthians 10:16–17
"The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread."
Part Three: The Life of Faith
CCC 16 "The final end of man created in the image of God: beatitude, and the ways of reaching it - through right conduct freely chosen, with the help of God's law and grace, and through conduct that fulfills the twofold commandment of charity, specified in God's Ten Commandments."
"And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
Part Four: Prayer in the Life of Faith
CCC 17 “The meaning and importance of prayer in the life of believers"
"Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints"
1 Timothy 2:1–4
"I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."
V. PRACTICAL DIRECTIONS FOR USING THIS CATECHISM
CCC 19 "The texts of Sacred Scripture are often not quoted word for word but are merely indicated by a reference (cf.). For a deeper understanding of such passages, the reader should refer to the Scriptural texts themselves. Such Biblical references are a valuable working-tool in catechesis."
2 Timothy 3:14–17
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
VI. NECESSARY ADAPTATIONS
CCC 23 “The Catechism seeks to help deepen understanding of faith. oriented towards the maturing of that faith, its putting down roots in personal life, and its shining forth in personal conduct.”
"Happy is the man who finds wisdom,
and the man who gets understanding,
for the gain from it is better than gain from silver
and its profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her."
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every joint with which it is supplied, when each part is working properly, makes bodily growth and upbuilds itself in love.”
“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith which you have toward the Lord Jesus and all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may promote the knowledge of all the good that is ours in Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.”
CCC 24 "Whoever teaches… Let them realize that some are in Christ as newborn babes, others as adolescents, and still others as adults in full command of their powers. . . . Those who are called to the ministry of preaching must suit their words to the maturity and understanding of their hearers, as they hand on the teaching of the mysteries of faith and the rules of moral conduct."
1 Corinthians 9:19–23
"For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews; to those under the law I became as one under the law—though not being myself under the law—that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law—not being without law toward God but under the law of Christ—that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings."
Above all - Charity
CCC 25 "The whole concern of doctrine and its teaching must be directed to the love that never ends. Whether something is proposed for belief, for hope or for action, the love of our Lord must always be made accessible, so that anyone can see that all the works of perfect Christian virtue spring from love and have no other objective than to arrive at love."
1 Corinthians 13:1–13
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love."