Thursday, March 03, 2011

Advise for Lapsed Catholics (or anyone unfamiliar with Catholicism)...

Let's just say you know someone - they may be a friend or a family member - that has either stopped going to Mass and otherwise not into their faith anymore. You then hear from this person and they tell you they want to learn more about the Catholic faith (i.e. Catholic teaching and getting to know Jesus) and have no idea where to start! Learning about the faith must be done slowly, slowly; jumping straight into the deep-end is ill-advised. "Baby steps" is the key (set small goals; go one step at a time), just like what our friend Bob is doing here:





So here's what I'd recommend (in no particular order):


1. Read the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (http://www.vatican.va/archive/compendium_ccc/documents/archive_2005_compendium-ccc_en.html) which is sort of a "beginner's guide" to the Catechism of the Catholic Church;


2. After reading the Compendium, have a go at reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church (http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM);


3. Get a copy of a book entitled Catholcism for Dummies (don't be offended by the title, but it's a FANTASTIC resource for people new or unfamiliar with Catholicism) - this book is purchasble via Amazon.com; and


4. Read the Bible, starting with the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John - get to know Jesus first.


As you read through the Catechism of the Catholic Church, you will notice the footnotes, many of which reference particular scripture verses. The teachings of the Church are better understood in light of Sacred Scripture.


I would also suggest following a Bible reading plan once becoming more confident with reading Scripture. The following is a Bible and Catechism reading plan:


http://www.chnetwork.org/readguide04.pdf

Then finally, the best thing you can do if you're still wondering about Catholicism, is to ask questions, and ask questions of people who live and breathe their Catholic Christianity, not just a Catholic in name.

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