Friday, October 12, 2018

The First Catechism

One of the candidates in RCIA inadvertently told a joke.  Well, not so inadvertently, but it will make you think.  We were discussing how the catechism came about.  Someone noticed that in the book of Sirach, in the Bible, the introduction states that the

                       book was used to teach moral teachings to catechumens and the faithful.

So should Sirach be considered the first catechism?

When you think of it, most people couldn't read so there was no written catechism.  People taught orally.  Hence, statues, stained glass windows, and paintings.

But the educated must have written for instructions for others.  St. Augustin wrote the Enchiriodon
Should that be considered the first catechism?

One of the first things Martin Luther did was write a catechism--but that was the sixteenth century!  Luther prompted the Council of Trent to write a Catholic catechism.  Still, sixteenth century.


That's when the class' smart aleck suggested, "Mary."
Why do you say, Mary?
Because she said, "Do as he tells you."   
                                          John 2:5

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Led by the Spirit

An acquaintance of mine wrote a book.  His mention of his book has come up an uncomfortable mention of times.  (You know what I mean?)  So I looked it up.  It is published by Westbow Press:  They publish religious-themed books.  I ordered the cheapest, an ebook.  I'm used to kindle so I expected it to appear there.  It didn't.  Looking back to see what I did wrong I saw it wasn't for kindle but you download it on your computer.  I did.

The book is entitled Where Will You Plant Your Seed and it's by Robert LeBlanc.  It really is his biography, spiritually.  Rob's life has been spirit led since he was a teen.  The title asks each of us where we will follow the Holy Spirit.

It's not a large book.  I read it in one sitting.  Rob's early years sound idyllic but I can't identify.  I have been to California enough to recognize what Rob's talking about. I've even stood under the same California Red Pepper tree, he mentions.  And of course, I live where he lives and can identify with charismatic Catholics.

Monday, October 8, 2018



WIS 7:7-11
I prayed, and prudence was given me;
I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne,                                                                                   
and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
and I chose to have her rather than the light,
because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.
Yet all good things together came to me in her company,
and countless riches at her hands.
The "I" is King Solomon.  He prayed for wisdom in his inaugural prayers as sovereign.  Solomon recognized wisdom as evidence of God's personal involvement.
It's the first sentence that I'm interested in, because I'm trying to teach my RCIA candidates how to pray.  It's funny.  The first thing one needs to learn when learning to pray is to ask God to teach you to pray, just as Solomon asked God for wisdom.  Of course, the Lord's Prayer is the answer, but I'm interested in the askingWisdom is wisdom but Solomon had to ask.
Lord, Solomon didn't receive wisdom as a birthright.  He asked and You gave.  May Your generosity be granted to Your people's prayers.
Lord, grant us the gift of wisdom.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

St. Jerome

The Thunderer
by Phyllis McGinley
Image result for images St. JeromeGod’s angry man, His crotchety scholar,
Was Saint Jerome,
The great name-caller,
Who cared not a dime

For the laws of libel
And in his spare time
Translated the Bible.
Quick to disparage
All joys but learning,
Jerome thought marriage
Better than burning;
But didn’t like woman’s
Painted cheeks;
Didn’t like Romans,
Didn’t like Greeks,
Hated Pagans
For their Pagan ways,
Yet doted on Cicero all his days.
A born reformer, cross and gifted
He scolded mankind
Sterner than Swift did;
Worked to save
The world from the Heathen;
Fled to a cave
For peace to breathe in,
Promptly wherewith
For miles around
He filled the air with
Fury and sound.
In mighty prose
For almighty ends,
He thrust at his foes,
Quarreled with his friends,
And served his Master,
Though with complaint.
He wasn’t a plaster
Sort of saint.

But he swelled men’s minds
With a Christian leaven.
It takes all kinds
To make a heaven.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Why I'm Still Catholic In Spite of It All

At first, I thought I couldn't write a post about why I'm still Catholic because my reason is only one word--Eucharist.  It's one word; not even a sentence; certainly not a post.  But I meditated for a few days and came up with lots of reasons.  Let me count the reasons:

1.  Eucharist.  I believe Jesus said what He means.  I don't think He was kidding.  I don't think He was speaking symbolically because He turned a lot of people off.  They left because what He was saying was disgusting.

Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you.  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day.  For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.  John 6:53-56

and a few verses later His disciples said: This saying is hard; who can accept it?    John 6: 60

As a result of this, many [of] his disciples returned to their former way of life and no longer accompanied him.  Jesus then said to the Twelve, "Do you also want to leave?"  Simon Peter answered him, "Master, to whom shall we go?  You have the words to eternal life.  John 6: 66-68

2.  Catholic Church.  The Catholic Church is universal and as such reminds me of a mother.  Within the church are conservatives, liberals, those who like Latin Masses, those who like liturgical dance, African music at Mass, quiet Eucharist Adoration, etc.  A mother may have children who are unschooled, well educated, talented, sick, healthy, in prison, exalted, etc.  A mother loves all her children.  Mother Church embraces us all.

3.  History.  The history of the Church is a history of civilization.  It is debatable whether history shaped the church or vice versa.  But it's fascinating, both the good and the bad.

4.  Catholic social teaching.  The Catholic Church educates, treats the sick, and offers more relief services than any other religion or social organization.

5.  Mass.  I love our liturgical ceremonies.

6-7-8-9-10-....sacraments, Mary, saints, traditions, art, architecture, music, poetry, beauty...

Where else could I go?    

Friday, September 28, 2018

Monday, September 24, 2018

Poignant Readings 11-16 23-31

Today is Monday in the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time and the Office of Readings just seem to hit the nail on the head. 

They're long so I won't copy and paste them, but look them up: Ezekiel 34: 1-6, 11-16, 23-31 and the Second Reading was a sermon On Pastors by Saint Augustine: Sermo 46, 14-15: CCL 41, 541-542.

Ezekiel prophesizes against the shepherds of Israel, who "pasture themselves", "feed off their sheep", take and take but not pasturing their flocks.  They don't help the weak but prey on them.  The sheep scattered.

Augustine tells pastors to
seek the lost, whether they want saving or not.  And not to neglect anyone.

Do you think our shepherds are listening?  How do some of them rationalize their behavior?

The First Catechism

One of the candidates in RCIA inadvertently told a joke.  Well, not so inadvertently, but it will make you think.  We were discussing how t...