Today is the first day of the Year of Faith, for which I am super excited. The pope has called all Catholics to dedicate this year to learning more about and truly living the faith we claim. I think and talk about churchy things all day, so I’ve been further immersed in it than your average Catholic, but I’m very excited about the resources I’ve seen so far. It seems much more inviting than the preparations for the new translation of the Mass.
One great resource I just stumbled across is a way to read the Catechism in a year. Flocknote will email it to you every day, but you do have to register*. I’m hoping that the website Flocknote draws its information from will offer an RSS feed (or any option where I don’t have to register—I hate superfluous registrations) Going to the site and clicking “Daily Catechism” will have to do for now. I refer to an ink-and-paper copy fairly often at work, so I can attest that knowing that book is not nearly as important as knowing the ink-and-paper Bible. With the Bible, you need to know where to find books when you need it. With the Catechism, I usually start with the table of contents or the index anyway.
None of the technical difficulties detracts from the importance of knowing the Catechism, though. When I teach RCIA, I note the Catechism references on my handouts. When I needed to know the official Catholic word on justification recently, I reached for my book, flipped to the index, and found exactly what I wanted.
A good companion resource is the U.S. Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA). Every country is meant to develop their own national catechism based on the universal one. The USCCA is written in a more natural, chattier tone, but it has the same information, in addition to stories about saints whose lives reflect the theme in each chapter and a section of Catholic prayers and lists.
Enough about the Catechism. (Ha.) I think that, personally, I might pick up reading the Catechism, but it will be better for me to finish reading the Bible. This is year six of my Bible-in-a-year goal, and it would be nice to be finished during the Year of Faith.
Mary Lane (among my favorite young Catholic bloggers) recommends an online course by her alma mater called Pillars of Faith. I keep meaning to check that out. I have, however, read Lumen Gentium (the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church) over the summer, so I’ve got that under my belt. I read it like I was taking a class, so I have good notes…at work. That would be a good post for another day.
So, happy new year, sort of!
*Edit 10/12/12: It turns out that registering with FlockNote is optional. You can still get the emails without giving your name and creating a password, but you do have to respond to the email address verification email. Good news!