Navigating the Catechism

Written by Gary Shirley

Continued from page 1

A. The Sacraments of Initiation, Healing, and Vocation

B. Sacramentals

Life in Christ - This part ofrepparttar Catechism encapsulatesrepparttar 126934 teachings ofrepparttar 126935 faith onrepparttar 126936 inestimable value and dignity of human life. It is here where we explore those issues that often putrepparttar 126937 Church at odds withrepparttar 126938 global “culture of death.” We learn about how, fromrepparttar 126939 earliest years ofrepparttar 126940 faith, Christians honored human life from conception to natural death. We go on to learn how, contrary to societal notions, sin and its devastating effects cannot be masked behind euphemisms or “relative” morality. The Catechism conducts an exhaustive review ofrepparttar 126941 Ten Commandments, reminding us that they are still in force and how they must serve asrepparttar 126942 template to shape our lives. In summary, this part ofrepparttar 126943 Catechism explains:

A. Dignity ofrepparttar 126944 Human Person

B. Christian Morality

C. Virtues

D. Sin

E. Social Justice

F. The Ten Commandments

Christian Prayer - The last section ofrepparttar 126945 Catechism offers insights intorepparttar 126946 importance of maintaining intimate contact with our Creator through prayer. We learn aboutrepparttar 126947 various types of prayer,repparttar 126948 intrinsic value of prayer andrepparttar 126949 obstructions that can affectrepparttar 126950 quality of our prayer life. Prayer is essential to our pilgrimage but, like any endeavor, it takes practice and commitment. Saints have reminded us that God is interested in quality, not quantity. The Catechism closes with a superb exposition ofrepparttar 126951 Our Father,repparttar 126952 prayer taught to us byrepparttar 126953 Lord himself. In summary, this part ofrepparttar 126954 Catechism explains:

A. The Revelation of Prayer

B. The Tradition of Prayer

C. The Life of Prayer

D. The Lord’s Prayer

A wonderful feature ofrepparttar 126955 book is that, after every few pages, there is a bullet-type summary (known as In Brief) encapsulatingrepparttar 126956 major points presented. In a culture grown accustomed to sound bites, each In Brief section gives us a quick review and providesrepparttar 126957 cross-reference back torepparttar 126958 main text. These summaries come in handy whenrepparttar 126959 material is especially deep or theologically complex.

A journey through this profound document would be extremely difficult were it not forrepparttar 126960 supporting material that comprises almost one-fourth ofrepparttar 126961 book’s total pages. Located atrepparttar 126962 very back ofrepparttar 126963 Catechism, this material gives usrepparttar 126964 tools to pursuerepparttar 126965 source of Catholic beliefs and doctrines. It starts off withrepparttar 126966 Index of Citations which give usrepparttar 126967 source reference of each footnote, from Sacred Scripture (all taken fromrepparttar 126968 Revised Standard Version orrepparttar 126969 New Revised Standard Version ofrepparttar 126970 Bible) torepparttar 126971 Ecumenical Councils,repparttar 126972 Pontifical Documents, Canon Law, andrepparttar 126973 Ecclesiastical Writers.

Perhapsrepparttar 126974 most important navigation tool isrepparttar 126975 Index of Topics, an improvement made torepparttar 126976 second edition ofrepparttar 126977 Catechism. This comprehensive Index is a wonderful pathway torepparttar 126978 vast array of topics inside. Those new torepparttar 126979 faith find it especially helpful to go here first. They find a topic of interest or concern to them and zero in onrepparttar 126980 appropriate paragraph inrepparttar 126981 text to see whererepparttar 126982 Church stands on that issue. Coming from a “Bible only” background, it is often a revelation for them to see thatrepparttar 126983 Church has squarely facedrepparttar 126984 difficult issues ofrepparttar 126985 age and given a clear, supported teaching. For those of us who grew up inrepparttar 126986 Catholic faith, we find comfort inrepparttar 126987 fact thatrepparttar 126988 Catholic Church is consistent, i.e. that her commitment to virtue, piety and moral living is alwaysrepparttar 126989 same no matter what new challenge comes along. The difficult topics addressed byrepparttar 126990 Catechism remind us that Holy Mother Church never was, nor will ever be, afraid to stand as a moral voice for all ages. A helpful Glossary followsrepparttar 126991 Index, which aids in understanding some liturgical or theological terms we may not come across every day.

The Catechism ofrepparttar 126992 Catholic Church is a treasure. Its riches are wide open torepparttar 126993 faithful, reminding us that we are members of an ancient Church, “ old yet so new.” In miningrepparttar 126994 wisdom of its pages we hear, once again,repparttar 126995 voices ofrepparttar 126996 Apostles,repparttar 126997 Popes,repparttar 126998 Fathers, andrepparttar 126999 Saints. They remind us that, in our humility beforerepparttar 127000 world, we can still be proud to be members ofrepparttar 127001 one true Church founded by Jesus Christ.

