This is my first 101 Wednesday post. I'd like to share with you my love for The New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism. I know this is pre-Vatican II, but I still love it. No, I'm not a super conservative Catholic that yearns for the mass to be said in Latin. I wish I were that knowledgeable and devout. Alas, I am just a work in progress. Maybe one day I will graduate to that uber level of wisdom. Until then, I am going to just keep on trucking. Studying our faith, and basking in the glory of our Lord.
So this is where my basking has recently been: For our daily religion I have the kiddos memorize this Catechism. I love this book, because it is laid out nicely in little chapters. Monday we read the little chapter and the corresponding Catechism. Tuesday we read the Catechism portion, explain all vocabulary/intent questions, and do half the chapter questions. (I feel it is imperative my children UNDERSTAND what they are memorizing.) Wednesday the other half of the questions, again reading the Catechism. Thursday go over Catechism, and read the Bible verses to support the Catechism. Friday more Catechism. Now the following week we practice the Catechism each day, with the goal of having that chapter's Catechism memorized by Friday.
Memorization is important to brain development, but I also think it is important for my children to have this stuff down so they can be positive defenders of our faith. So much of the Catholic Church is misunderstood, many times because we as Catholics are not well versed in our faith. The other portion which is pivotal, is my hope these treasures will be stored up in their hearts. One day they will find themselves in a difficult situation, and these little treasures will point them in the right direction. The direction of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
For some time the Catechism has been focusing on the 10 Commandments. Now we all know these, right? What I find so helpful is they explain the command in terms my children (and I) understand. For example: Thou shalt not kill. Hey, that is pretty easy. I do not go around killing anyone. . .but do I? It goes on to explain. . .
by the fifth commandment we are commanded to take proper care of our own spiritual and bodily well-being, and that of our neighbor. This forbids murder and suicide, and also fighting, anger, hatred, revenge, drunkenness, reckless driving, and bad example. --Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism 1964
Ouch. I've got some work to do.
Now the spirit of this exercise is not to condemn. That was not God's intent when he handed the tablets over to Moses. The intent, which the Israelites rejoiced over, was for these commands to be a guide to holy living. I pray these guides are as helpful to you as they have been to our family.