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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Introduction to Catholicism for Adults - Rev. James Socias

Introduction to Catholicism for Adults
Rev. James Socias
Midwest Theological Forum
ISBN 9781936045730
eISBN 9781939231901
ASIN B072N9L2PS

 


This book is incredible, I read a few sections each day and it took four months to work through. Each year I read through the Catechism, last year when I finished, I started this volume. It is a masterpiece. The hardcover edition comes in at just shy of 1000 pages, and the eBook edition at 1897 pages. To be honest there were many days when I want to keep reading. But in order to digest this volume it needed to be taken in small bites. And as soon as I finished it, I put it back in my rotation of catechism and catechism like books to be read. And plan to circle back to it again in a few months.

I will include the table of contents as a sort of appendix to this review. It is too long to include in the main body of the review. As it spans over 12 pages. This book is incredibly readable. The format is very conducive to study, and learning. Each chapter is broken into many subsections. Alternating teaching sections, with ‘Close Up’ sections, then draws from further church teachings, then there is a section on ‘living the faith’ with samples from specific saints. This is followed by study and discussion question, practical exercises and lastly sections from the Catechism.

This book is designed and written like a text book, and yet is so readable it is a joy to engage with. I hold a religious studies degree with a focus on Roman Catholic Thought. I wish I had had this book during my university career. I would have used it for the vast majority of my courses and essays as a secondary source. As I mentioned I read the Catechism each year, it is not always an easy read, even after being through it several times. This book however is so masterfully written, I never wanted to put it down!

This is an excellent resource, for any serious student of Catholic thought, high school or university student, and for every Catholic home. I strongly encourage you to pick up the physical volume or eBook and have it as a resource in your Catholic library. And I am sure that once you start reading, you will not want to put it down either!

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan!

Book by Rev. James Socias:
Marriage is Love Forever
Our Moral Life in Christ: A Basic Course in Moral Theology (with Aurelio Fernandez)
Our Lady, Star of the New Evangelization (with Jeffery Cole)


Books Edited by Rev. James Socias:
The Handbook of Prayers
Oraciones/Prayers
Introduction to Catholicism for Adults
The Didache Bible: With Commentaries Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Reflections on the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Daily Roman Missal


Didache Complete Course:
Introduction to Catholicism: A Complete Course – James Socias
Understanding the Scriptures: A Complete Course on Bible Study – Scott Hahn
The History of the Church: A Complete Course - Peter V. Armenio
Our Moral Life in Christ: A Complete Course - Peter V. Armenio
The Sacraments: Source of Our Life in Christ, Semester Edition – James Socias


Spiritual Game Plan an excerpt from The Handbook of Prayers.


