Friday, May 11, 2007

Doing Better for the Next Generation of Catholics

Leticia over at Cause of our Joy had a link to a quiz on one's understanding of 15 Catholic teachings. My result?

You are 87% educated in Catholic truths!

Wow! You are totally educated in the Catholic faith. A real genius! Have you thought of teaching the faith to others? Be sure to share your wealth of knowledge with those who need it.

Catholic Truths
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First, a little background on me:
I grew up with a Protestant mom and a dad who calls himself a "progressive" Catholic. They are good people and they did place great importance on basic Christian values such as kindness, generosity, honesty, justice, and so on. They really tried to lead by example, and I want to give them credit for that since sadly too many people who call themselves "Christians" talk the talk but don't walk the walk. Those people would do well to remember Jesus' rebuke of the Pharisees in Matthew 23. Lip service piety without the underlying love of God and of one's neighbor is completely missing the point. Anyways, while my parents did IMO a decent job at raising us as Christians, they basically left it up to our parish CCD program to educate us on Catholic doctrine.

Unfortunately, this being the 1980's to early 1990's, it was feel-good "CCD Lite" rather than a rigorous and Orthodox program. We never learned basics such as Transubstantiation and the Immaculate Conception! Rules were given without any explanation of the reasons behind them, which did not do much in the way of inspiring obedience in me. I didn't understand the Church's teachings and that led me to question its authority as a teenager and young adult.

I spent several years adrift spiritually while my attention was focused on worldly matters. I had a vague feeling that something was missing from my life but it took a long time to figure out that it was God. Fortunately, He never gave up on me and eventually He led me to rediscover my faith. Recommitting to Catholicism didn't happen overnight and I struggled along my journey. Catholicism is not an easy religion as Christ warned in Matthew 7:14.

I worry about whether I am capable of properly teaching the Faith to my children when I'm still working on understanding it myself. I feel blessed that there are now so many more resources available to help me in this task than even a decade ago. Homeschooling is all about learning along side of the children and deepening one's own knowledge of the subject in order to share it. I truly hope that this will be the case when it comes to religion!

I want better for the next generation of Catholics than what I received growing up, and I'm starting with the 2 that God has blessed me with so far.

Incidentally, the 2 questions I missed on the quiz were:
11. What are the effects of Confirmation?
I picked: It makes us mature Catholic adults
Correct answer: It increases sanctifying grace, gives its special sacramental grace, and imparts a lasting character on the soul
14. What are the chief moral or cardinal virtues?
I picked: Faith, hope and charity (I just love 1 Corinthians 13!)
Correct answer: Prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance

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