The Prologue of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is divided into 5 subheading consisting of 25 paragraphs.  The 1st subheading is entitled: “The life of Man – To Know and Love God”.  This seems very telling to me how the Church wants us, as believers to understand this deposit of faith which it intends to lay out in the Catechism.  Also, The first paragraph of the Catechism communicates some fundamentals worth considering.  Paragraph #1 says:

“God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.”

 

I want to share three key concepts that the 1st paragraph of the Catechism begins with:

1) The Church is emphasizing God’s initiative – He has created us to share in his blessed life even though he has no need of doing so, His sheer goodness and infinite love invite us.

2) Each human being as been created not for whatever suits him/her or whatever makes him/her happy, but we have been created/called to know, love and serve God so as to participate in this blessed life which we have been created for.

3) We are called to share with “all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church”.  The Church is the household of God and where we participate as a believer and disciple of Christ.

4) Right from the beginning of the Catechism we see how our faith is Trinitarian.  God the Father created us, and through his Son and in the Holy Spirit we are invited to be his adopted son and daughters and heirs of his blessed life.  What a promise!

These are the four insights I came upon reading and pondering the first paragraph of the Catechism.  It communicates to me a tremendous richness that the Catechism offers.  Aah, what a gift the Catechism is!  It is much more than a deposit of information but it is a deposit of faith.  Catechists need to take the time to spend time reading and pondering this wonderful gift the Church has given us.

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