Saturday 14 July 2018

Reading the Catechism How to Discover and Appreciate its Riches - Petroc Willey

Reading the Catechism: How to Discover and Appreciate its Riches
Petroc Willey
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784691028
eISBN 9781784692476


Back in 2006 shortly after I started blogging I was involved with a project called the Catholic Catechism Dialogue Blog, it was an ambitious effort across the 10 or 12 contributors we were going to try and have a blog post nearly every day that followed the schedule or reading through the Catechism in a year. I did make it through the Catechism in a year, and then barely touched it. Late in 2016 I was challenged to read the Catechism of the Catholic Church in a Year, not only did I make it through the Catechism, but also:

The Compendium to the Catechism of the Catholic Church
DOCAT Catholic Social Teaching for Youth
YOUCAT: The Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church

This year I am reading through the Catechism again, but at a slower pace, usually around 10 points a day. When I saw this book from the Catholic Truth Society I had to pick it up. That being said, even with having read through the Catechism a number of times this book was an excellent little read and a great resource. The Chapters in this book are:

The Character of the Catechism:
An Annunciation
The Structure:
Four Dimensions of the Christian Life
The Presentation:
the Beautiful Way of Faith
The Centre:
A Faith about Persons
The Living Sources:
Holy Scripture and Sacred Tradition

The introduction of this book begins with these words:

"This booklet has been written to help you to appreciate and to enjoy with peaceful certainty the unchanging truths of the Catholic faith, presented to us for our time in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

This Catechism was approved with the authority of all of the bishops of the world in union with Pope St John Paul II and under the direction of the future Pope Benedict XVI. Not only does it represent the mind and heart of the Catholic Church at the start of the third millennium, it also provides us with the face of the Church throughout her Tradition, from the time of the apostles and their successors, with a text that draws from popes, saints, Church Councils and the liturgy.

The purpose of this work, then, is to facilitate the reading of the Catechism by drawing attention to its purpose and intended use, as well as its key features. You will find it most helpful if you have a copy of the Catechism with you when reading this short work. This will enable you to take your own journey of discovery through its pages."

This book is much more than just a guide on how and why to read the Catechism. Each chapter ends with a 'Consolidation Exercise' these exercises draw you to other church documents, the bible or specific sections in the Catechism and help you go deeper. It will help you see how central this document is to church teachings since it has come out, and how the Catechism itself is drawn from the bible, and church history.

This book was an excellent little read. I highly recommend it for both personal and or group study. I cannot wait until my children are a few years older and I can work through this booklet with them as a way to get them reading the Catechism themselves. I wish there had been a book like this available back in 2006, it would have made my own contributions and I am sure my fellow contributors to that ill-fated blog. And this is a book that I will likely end up working through a number of times on my own.

I have read numerous books from the Catholic Truth Society so far this year, and this is one of the best to date. I give it top marks.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2018 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Petroc Willey:
Reading the Catechism: How to Discover and Appreciate its Riches
A Year with the Catechism: 365 Day Reading Plan
Become What You Are: The Call and Gift of Marriage
The Pedagogy of God: Its Centrality in Catechesis and Catechist Formation
The Joy of the Gospel: A Companion Guide to Evangelii Gaudium

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