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Thursday, 9 September 2021

The Christian Faith - Father Stephen Wang - A Mini-Catechism for Catholics

The Christian Faith: 
A Mini-Catechism for Catholics
Fr. Stephen Wang
Catholic Truth Society
ISBN 9781784690632
eISBN 9781784693244
ASIN B072XRKSYM
CTS Booklet DO904


Over the last few years I have read over 200 books from the Catholic Truth Society. Every time I finish one, I find 2 or three more that I want to read. There are so many great series, and excellent authors. And everything I have read by Father Stephen Wang has been excellent. And I still have a few of his volumes on my ‘to be read’ list. I have read several books that are part of the CTS Devotions and Prayer Series. I have read many in the CTS Biographies and also Saints of the Isles Series, and the Great Saints Series. But back to this volume. The description states:

“This booklet presents the Christian faith in a series of 73 concise articles. Each article expresses, in a nutshell, the core ideas about a wide range of topics as they are found in the Catholic tradition. The aim is to give food for thought, clear and accurate explanations and so to provide a mini-catechism of the most important elements of the Christian faith. While the richness and beauty of faith cannot be expressed in mere words, the right words can encourage us to explore it more deeply.”

The book is promoted as an introduction to Christianity, to help grow in understanding the Catholic Faith, and as a resource for RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults). And the chapters in the volume are:

Introduction
Part 1: The Meaning of Faith
 God
 Revelation
 Faith
 Knowledge
 Theology
Part 2: The Christian Story
 The Apostles’ Creed
 The Most Holy Trinity
 The angels
 The Devil and the reality of evil
 Human beings
 Original sin
 The Jewish people
 The Incarnation
 The life of Christ
 The sacrifice of the cross
 The Resurrection
 Redemption
 The Holy Spirit
 The gifts of the Holy Spirit
Part 3: Church, Tradition, Bible
 The Church
 Tradition
 The Bible
 The Apostles
 The Papacy
 Infallibility
 The unity of the Church
 Non-Christians
Part 4: Sacraments of Initiation and Healing
 Grace
 The liturgy
 The sacraments
 Baptism
 Confirmation
 The Eucharist
 Forgiveness
 The Sacrament of Penance
 The Anointing of the Sick
Part 5: Sacraments and the Christian Vocations
 Vocation
 The laity
 Marriage
 Consecrated life
 Single life
 Ordination to the diaconate
 Ordination to the priesthood
 Ordination to the episcopate
Part 6: The Vocation to Love
 The universal call to holiness
 Love
 Freedom and conscience
 Morality
 Natural law
 The Ten Commandments
 The Beatitudes
 Love your neighbour
 Life and death
 The social teaching of the Church
 Love for the poor
 Evangelisation
 Martyrdom
Part 7: The Spiritual Life
 Christian prayer
 The Our Father
 Other key prayers
 Daily prayer
 Intercession
 Contemplation
 Devotions
 The Rosary
Part 8: The Last Things
 Death
 Judgement, heaven, purgatory, hell
 Hope
 Eternal life
 The saints on earth
 The saints in heaven
 The Blessed Virgin Mary
 Two Marian prayers

Father Wang in the introduction informs us that:

“This booklet presents the Christian faith in a series of short articles. Each article expresses, in a nutshell, the core ideas about each topic as they are found in the Catholic tradition. The aim is to give food for thought, and to provide a mini-catechism of the most important elements of the Christian faith.”

He also informs us that:

“I have tried to squeeze as much as possible into each article, in just two or three hundred words, and to make them more or less self-contained. As a consequence, some of the explanations are quite dense, some may appear simplistic, and now and then there is some repetition. If you want to open up any of these tightly packed articles, or to go deeper, you can look up a particular subject in the index of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”

He then informs us that the articles were then use for a series of talks at Newman House. The information has been tried and tested. It is presented in clear and concise fashion. Some of the chapters are only a few short paragraphs and some are a few pages. For example the section on the Beatitudes has one paragraph and then the quoted text from the bible, that paragraph is:

“The Beatitudes are at the heart of Jesus’s moral teaching, pointing the way to true holiness and true happiness for his disciples, and indeed for all. They can be found in Chapter 5 of Matthew’s Gospel:”
 
And it has an excellent index at the end making it perfect for quick lookups, or for reference and study. This is a volume that could be easily returned to many times. And the reader would benefit from it each time. The style and pace of the articles makes it such that you can read from beginning to end, or jump around topics. But no matter how you choose to read it you would be blessed by the reading.

Another great read from father Stephen Wang and the Catholic Truth Society.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2021 Catholic Reading Plan! For other reviews of books from the Catholic Truth Society click here.

Books by Steven Wang:
The Long Road To Freedom: The Story Of Wang Mingdao
The Christian Faith: A Mini-Catechism for Catholics
Aquinas & Sartre: On Freedom, Personal Identity, and the Possibility of Happiness
Meeting Christ in the Eucharist
The New Evangelisation
What is the Catholic Church?
Being a Parent Today
A Way Of Life For Young Catholics
How to Discover your Vocation
...

Available in French:
Comment découvrir sa vocation
...








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