Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds

10/15/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The Catechism is a sure guide for holiness and happiness as it leads us into a deeper relationship with the Lord and His Church

Saint Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church, gives witness that knowledge of God leads to confidence and trust, even in the midst of hardship and suffering.

Article Highlights

By Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

10/15/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Year of Faith

Keywords: Catechism, Teresa of Avila, faith, Year of Faith, trust, pastoral, Vatican II, Sugar Land, culture, prayer, spirit of the council


SUGAR LAND, TX (Catholic Online) - Unwavering trust in God is one of the consequences of a living faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church uses the poetry of St. Teresa of Avila to illustrate this quality: "Let nothing trouble you, Let nothing frighten you; Everything passes, God never changes; Patience obtains all; Whoever has God wants for nothing.  God alone is enough" (CCC, no. 227).  How do we attain this level of trust in God?

Although she lived four centuries ago, St. Teresa, whose liturgical memorial we observe today, gives us some insight into this challenge.  The love of God is the heart of Teresa's experience of faith.  As a teenager, especially after the death of her mother, Teresa was vain and self-centered.  Nevertheless, God had planted in her heart a desire for union with him, something that Teresa would realize in the religious life.

Her life as a Carmelite was not an end in itself, however.  Gradually, through a number of external circumstances and interior experiences, God opened up Teresa's heart to the fire of divine love.  This was an encounter with ultimate reality, giving Teresa a perspective that fortified her by helping her to live in the truth:  "May [God] give me grace to take that for peace which is really peace, that for honor which is really honor, and that for delight which is really a delight. Let me never mistake one thing for another" (The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus).

This great saint, a Doctor of the Church, gives witness that knowledge of God leads to confidence and trust, even in the midst of hardship and suffering.

One does not need mystical experiences in order to grow in the knowledge of God.  While the Lord may indeed give extraordinary spiritual gifts to one person or another, we should not set out hearts on them.  They should be fixed on God alone.  And since our Creator has given us a mind capable of knowing the truth, the formation of our intellect plays an essential role in our growth in faith.

In the pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith, the Holy See notes that "there exists a profound bond between the lived faith and its contents." To live our faith more fully and authentically, we need to know it.  Therefore, the reading of the Word of God and of the Catechism of the Catholic Church ought to be an essential element in living the Year of Faith.

The Catechism is a concrete fruit of the Second Vatican Council.  Issued in 1992 on the thirtieth anniversary of the convocation of the Council, the Catechism embodies the "spirit of the council" in that it proposes a coherent and systematic presentation of the faith for contemporary society.  In Porta Fidei, the Papal document announcing the Year of Faith, Pope Benedict wrote that "In this Year. the Catechism of the Catholic Church will serve as a tool providing real support for the faith, especially for those concerned with the formation of Christians, so crucial in our cultural context" (no. 12).

There are 2,865 numbered paragraphs in the Catechism.  By reading just seven or eight a day, one could complete the entire text by the end of this special year.  Of course, our objective is not just to peruse a series of facts, but also to imbibe, absorb and integrate them into our lives.  By relating the Church's teaching to concrete Scriptural foundations - the Biblical references in the Catechism are particularly useful for seeing the connection between Scripture and doctrine - the Catechism becomes a type of Scriptural commentary on the content of the faith.

Accompanied by prayer, the study of the faith has the potential to intensify the believer's experience of God's revelation and to lead one to a deeper trust and confidence in Him.

Today in the Holy Mass, the Church's prayer refers to St. Theresa's teaching as "heavenly food."  This description also applies to the teaching of the Church as a whole.  If we want our faith to grow, it needs to be fed.  The Word of God and the Catechism offer essential intellectual nutrition for our spiritual development in the Year of Faith.  May we take advantage of them.

Fr. Stephen B. Reynolds is pastor of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Sugar Land, Tx, a suburb of Houston.  You may visit the parish website at: www.SugarLandCatholic.com.

---


Pope Francis calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Year of Faith

Reflection on the Catholic Catechism: Understanding the Bible Watch

Image of

By Michael Terheyden

How we interpret the Bible is of immense importance! It directly affects what we believe about Christ, the Church, and our faith, but it is also related to many of the grave problems in our society and the world. Yet, despite the gravity of this situation, we have good ... continue reading


Christ the King, the Year of Faith and the Catholic Counterculture Watch

Image of On this Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Year of Faith inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI comes to a ceremonial end. However, in reality, it cannot and will not end, because Jesus Christ is King! The Year of Faith was only the beginning for those who choose to live the Life of Faith.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Church year offers to each one of us to consider the creature called time, receive it as a gift, and begin to really live our lives differently.  This is one of ... continue reading


The Bones of Peter, the Successor of Peter: Close of the Year of Faith Watch

Image of The bones of St. Peter the Apostle

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On the Solemnity of the Feast of Christ the King, the Sunday which marks both the end of the Church Year and the end of the Year of Faith, inaugurated by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Pope Francis greeted thousands of the faithful and presided over Holy Mass and the ... continue reading


Fr Randy Sly on Becoming a House of Prayer Watch

Image of Jesus drives the money changers from the temple. 

