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Common Ground: CCC 1691-1698

by PastorWilliams on August 23rd, 2017

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

As we begin the third part of the Catechism, we have an introduction to the life of catechesis (learning) that a Christian should have. Christians are to be students of the Word. How this bears itself out in the Roman Catholic Church is definitely different than in Protestant churches.

The Catechism quotes Philippians 1:27 to show that “Christians are called to lead henceforth a life ‘worthy of the gospel of Christ'” (paragraph 1692). The biggest issue with this quotation is the wrong definition of the word “gospel.” The Gospel in this context isn’t the good news of salvation. In this context, it is the infused grace that allows the Christian to live according to canon law.

This life is revealed to the Christian through an eight-fold emphasis of catechesis. This begins with catechesis of the Holy Spirit, who “inspires, guides, corrects, and strengthens this life” (paragraph 1697). It is based in grace that allows the Christian to uphold the beatitudes. These beatitudes show the Roman Catholic understanding of sin and forgiveness through the human and Christian virtues and the twofold commandment of love in the Ten Commandments.

Finally, this catechesis is wrapped up in “the communion of saints” in the Creed. This should have been the second aspect instead of the last. The Church’s catechesis should be directly involved with the life of the congregation. The Church’s liturgy should be front and center in catechesis, whether it is adult or middle school catechesis. When those who are studying the faith become grounded in the life of the Church in her worship, the catechesis is driven deeper into the heart and is more easily maintained.

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