Appendix the table of Contents:
Chapter 1 | Called to Holiness
Thirst for Christ
Called to Be Perfect
Close Up: What Is the Catechism of the Catholic Church?
Called to Holiness
Close Up: What Was the Second Vatican Council?
Close Up: St. Augustine, the Convert
Called to Be Saints
One Body in Christ
Close Up: St. Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles
The Gift of Grace
Close Up: Becoming a Saint
The Marks of a Disciple
Close Up: Martyrs for the Faith
Evangelization
Close Up: Evangelization vs. Proselytization
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Josemaria Escriva (1902–1975): Feast Day June 26
Supplementary Reading
      Seeking Holiness in the Twenty-First Century: Pastoral Planning in the New Millennium
      St. John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte (“At the Beginning of the New Millennium”), 30–31
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 2 | The Existence of God and Divine Revelation
God Makes Himself Known to Us
Knowing God Through the Created World
Close Up: Religion Is for Religious Beings
Knowing God Through the Human Spirit
Close Up: The Problem of Evil
Objections to Belief in God
Divine Revelation and Salvation History
Close Up: Motives of Credibility
Sacred Tradition
Close Up: Scripture Alone? A Fundamental Difference
Sacred Scripture
Close Up: How the Scriptures Came to Be
Establishing the Canon
The Magisterium
Interpreting Scripture
Close Up: The Canon of Scripture
Private Revelation
Close Up: Major and Minor Prophets
Our Response: Faith
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Jerome (347–420): Feast Day September 30
Supplementary Reading
      Handing On Divine Revelation
      Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Dei Verbum (“The Word of God”), 7–10
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 3 | The Nature of God: The Blessed Trinity
Our Mysterious God
The Blessed Trinity
Close Up: A Hierarchy of Truths
One God
God Reveals His Name
Close Up: St. Patrick and the Shamrock
The Trinity Foreshadowed
The Trinity Revealed
The Language of the Trinity
Close Up: Nature and Person
The Trinity in the Early Church
Close Up: St. Athanasius, Defender of the Divinity of Christ
Perfect Attributes of God
Close Up: Knowing God By Analogy
Close Up: A Prayer to the Blessed Trinity
The Blessed Trinity and the Christian Life
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity (1880–1906): Feast Day November 8
Supplementary Reading
      The Athanasian Creed (Quicumque Vult)
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 4 | Creation, Man, and Original Sin
God of Love
God the Creator
Close Up: The Message of Genesis
In the Image of God
Close Up: The Church and Evolution
The Fatherhood of God
Close Up: Called to Be His Children
The Fall
Close Up: One Set of Parents
The Curse of Original Sin
Natural Law
The First Gospel
Preparing for the Messiah
Close Up: Angels in Creation
Close Up: The Problem of Evil and God’s Providence
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Albert the Great (1206–1280): Feast Day November 15
Supplementary Reading
      Understanding Original Sin
      Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger [Pope Benedict XVI], “In the Beginning . . . : A Catholic Understanding of the Story of Creation and the Fall”
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 5 | Jesus Christ Incarnate of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Honoring the Mother of God
The Redemption Foretold
Close Up: The Suffering Servant
The Blessed Virgin
Close Up: St. Joseph, the Faithful Spouse
The Incarnation
Close Up: Behold, Your Mother!
Attributes and Titles of Mary
Close Up: Why God Became Man
Close Up: The Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Litany of Loreto)
Close Up: Two Marian Dogmas
Christ’s Hidden Years
Close Up: Jesus Christ in Faith and History
Close Up: The Titles of Jesus Christ
Conclusion
Close Up: The Eloquence of Christ’s Hidden Life
Living the Faith
      St. andre Bessette (1845–1937): Feast Day January 6
Supplementary Reading
      The New Adam: Man Cannot Live Without Love
      St. John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis (“The Redeemer of Man”), 8, 9
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 6 | The Paschal Mystery
To Know Christ
The Evangelists
Close Up: Pharisees, Sadducees, and Samaritans
The Baptism of Christ
Christ’s Public Ministry
Close Up: The Nicene Creed
Close Up: The Twelve Apostles
Jerusalem
The Last Supper: The New Passover
Close Up: The Torture of Crucifixion
The Meaning of Christ’s Sacrifice
Close Up: The Origins of the Sign of the Cross
Resurrection
Close Up: The Power of Redemptive Suffering
The Road to Emmaus
Ascension
Conclusion
Close Up: The Cross Is Christ’s Exaltation
Living the Faith
      Bl. Chiara Badano (1971–1990): Feast Day October 7
Supplementary Reading
      Christ’s Descent into Hell
      From an Ancient Homily On Holy Saturday
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 7 | The Holy Spirit
Come, Holy Spirit
God the Holy Spirit
Descent of the Holy Spirit
