In this first week of our Catechism Read-through, the Apostolic Constitution and Prologue establish the spirit in which we are to read and approach the Catechism.
Does the Catechism Help us Correct Each Other?
The Catechism is an ideal reference point to learn what the Church teaches and better explain her teachings in conversation. But, the primary purpose of this text is not to enable us to correct others. The first purpose of the Catechism is to spark a renewal of appreciation in our souls for the beauty of the Church’s teachings and the truth which she represents.
This Catechism is One of Many
This edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is not intended to be the “last” edition of the Catechism or even the primary one. There are several versions which predate it and others that may be developed in the future, to address the specific issues of one region or time. This addition of the Catechism is meant to be a go-to source to consolidate the Church’s fundamental teachings in a way that is accessible and authoritative.
The Church put this together to help her followers find the answers they need from a single, trustworthy source when trying to understand the faith for themselves or for the purpose of conversation. Since the intended audience is the Catholic believer, especially the Catholic teacher (meaning priest, religious education leader, etc.), it is written in a way that is beautiful and easy to read. It is not written in an argumentative fashion and does not address every facet of each topic included within it.
This is why the Church not only states that there have been and will be other, smaller catechism in addition to this one, but also draws from many additional sources in this text. The Church is universal and the Catechism reflects that! There is not one text meant to contain the depth of the Church, but this Catechism reveals how deep the Church is.
The Catechism’s First Paragraph Restores Hope
CCC 1, the very first section of the Catechism, begins with a reminder of God’s invitation to man to draw close to Him. Salvation history, the Church, Mass, the Sacraments, this Catechism, it all comes back to the life-giving fact that God loves us. All the Church teaches is because of this love. And all that we do should be a reflection of this love.
If you are doubting your worth or the beauty of your life, read this paragraph. It is so stunning, I will include it here as a graphic so you can come back to it when you need it. Bookmark this page on your phone, take a screenshot for your gallery, download the image and make it your screensaver. Return to it when you feel depressed, anxious, or insignificant and remember what a grand story you are part of and how special the Creator of the Universe thinks you are.
The Catechism Defined Its Mission, And So Have We
These points were highlights from today’s video going through the Apostolic Constitution and Prologue to the Catechism. They set the tone for the text and have set the tone for our Read-through this Ordinary Time.
Next week we dive into Part I, Section I, Ch. 1-2. Don’t forget, if you want the chance to dig deeper and discuss these things with fellow Catholics, join me on Patreon! Click the link to the public post with this week’s additional resources below to learn more about the ways to follow me there. We will have live sessions and continue the conversation as we strive to grow in our Faith and become better evangelists for Christ.
May the Holy Spirit guide us as we offer up our study through Mary. May she carry our intentions to her Son and bless our time studying His plan. Until next time, to God be the Glory!