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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cathechism of the Catholic Church - Introduction

Cathechism of the Catholic Church
"God, in his love, creates within us - through the action of the Holy Spirit - the appropriate conditions for us to recognize his Word."
(Pope Benedict XVI)

"Today I would like to introduce the new series of Catecheses that will develop throughout the Year of Faith...Precisely so that the Church might renew the enthusiasm of believing in Jesus Christ the one Saviour of the world...
This is not an encounter with an idea or with a project of life, but with a living Person who transforms our innermost selves, revealing to us our true identity as children of God...
Having faith in the Lord...involves...our whole self:  feelings, heart, intelligence, will, corporeity, emotions and human relationships.  With faith everything truly changes, in us and for us, and our future destiny is clearly revealed, the truth of our vocation in history, the meaning of life, the pleasure of being pilgrims bound for the heavenly Homeland."

Pope Benedict XVI opened his Year of Faith weekly audience catechesis in Saint Peter's Square with these words.  He then went on to challenge us to increase our faith, thereby transforming our lives.  We might accomplish this, by first truly understanding what we profess when we pray the Creed.

Some, Pope Benedict XVI stated, may say the Creed "merely as an intellectual operation," by rote mechanical repetition.  Whereas we should strive to "discover the deep bond between the truth we profess in the Creed and our daily existence, so that these truths may truly and in practice be - as they have always been - light for our steps through life."

In other words, to begin our journey Pope Benedict XVI suggests we start at the beginning of the Catechism with our profession of faith in the Creed.  With this foundation we might better achieve our Baptismal promise which is: "It is the duty of the Church to transmit the faith, to communicate the Gospel, so that the Christian truths may be a light in the new cultural transformations and that Christians may be able to account for the hope that is in them (cf. 1 Peter 3:15).

Before beginning this journey through the catechism it is helpful to understand how the catechism is composed.  "The plan of the catechism is inspired by the great tradition of catechisms which build catechesis on four pillars:  the baptismal profession of faith (the Creed), the sacraments of faith, the life of faith (the Commandments), and the prayer of the believer (the Lord's Prayer)." (#13)

Basically the Catechism of the Catholic Church is divided into 4 sections.  The first, the baptismal profession of faith which reflects on the Creed, is broken down into two sections. One, how God gives himself to man through revelation and how man responds in faith to this revelation. And second a summary of the Creed in relation to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Let's begin.

Next:  The Profession Faith
Chapter 1 - Man's Capacity for God - CCC#26-49
Holy Spirit - Gian Lorenzo Bernini - Saint Peter's Rome
Original Post of the Catechism of the Catholic Church with Index

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