Today I'm going to talk about things that I find really useful in understanding my Catholic faith. Realize the best way to teach your children is by example, and how can you live something you don't understand? The really neat thing about the Catholic faith is that it stands up to scrutiny. Don't understand a doctrine? Look it up. Find out more. There is always an answer based on scripture, tradition, and philosophy. It invites intellectual inquiry. Don't take someones else's word for it. Find out for yourself.
1. Read the Bible. It sounds obvious but not many people actually do it. What's in the bible? It is the written history of how God choses to reveal Himself to us in space and time. It is the history of a people. It spans thousands of years and continues to impact us today. It is the basis for Western laws, art, music, and governments. Plus it's a great read. I would go as far to say that everyone should read the bible if only to truly understand today's society.
2. Go to mass. Another obvious one. Without the Eucharist we are not Catholic. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is Jesus. Literally. In the mass we pray with all the angels and saints. In the mass the veil between heaven and earth is removed and we get a glimpse of heaven.
3. Laudate: This is a free app I found for my phone. It has everything from prayers, saints' days, and Vatican documents to podcasts of prayers - in Latin! (Yes! You had me at Latin!)
4. Immaculate Heart Radio: Believe me, I really dislike sugary, dreamy voices talking about Jesus. Blah, blah, blah. But what I found here was intelligent discussion. Why do Catholics believe what they believe? Listen to Catholic Answers Live. You can even call in to ask your questions. Want to hear world news without dramatic commentary? You can find it here. (To be fair BBC also does a good job as does the Wall Street Journal. But I digress.)
5. While we're at it I might as well mention EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network), the Catholic cable channel based in Alabama of all places. My son likes watching the shows about the saints. He likes that the saints are portrayed as people who struggled to attain an everyday holiness.
6. Prayer. Yes, another obvious one. But I have had secular friends prefer to hear that I 'wish them luck' than I would pray for them. There is little understanding of what prayer is. If we do not teach our children what prayer is and how to pray then they're going to believe some crazy things.
7. Read Catholic authors. Theology is FUN, my friends. Well, Catholic theology is. It's history, philosophy, languages, and sociology. Just looking at my bookshelf I spot Scott Hahn and Dorothy Cummings MacLean along side Saint Augustine, Mother Teresa, and Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
Well, Ladies, my time is up. My daughter has just set up a tea party for her dolly who turned four today. If I remember correctly we sang 'Happy Birthday' when her dolly turned seven just a few days ago.
If you have any other suggestions feel free to comment.
May God continue to bless you!
PS: (Sorry, I don't always get to things when I want to because of the children.) A Mother's Bouquet written by Sherri Boas is the best book or rosary meditations I have ever read.