Friday, May 16, 2008

Catechism 101

Most of the devout Catholics and Christians I know are very well versed in the Scripture from Genesis to Revelations. They know fairly well the books that comprise the Old and the New Testaments - the Gospel, the books written by St. Paul and the Apostles, the Pentateuch, the Deuterocanonical books, and some writings of the ancient prophets, etc. They even know the exact chapters and verses of popular Bible passages. Now, that is really something. As for me, the only Bible passages I can recite are John 3:16 and lately Philippians 4:13. Good for these people, but how many of us read the Catechism of the Catholic Church which I think is also important in our spiritual life??

Alas! If you ask these same people to explain the dogma of the Holy Trinity, Hypostatic Union, Transubstantiation, Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, Sacraments and sacramentals, Marian dogma of Immaculate Conception, Veneration of the Saints, Purgatory, Infallibility of the Holy Father on matters of Faith and Morals, etc., etc., how would you expect them to answer you? I am stressing here the importance of knowing our Catholic Faith. We cannot afford to be ignorant of these things and it is our duty to know them through the means available to us.

The good news is these things are available within our reach. If you happen to have a cable subscription, you can tune in to EWTN or FamilyLand. These TV programs are great sources of Christian religious instructions you won't get anywhere else. I suggest that you also grab a copy of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This book is not the 3-inches thick catechism book that your local parish priest reads. It is a concise and reader friendly Catechism book in question and answer type format divided into four chapters - Creed, Sacraments, Commandments, and Prayer.

Lastly, there are radio programs out there about catechisms and religious instruction. Yes, I'm one of those young people who still listen to AM radio stations even when the rest of the people I know only listen to FM stations. Oh, come on don't be silly. AM stations are not only for your old folks. You just need to select the right programs. For those who don't know much about their faith, they can tune in to the Hello Father program of Radyo Veritas 846 KHz from Monday to Friday I think around 9 pm to 11 pm.

For those who are yearning to learn more beyond the basics, tune in to Fr. Odon de Castro's Katesismo ng Simbahang Katolika over DWWW 774 KHz every Thursday and Friday 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. and every Saturday at 9:30 am to 11 am for the sermons of the Great Fathers of the Church. I listen to the latter more often. Fr. Odon explains the catechism Benedictine style. He's not your ordinary preacher or radio evangelist. He is very knowledgable about the teachings of the early Church Fathers, the saints, and especially the teachings of the Magisterium and Pope Benedict XVI. He explains the catechism from this perspective and in a very in-depth way. You can also read his blog or visit Caryana .

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