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  • The Agency for Evangelisation Newsletter

Should Catholics know the Catechism?

Yes! The main sources for all catechesis are the Holy Scriptures and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. So where does the Catechism come into all of this? Well, the Catechism presents what Catholic Christians essentially and fundamentally believe.  The main sources of the Catholic Catechism are the Sacred Scriptures, the Fathers of the Church, the Liturgy, and the Church’s Magisterium.  So, basically, it is the what and why’s of what we believe as Christians.

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is organised into four main areas or sections called pillars.

1.The Creed (a.k.a. The Baptismal Profession of Faith)

2.The Sacraments of Faith

3.The Life of Faith

4.The Prayer of the Believer

 

The following is a more in depth look at each part.

Part One: The profession of faith

Those who belong to Christ through faith and Baptism must confess their baptismal faith before men (Mt 10:32; Rom 10:9). First therefore the Catechism expounds revelation,

by which God addresses and gives himself to man, and the faith by which man responds to God (Section One).  The profession of faith summarises the gifts that God gives man:  as the Author of all that is good; as Redeemer; and as Sanctifier.  It develops these in the three chapters on our baptismal faith in the one God: the almighty Father, the Creator; his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; and the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifier, in the Holy Church (Section Two).

Part Two: The sacraments of faith

The second part of the Catechism explains 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 (Section One), especially in the seven sacraments (Section Two).

Part Three: The life of faith

The third part of the Catechism deals with 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 (Section One), and through conduct that fulfils the twofold commandment of charity, specified in God’s Ten Commandments (Section Two).

Part Four: Prayer in the life of faith

The last part of the Catechism deals with the meaning and importance of prayer in the life of believers (Section One).  It concluded with a brief commentary on the seven  petitions of the Lord’s Prayer (Section Two), for indeed we find in these the sum of all the good things which we must hope for and which our heavenly Father wants to grant us.

Do not be intimidated by the Catechism.  It is actually more easy to read than you might think.  Likewise, do not be afraid to read your Bible. 

Where to get your copy (every Catholic should have a bible and catechism) :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catechism-Catholic-Church-catholic-church/dp/0860123278/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357648373&sr=8-1

Catholic bible:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Catholic-Bible-RSV-Ignatius-Press/dp/0898709369/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1357648457&sr=1-6#_

 

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"The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ"

(GDC 80).