What does it mean to be a Christian? What are the teachings of the Catholic Church? What do people who profess the Catholic faith really believe in?
I spent almost all of my school years in a Catholic school. I remember that during my primary school years at La Salle-Bacolod, each year we had a subject called the Catechism. It was much later that I discovered that catechism comes from the word catechesis which means “… an education in the faith of children, young people and adults which includes in particular the teachings of Christian doctrine transmitted, in a general way, in an organic and systematic way with a view to initiating the listeners to the fullness of Christian life. life.”
There are several books and reading materials that are available to help anyone seeking to appreciate and understand the teachings of the Church. The first source is the Holy Bible. There are also the papal Encyclicals. One book that I highly recommend is Catechism of the Catholic Church: definitive edition published by World & Life Publications CBCP / ECCE. The book begins with an Apostolic Letter from Pope John Paul II: âIt is a cause for great joy that the typical Latin edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is being published. It is approved and promulgated by me in this Apostolic Letter and thus becomes the definitive text of the said Catechism … that this Catechism be known and shared by all, so that the unity in the faith whose supreme model and origin is found in the Unity of the Trinity can be strengthened to the ends of the earth.
The Catechism is divided into four parts. This is how the authors describe each part.
Part one: The profession of faith
The Symbol of the Apostles is considered to be a summary of the faith of the apostles. It also sums up the faith that Catholics profess. The Creed is divided into three parts – each distinct but connected to each other. The first part talks about belief in God and the work of creation: “I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth …”
The second part speaks of Jesus, the divine person and of the mystery of Redemption: âAnd in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He went down to hell. On the third day he rose from the dead. He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
The third part speaks of the Holy Spirit, the origin and source of our sanctification. “I believe in the Holy Spirit, in the Holy Catholic Church, in the communion of saints, in the forgiveness of sins, in the resurrection of the body and in eternal life.”
Part Two: The Sacraments of Faith
Christ initiated the seven sacraments which touch all the stages and all the important moments of a Christian life. The second part is divided into three chapters. The first chapter deals with the sacraments of Christian initiation which are the basis of all Christian life. âBaptism is the basis of all Christian life, the door of access to life in the Spirit and the door that gives access to the other sacraments. It is through the sacrament of confirmation that the baptized “… are more perfectly linked to the Church and are enriched by a special strength of the Holy Spirit … they are true witnesses of Christ, more strictly obliged to spread and overcome the faith by word and by action. The Eucharist is the “… source and summit of Christian life … in the Holy Eucharist is contained all the spiritual good of the ‘Church, namely Christ himself’.
The two sacraments of healing are penance and anointing of the sick. The sacrament of penance consists of three acts – the repentance of the sinner, the confession of sins to a priest, and the intention to make reparations and do reparation work. The Church believes that there is a sacrament especially for those who are tried by sickness – the anointing of the sick.
Two sacraments are directed towards the salvation of others. Holy Order is the sacrament by which the mission entrusted to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time. âThe Christian home is the place where children receive the first proclamation of the faith. For this reason, the family home is called the domestic church. Marriage is the covenant between the baptized which has been elevated by Christ to the dignity of the sacrament.
Part Three: The Life of Faith
âThe third part of the Catechism deals with the ultimate end of man created in the image of God: beatitude and the means to achieve it – by right, freely chosen conduct, with the help of the law and the grace of God and by conduct that fulfills the double commandment of charity specified in the Ten Commandments of God.
Part Four: Prayer in the Life of Faith
“The last part of the Catechism deals with the meaning and the importance of prayer in the life of believers. It ends with a brief commentary on the seven supplications of the Our Father, for in fact we find in them the sum of all the good things that we should hope for and that our Heavenly Father wants to grant us.
It may be true that many Catholics have taken their faith for granted. Perhaps it is time for Catholics to make an effort to truly understand their faith.
Creative writing lessons for children and teens
Hangout of young writers July 21, August 4 and 18 (1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.; stand-alone sessions) at the fully booked BGC. For more details and to register, contact 0945-273216 or [email protected].
E-mail: [email protected]