With hearts clear and focused on our Lord, we can follow the advice of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Everything starts with prayer. Love to pray--feel the need to pray often during the day and take the trouble to pray. If you want to pray better, you must pray more. The more you pray, the easier it becomes. Perfect prayer does not consist of many words but in the fervor of the desire which raises the heart to Jesus. (Fr. Randy Sly)

By Father Randy Sly

Becoming a House of Prayer is the best discipline we can take on. St. Ephraem of Syria states that Virtues are formed by prayer. Prayer preserves temperance. Prayer suppresses anger. Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Offers the Path to Peace Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

If this day you only knew what makes for peace- but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides. They will smash you to the ground and your ... continue reading


The Kingdom of God is Among You. What Did Jesus Mean? Watch

Image of The Christian vocation is, of its nature, a vocation to the apostolate as well. Indeed, we call an apostolate every activity of the Mystical Body that aims to spread the Kingdom of Christ over all the earth. (CCC#863)

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In Jesus Christ, the Kingdom has been inaugurated. Upon his return it will be made complete and fully manifested in a new heaven and a new earth. We are members of the Body of Christ which makes it present here and now - as seed and sign for a world which is in labor. ... continue reading


Year of Faith: Bringing the Feast of the Presentation of Mary to Life Watch

Image of The Feast of the Presentation of Mary is celebrated in both the Eastern and Western Churches. It recalls the day in the life of the Jewish girl named Mary (Maryam) when her parents, Joachim and Anne, presented her to the Lord in the temple and dedicated her life to Him.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

On this Feast of the Presentation of Mary, let us make the choice to surrender ourselves to the same Lord who Joachim and Ann honored when they presented their dear daughter in the temple. Their daughter, Mary, became the Second Eve. The New Creation was born through ... continue reading


WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Our Lady's Encouragement Watch

Image of

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT

I got off the subway at Termini station and went up to the busy streets of Rome.  I had to walk past the place where all the prostitutes gathered.  I looked down at the street and began to pray in fear.  Suddenly I heard a feminine voice say, "Be a man!" ... continue reading


Tuesday Homily: Conversion and Perseverance in the Life of Faith Watch

Image of Zacchaeus climbs a tree to see the Lord. Such an act could have led to great mockery for a middle-aged public figure. But Zacchaeus didn't care about others' seeing him and the derision that might ensue. He wanted to see the Lord and no obstacle was going to stop him. His example challenges each of us to consider what is the extent to which we go, what trees or obstacles we'll climb, in order to see Jesus more clearly

By Fr. Roger J. Landry

As the Year of Faith draws to a conclusion, we, like Zacchaeus, are called to repent all those times that we haven't set an example of faith for others. And through the intercession of the martyrs Eleazar and Polycarp, we ask God for the grace to set such an example of ... continue reading


We Are all Going to Die. The Important Question is How Are We Living? Watch

Image of We decide whether we use time for bearing good fruit or are used by time as a tyrant who frightens us as we fruitlessly try to resist his claim on our perceived youth. This act of choosing rightly helps us to develop a disposition; a way of living that involves the proper exercise of our human freedom aided by grace. When time is welcomed as an opportunity for bearing the fruits of love and holiness, we receive it in love, perceive it as a field of choice and build an environment for holiness

By Deacon Keith Fournier

As we consider the timeline of God's unfolding plan, the redemption of the whole cosmos, the God who gives and governs time, invites us to re-dedicate ourselves to living differently, in time.  We are to live as though time really does matter. We are invited by ... continue reading


All Year of Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 52:13--53:12
13 Look, my servant will prosper, will grow great, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:2, 6, 12-13, 15-16, 17, 25
2 turn your ear to me, make haste. Be for me a ... Read More

Gospel, John 18:1--19:42
1 After he had said all this, Jesus left with his ... Read More

Reading 2, Hebrews 4:14-16; 5:7-9
14 Since in Jesus, the Son of God, we have the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 18th, 2014 Image

St. Apollonius the Apologist
April 18: Martyr whose Apologia, or defense of the faith, is considered ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter