Dec 4, 2012

Say What?

This month's assignment is to read Article 8 of the Catechism. Uh huh. The reading part is going great. The understanding what I just read, not so much.

There are bits and peices that are easy to understand, like the symbolism of the Holy Spirit. That I can get no problem. But, what the heck is stuff like this supposed to mean:
706      Against all human hope, God promises descendants to Abraham, as the fruit of faith and of the power of the Holy Spirit.68 In Abraham’s progeny all the nations of the earth will be blessed. This progeny will be Christ himself,69 in whom the outpouring of the Holy Spirit will “gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.”70 God commits himself by his own solemn oath to giving his beloved Son and “the promised Holy Spirit... [who is] the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.”71 (60) Huh?
(Yes, those are my enlightened notes on the section in red.)

As part of the Year of Faith, the Bishops are encouraging everyone to read the Catechism. After only reading this one section, I'm almost scared to try and read the rest. Even with a college education, I'm just not smart enough to understand this stuff.

As an added self torture, in order to try and understand what the Catechism is trying to say, I also read Divinum Illud Munus, which is an Encyclical on the Holy Spirit written by Pope Leo XIII back in 1897. It was not much easier to understand than the Catechism.

So I resorted to the dummies version aka Catechism for Adults, which I conveniently had sitting on my book shelf. (Totally forgot it was there.) While it doesn't translate the mystifying passages of the Catechism, it does give a nice explanation of the general idea of the section.

I also found that I have a copy of the St. Joseph's Catechism, which is conveniently in question and answer format in elementary level language. Who could have known that I would have so many good back up sources readily available.

If I do venture to read the whole Catechism, I think I will keep the dummy versions handy, because reading the Catechism doesn't mean much if you don't understand it.

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