Close Up: The Holy Spirit in the Creed
Close Up: The Filioque Question
The Mission of the Holy Spirit
Close Up: Symbols of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit in the Life of the Church
Close Up: Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Close Up: The Unforgiveable Sin
The Charismatic Gifts
Close Up: The Holy Spirit, the Eucharist, and the Epiclesis
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      Archbishop Luis M. Martinez (1881–1956): Martyred February 9
Supplementary Reading
      St. Justin Illuminates Trypho
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 8 | The Holy Catholic Church
This Is the One Church
What Is the Church?
Close Up: The Doctors of the Church
The Faith of the Church
The Church Is the Work of the Blessed Trinity
Close Up: The Fathers of the Church
Mother and Teacher
Close Up: How a Pope Is Elected
The Magisterium
Close Up: Salvation Outside the Church
Infallibility
Church as Mystery
Close Up: The Precepts of the Church
Close Up: The Consecrated Life
The Marks of the Church
Close Up: The Role of the Laity
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Leo the Great (440–461): Feast Day November 10
Supplementary Reading
      The Dogma of Papal Infallibility
      First Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, Dei Filius (“The Son of God”), 4: 1–9
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 9 | The Resurrection of the Body and Life Everlasting
“What No Eye Has Seen”
Death of a Christian
Close Up: The Question of Unbaptized Babies
Christ Will Come Again
Close Up: The Question of Universal Salvation
Close Up: The Scriptural Basis for Purgatory
Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell
Close Up: Waiting for the End of Time
Close Up: The Book of Revelation
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510): Feast Day September 15
Supplementary Reading
      On Human Fear of Eternal Life
      Pope Benedict XVI, Spe Salvi (“In Hope We Were Saved”), 10, 12
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 10 | Christian Prayer
Dialogue With God
Close Up: The Battle of Prayer
A Life of Prayer
Types of Prayer
Close Up: The Liturgical Year
Methods of Prayer
Liturgical Prayer
Close Up: The Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church
Proper Dispositions for Prayer
The Fruit of Prayer
The Mass, Our Greatest Prayer
Close Up: Liturgical Symbols and Gestures
Close Up: The Mysteries of the Rosary
The Real Presence of Christ
The Structure of the Mass
Close Up: The Stations of the Cross
Transformed By the Liturgy
Eucharistic Adoration
Close Up: How to Prepare for Mass
Popular Prayers and Devotions
Close Up: The Meaning of the Lord’s Prayer
Sacramentals
Sacrifice and Self-Denial
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Justin Martyr (C. 100–165): Feast Day June 1
Supplementary Reading
      On Meditation: Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 11 | The Sacraments
Why We Need the Sacraments
The Meaning of Sacrament
Close Up: The institution of the Sacraments in Scripture
Close Up: Signs of the Sacraments
Ex Opere Operato
Close Up: The Sacraments That Leave an indelible Character
Matter, Form, and Minister
Sacramental Grace
Close Up: The Sacraments Were Tailor-Made for Human Beings
Close Up: Categorizing the Sacraments
Proper Disposition
Close Up; Visible Signs
The Sacraments Are Necessary
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      Bl. Otto Neururer (1882–1940): Feast Day August 13
Supplementary Reading
      Understanding Sacramentality
      Peter Kreeft, Fundamentals of the Faith, Ignatius Press
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 12 | Sacraments of Christian initiation: Baptism and Confirmation
Enter the Spirit
I. The Sacrament of Baptism
Close Up: An Examination of Conscience
Close Up: The Exorcism at Baptism
Celebrating Baptism
Effects of Baptism
Close Up: Baptizing Converts from Among Our Separated Brethren
Close Up: From Catechumen to Neophyte
Divine Filiation
Close Up: Other Types of Baptism
II. The Sacrament of Confirmation
Celebrating Confirmation
Close Up: Soldiers for Christ
Close Up: The Minister of the “Double Sacrament”
Effects of Confirmation
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Therese of Lisieux (1873–1897): Feast Day October 1
Supplementary Reading
      Baptized into Christ’s Death
      Instructions to the Newly Baptized in the Early Church at Jerusalem, office of Readings, Friday of the Octave of Easter
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 13 | Sacraments of Christian initiation: The Eucharist
His Sacred Presence
The Sacrament of the Eucharist
Close Up: An Examination of Conscience
Close Up: Reserving the Blessed Sacrament
Close Up: An Act of Spiritual Communion
Celebrating the Eucharist
Close Up: Miracles of the Eucharist
Close Up: Fragments of the Eucharistic Species
Close Up: Can a “Pro-Choice” Politician Receive Holy Communion?
Effects of the Eucharist
Close Up: “Lo! the Angel’s Food Is Given”
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Pius X (1835–1914): Feast Day August 21
