Friday, October 19, 2012


Last night our taught our RCIA chapter 8 of the USCCB's Catechism which is "The Saving Death and Resurrection of Christ."

I compared that chapter to the Baltimore Catechism, #2 and what precedes its chapter, which coincidentally is also Lesson 8 but titled, "The Redemption." We give our inquirers both catechisms.

What the Baltimore Catechism does which the USCCB's doesn't do is to give a very good catechesis on Original Sin and actual sin and how our sins closed the gates of heaven to us, gates that only the true God, Jesus, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, incarnate, True God and True Man, One Divine Being with two natures, human and divine can accomplish for us.

The Baltimore Catechism also instills in its readers a tremendous fear of losing heaven through our person, actual sins, of having the gates of heaven closed to us through the loss of sanctifying grace in the soul which our sins create especially if we are unrepentant.

The Baltimore Catechism made wonderful points about the necessity of both Baptism and The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as participation in the "satisfaction" that Jesus' paschal mystery brings about in those who unite their sufferings and life to Jesus, crucified and risen.

The USSCB Catechism was weak in all these areas and gives no real rationale for real reason for "The Saving Death and Resurrection of Christ."

Why did Jesus have to undergo the Paschal Mystery? Precisely to save us from eternal damnation in the bowels of hell! If we don't realize what our sins do to us and to our Savior we can never fully appreciate the saving death and resurrection of Christ, His Redemption--it all becomes so rather superficial in modern presentations of this awesome act and our need for it.


Gene said...

"...the USCCB Catechism was weak..." Tell me about it...when you handed out the Baltimore Catechism at the beginning of RCIA this year, I thought that meant we were using it alone. So,I joyously threw my copy of that USCCB thing in the garbage. Now, I have to beg another one from Jerry. But, I'll swear it was the Holy Spirit moving within me that led me to toss that USCCB thing...

Marc from iPhone said...

Father, this question relates to our other ongoing discussion about receiving Communion:

For a long time, I was under the impression that it was difficult to commit a mortal sin because few things were "grave matter". After further study, I started thinking that it is actually quite easy and that many things I assumed were venial, or minor, matters were actually grave matter. Part of that change in thinking came from reading the Roman Catechism on the Ten Commandments. I also heard (not from a Traditionaliat priest) that all sins against purity were grave matter and that was cause for some concern given the prevalence of immoral material in the everyday modern world.

What are your thoughts on the prevalence of "grave matter"?

rcg said...

Marc, it is very easy to commit mortal sin. It is in our nature, check out the concept or Original Sin and look at it from the perspective of our nature. Do you have a Missal? The '62 has excellent contemplation and meditation on the subject in the section about Confession and preparing for it. Or you can ask 'Yogurt' Gene about it.

William Meyer said...

By "USCCB Catechism" I assume you are referring to the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, so disappointing in its 664 pages, as contrasted with the Catechism of the Catholic Church: Second Edition, which in 825 pages is at least a recognizable descendant of the Catechism of Trent, and far more useful as a reference, in my view.

Henry Edwards said...

For whatever it's worth, a day-by-day plan to read the CCC in its entirety during the Year of Faith:

I wonder whether there's a similar directed daily reading plan for the Baltimore Catechism or the Roman Catechism.

Has anyone tried the Compendium of the CCC in an RCIA setting, Seems to me that with a Q &A format it might be much more effective than the CCC itself.