The Catholic Catechism has been such an incredible gift and tool that has been integral to my role as a wife, mother and friend. One habit that I have developed over the years is to read the section of the Catechism that is touching my life at the moment. For example when my daughter was baptised, I read the section on baptism, when my son had his confirmation, I would turn to the section on the confirmation and so on. In preparing a program for these celebrations, my husband would always include something from the Catechism to include in the program. It was our way of sharing a specific Catholic Church teaching to guests who were attending the celebration. Each time a sacrament comes up in family life, I have picked up the catechism and personally gleaned some ‘new’ truth, some precious treasure I had previously missed. Now that the kids are older, I find myself sharing with them , something that I have just read.
The Catholic Catechism has resuscitated me in my journey of faith more than once. I really am grateful for it. I have often given it away as a gift too! It is written with such simplicity, beauty and clarity. I remember thinking when it was first released that I wouldn’t be able to understand it. Some of the papal encyclicals I have read, in the past left me a little perplexed, but to my surprise when I picked it up—it was absolutely beautiful and I was able to comprehend it!
I have often read and reread the section on the sacrament of matrimony. Our culture sends so many mixed messages about marriage and family life. I find reading about the Churches vision for marriage and family life has kept me rooted in the truth and beauty of marriage. My family, my home, my life rarely resembles the images I see in magazines, television programs or movies; in turning to the pages in the CCC I often find myself nodding my head, smiling, underlining, circling and filling it with post it notes. In reading it, I find it resonates with something that already exists inside of me and a part of me comes alive and rejoices in each word I read.
I have hosted a Catholic Mother’s Group, helped in sacramental preparation, I have run a Saints Club and I write a family column for the Catholic Register in Canada. I find the Catholic Catechism a very practical tool which has helped me to explain parts of the Catholic faith, not only to my kids but to others.
Lastly, I do have to mention that reading the section on the Ten Commandments in the CCC is also a great way to do an examination of conscience!
Did you know you can read the entire Catholic Catechism on line? It’s on the Vatican website. I prefer having a hard copy that I can underline, read and re-read, but do take a good look at it either way! It makes a wonderful gift for godparents, godchildren, confirmandees and confirmation sponsors alike.
Dorothy Pilarski is the founder of Dynamic Women of Faith, author, Catholic radio host, motivational speaker, blogger, guest columnist with the Catholic Register and a facilitator on Salt + Light TV. www.dorothypilarski.com