Supplementary Reading
      On the Frequent Reception of Holy Communion
      St. John Vianney, Catechism On Frequent Communion
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 14 | Sacraments of Healing: Penance and the Anointing of the Sick
Christ the Healer
I. The Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
Close Up: An Examination of Conscience
Close Up: An Act of Contrition
Close Up: Characteristics of a Good Confession
Close Up: Sins of Omission
Close Up: Confessing Mortal Sins
Celebrating the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
Close Up: The Necessity of Confession
Close Up: A Guilty Conscience
Close Up: Indulgences
Close Up: God Stands Ready to Forgive
Effects of the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation
II. The Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Close Up: Prayer for a Happy Death
Celebration of the Anointing of the Sick
Effects of the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick
Close Up: Testimony of a Dying Cardinal
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. John Nepomucene (1345–1393): Feast Day May 16
Supplementary Reading
      On the Importance of Avoiding Even Venial Sin
      St. Teresa of Avila, the Way of Perfection, Ch. 41
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 15 | Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Holy Orders
At Our Service
The Sacrament of Holy Orders
Close Up: An Examination of Conscience
Close Up: Titles in Holy Orders
Celebrating Holy Orders
Close Up: Symbols of the Ordained
The Three Orders
Effects of Holy Orders
Close Up: The Development of Clerical Celibacy
Clerical Celibacy
Male Priesthood
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. John Paul II (1920–2005): Feast Day October 22
Supplementary Reading
      Celibacy in the Priesthood
      Cardinal Avery Dulles, Sj, the Priestly office: A Theological Reflection, 1997
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 16 | Sacraments at the Service of Communion: Matrimony
Love and Marriage
The Sacrament of Matrimony
Close Up: The Blessing of a Large Family
Close Up: Building Up the Domestic Church
Celebrating Matrimony
Close Up: Some Sins Against Marriage
Effects of Matrimony
Close Up: Divorce and Reception of the Sacraments
Marriage as a Path to Holiness
Close Up: A Declaration of Nullity
Marriage Between a Catholic and a Non-Catholic
Submission and the Marriage Covenant
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      Georges (1888–1967) and Pauline (1898–1991) Vanier: Husband and Wife
Supplementary Reading
      The Prophetic Role of Marriage and Family
      St. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio (“The Family in the Modern World”), 52
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 17 | Freedom, Morality, and Grace
A Still, Small Voice
What Freedom Is
Close Up: The intellect, Free Will, and the Passions
Freedom Must Be Grounded in Truth
Freedom and God’s Will
Close Up: Prayer to Do God’s Will
Freedom, Sin, and Grace
What Conscience Is
Close Up: Indirectly Voluntary Acts
Formation of Conscience
Obligation of Conscience
Types of Conscience
Close Up: Augustinian Prayer for Discernment
The Moral Act
Close Up: Standards of Morality
The Nature of Temptation
Close Up: Formal and Material Cooperation
Errors of Conscience
The Principle of Double Effect
The Cardinal Virtues
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Katharine Drexel (1858–1955): Feast Day March 3
Supplementary Reading
      On True and False Conscience
      George Cardinal Pell, Address to Members of the Lumen Christi institute at the University of Chicago, Fall 2004
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 18 | The Decalogue and the Beatitudes
Keeping the Law
Close Up: The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments and Christ
The Beatitudes Are the Perfection of the Moral Law
Close Up: The Beatitudes
The Beatitudes in Practice
Close Up: What the Moral Law Is Not
Close Up: Examination of Conscience
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      Bl. Teresa of Calcutta (1910–1997): Feast Day September 5
Supplementary Reading
      Loving God, Whom We Cannot See, Through the Neighbor That We Can See
      Pope Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est (“God Is Love”), 16–18
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 19 | The First Three Commandments
What God Deserves
Reverence for the One God
Close Up: The Right to Religious Freedom
I. The First Commandment
The Theological Virtues
Sins Against the Theological Virtues
Close Up: Examination of Conscience: The First Commandment
The Virtue of Religion
Sins Against the Virtue of Religion
Close Up: Guarding Against a Loss of Faith
II. The Second Commandment
Sins Against the Holy Name of God
Close Up: Examination of Conscience: The Second Commandment
III. The Third Commandment
Sins Against the Lord’s Day
Close Up: Examination of Conscience: The Third Commandment
Close Up: Worship God Alone
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      Rev. Christian De Cherge (1937–1996): A Life Given to God