Gary Shirley, his wife, and three children are members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Kennesaw, Georgia, where Gary serves as catechist in the adult education program.

Family Life in Christ

Written by Gary Shirley

Continued from page 1

It is impossible to liverepparttar sacramental life while actively engaging in any contraceptive practices, for we knowingly defraud God ofrepparttar 126933 result of a loving act due to our selfishness and sinful pride.Upon assumingrepparttar 126934 role of parents, we must remember that we haverepparttar 126935 “primordial and inalienable” responsibility forrepparttar 126936 education of our children (CCC #2221-23). While we can delegate certain educational duties to a formal school, we cannot delegate responsibility for oversight of our children’s education. The term “education” means more than just secular studies, for home must berepparttar 126937 place for evangelization and catechesis. First, we must give our children a solid grounding inrepparttar 126938 virtues. Second, we must offer apprenticeship in self-mastery, self-denial and sound judgment, so they can learn to forego pleasures inrepparttar 126939 spirit of Christian discipline. This helps widen their focus outside ofrepparttar 126940 family in order to seerepparttar 126941 needs of others. Third, education inrepparttar 126942 Catholic faith means creating an environment of personal and family prayer, participating in devotions (such as Enthronement, Adoration, Novenas, Stations ofrepparttar 126943 Cross andrepparttar 126944 Rosary), attending Parish Missions, and ensuring thorough Sacramental preparation. Fourth, we must guide children in exploring potential vocations, especially being open to God’s call torepparttar 126945 priesthood or religious life. All of these efforts point torepparttar 126946 only true goal inrepparttar 126947 education of our children - to make them holy people.

All of this responsibility may seem daunting torepparttar 126948 average Catholic parent. Like any task, however, we can create hope by building a strategy for success. Considerrepparttar 126949 following as a guide:

A. Set and Honor Priorities - Make it known that God is first in your life and let your decisions consistently reflect God’s preeminent place. Ensure thatrepparttar 126950 family’s choices regarding books, magazines, entertainment, and clothing all reflect proper Christian values. Ensure that attendance at Mass on Sundays and Holy Days (and especially while on vacation) is a family priority. Letrepparttar 126951 family home proudly exhibit signs and symbols of our faith.

B. Distinguish between Vocation and Occupation- Understandrepparttar 126952 distinction between “what we are” versus “what we do.” Success in our vocation (married, single or priest/religious) is our life’s goal. Our occupation, onrepparttar 126953 other hand, is merely what we do to payrepparttar 126954 bills. God cares deeply how we embrace our chosen vocation, whereas it matters little to Him what field we choose to earn our daily bread. As any committed Catholic parent will affirm, it is infinitely harder to live one’s vocation than it is to succeed at a chosen occupation. Why? Because our vocation demands that we give everything of ourselves, a notion that runs contrary to our culture. Doesrepparttar 126955 next rung ofrepparttar 126956 career ladder undergo prayerful scrutiny for its impact on our chosen vocation or is it weighed solely for its occupational benefits?

C. Embrace a Vigorous Sacramental Life - Continue to foster a love ofrepparttar 126957 Sacraments in your children once they initially receive by havingrepparttar 126958 same level of commitment yourself. Demand of yourself an ever-higher standard of Christian behavior rather than simply remaining atrepparttar 126959 same level year after year. Start a relationship with a spiritual director.

D. Surround Yourself with Committed Catholic Families - Americans love “support groups,” so why not as part of our faith journey? Haverepparttar 126960 courage to discontinue relationships if certain friends do not support your moral values. Make an active effort to be involved in parish life beyondrepparttar 126961 Sunday “obligation.” Be willing to be challenged by others more advanced inrepparttar 126962 faith to delve deeper into its mysteries.

E. Continue Your Education inrepparttar 126963 Catholic Faith - Considerrepparttar 126964 last 10 books youhave read. Did they support or conflict with your faith values? Ensure that your faith education includes doses of Scripture, Catechism, Lives ofrepparttar 126965 Saints, Papal Encyclicals, Council Documents and works of Spirituality.

F. Actively Demonstrate Christian Service - Remember that, “...a contented Christian does not exist.” We are called to mix it up with society and fearlessly speak out against injustice, poverty and wrongdoing. In short, being Catholic means being countercultural, just as Jesus was countercultural. Our family life must reflectrepparttar 126966 admonition of St. James that, “...Faith without works is dead.” (Jm 2:14) and render Christian service in a truly selfless way. Sincere actions will instill in our childrenrepparttar 126967 importance of a life focused on service to others.

“We are not called to success, just faithfulness.”

Mother Teresa

*Catechism ofrepparttar 126968 Catholic Church, Second Edition.

Gary Shirley, his wife, and three children are members of St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Kennesaw, Georgia, where Gary serves as catechist in the adult education program.

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