Supplementary Reading
      Why There Is a Sunday Obligation
      St. John Paul II, Dies Domini (“The Day of the Lord”), 46–49
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 20 | The Fourth Commandment: Honor Your Father and Mother
Wisdom of Years
The Fourth Commandment
Close Up: Obligations Toward Extended Family
The Old Testament and the Fourth Commandment
Christ and the Fourth Commandment
Parent-Child Relationships
Close Up: Some Benefits of a Two-Parent Family
Close Up: The Common Good
Relationships Between an individual and Society
The Church and the State
Close Up: Duties of the Faithful
Collaboration Between Church and State
Separation of Church and State
Close Up: Examination of Conscience
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Monica (332–387): Feast Day August 27
Supplementary Reading
      Educating Children as a Work of Love1
      Albino Cardinal Luciani [Pope John Paul I], March 1977
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 21 | The Fifth Commandment: You Shall Not Kill
The Fifth Commandment
Respect for Life in the Old Testament
Close Up: Abortion and the Life of the Mother
Respect for Life in the New Testament
Homicide
Respect for Human Life at Its Beginning
Close Up: Abortion in Church Teaching
Close Up: Secondary Victims of Abortion
Respect for Human Life Until Its Natural End
Close Up; Discontinuing Medical Treatment
Self-Defense and Criminal Justice
“Just War” Doctrine
Close Up: Examination of Conscience
Respect for the Health and Integrity of the Body
Conclusion
Living the Faith I
      Servant of God Fathi Abboud Baladi (1961–1980): Witness of Survival
Living the Faith II
      St. Gianna Beretta Molla (1922–1962): Feast Day April 28
Supplementary Reading
      The Moral Dilemma of Frozen Embryos
      Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Dignitas Personæ (“The Dignity of a Person”), 2008
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 22 | The Sixth and Ninth Commandments: Chastity in Relationships
The Sixth and Ninth Commandments
Marital Love in the Old Testament
Close Up: Chastity, Celibacy, and Marriage
Marital Love in the New Testament
Theology of the Body
Sexuality and Marriage
Close Up: Couples Who Cannot Conceive
Sins Against Marriage
Close Up: The Gift of Natural Family Planning
The Virtue of Chastity
Living the Virtue of Chastity
Close Up: Examination of Conscience
Sins Against Chastity
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Maria Goretti (1890–1902): Feast Day July 6
Supplementary Reading
      On the Regulation of Birth
      Pope Paul VI, Humanæ Vitæ (“On Human Life”), 10–14
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 23 | The Seventh and Tenth Commandments: Theft and Desire
Disordered Wants
The Seventh and Tenth Commandments
Close Up: Lessons in Preferential Love
Stewardship of Goods
Close Up: Socialism and Capitalism
The Just Use of Goods
Sins Against the Seventh Commandment
Restitution
Close Up: Justice in Practice
Sins Against the Tenth Commandment
Social Doctrine of the Church
Social Justice in the Economic Realm
Close Up: The Trend Toward Globalization
International Solidarity
Justice and Charity: Love for the Poor
Close Up: Examination of Conscience
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati (1901–1925): Feast Day July 4
Supplementary Reading
      Love and the Common Good
      Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate (“Charity in Truth”), 6–7
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 24 | The Eighth Commandment: Bearing False Witness
Truth and Peace
The Virtue of Truth
The Eighth Commandment
Close Up: Types of Untruth
Truth and the Old Testament
Truth and the New Testament
Close Up: What Is Truth?
Witnesses to Truth
Truth in Charity
Truth and Secrecy
Close Up: Truth in Social Communication
Close Up: The Silent Response
Sins Against the Eighth Commandment
Gravity of Sins Against the Eighth Commandment
Close Up: Examination of Conscience
The Duty to Make Reparation
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      St. Peter the Apostle (D. Ca. Ad 64 / 67): Feast Day June 29
Supplementary Reading
      Curbing the tongue
      St. Francis de Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life, Chapter 30
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism

Chapter 25 | The Person and Society
Citizens of Two Worlds
Close Up: Christians Are the Soul of the World
Holiness Within Our State of Life
The Vocation of the Laity
Close Up: Blessed Are the Merciful
Living Our Faith in Society
Close Up: Voting With a Catholic Conscience
Faith, Law, and Social Justice
Close Up: The Dangers of Legal Positivism
Responsibility and Participation
Close Up: The Morality of Imperfect Laws
Conclusion
Living the Faith
      Dorothy Day (1897–1980): The Social Teaching of the Church in Action
Supplementary Reading
      The Earthly City and the Heavenly City
      St. Augustine, On the Two Cities, 17
For Study and Discussion
Practical Exercises
From the Catechism
Glossary
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