394. Catechism of the Catholic Church

Sunday Christian Book Review

Catholic Edition

Catechism of the Catholic Church (with modifications from the Editio Typica) Copyright extended to The Holy See

Rating: (5/5)

(Kindle) - (US) - (Canada) - (UK)
Daily Reading Schedule (PDF, also includes YouCat)
Free Text at the Vatican

1995, Image/Doubleday, 756 pgs +index
Imprimi Potest

Age: (18+)

"Here it is -- the first new Catechism of the Catholic Church in more than 400 years, a complete summary of what Catholic throughout the world believe in common. This book is the catechism (the word means "instruction") that will serve as the standard for all future catechisms.

The Catechism draws on the Bible, the Mass, the Sacraments, Church tradition and teaching, and the lives of saints. It comes with a complete index, footnotes and cross-references for a fuller understanding of every subject. Using the tradition of explaining what the Church believes (the Creed), what she celebrates (the Sacraments), what she lives (the Commandments), and what she prays (the Lord's Prayer), the Catechism of the Catholic Church offers challenges for believers and answers for all those interested in learning about the mystery of the Catholic faith. Here is a positive, coherent and contemporary map for our spiritual journey toward transformation.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church is, as Pope John Paul II calls it, "a special gift.""

Gifted by a dear friend.

An absolute read for every Catholic and anyone wanting to know what the Catholic Church actually teaches.  Don't take your information from television, the newspaper, your neighbour or even another Catholic to start with.  If you want the real, honest teaching, look it up here.  I've dabbled in the Catechism many times, looking things up and following rabbit trails.  However, I read the Catechism from start to finish using a schedule during the entire year of 2013.  Brief readings every single day, ending late November.  I can't actually review the Catechism; these are just my thoughts.  It is a book of teaching (catechism actually means instructions), rules, explanations and a guide on how to live your life the way Jesus asks us to in the Bible and through oral tradition.  Any question you may have about Catholic doctrine or Christian living is answered within these pages.  Almost the entire book I found enlightening and I'm glad I can say I have read the whole thing.  I found many passages that I've heard spoken by Popes, famous Catholic personages, priests etc. that have been accredited to them but really is just them knowing the Church's teaching so well they can almost quote the Catechism verbatim.  I'll admit some parts were a little tedious and boring for me, it depends on how in depth on a topic you need to personally go, but by far and large I was captivated by most of the reading.  Scripture, the Church Fathers and Doctors of the Church (as well as many other Saints) are quoted extensively, so we are reading a lot of original source material.  The section on the Church's teaching of social justice (which denounces both communism and capitalism), is one where we could only wonder at how perfect and peaceful life on earth would be if all mankind could live according to the Body of Christ.  I find that having read this all the way through I have become a better Christian, a better Catholic, am able to explain my Faith a bit better and live it much better.  I don't think I'll read it front to back anytime soon (though that season may come again at some point) but Ill certainly be pulling it out frequently to see what exactly the Church's teaching is on a subject before I sound off, make a personal decision or try to explain a delicate concept.  You can't live your faith without knowing what that faith is, and the Catechism is where you can first go to get the answers.  Don't get me wrong, this in know way replaces the Bible.  It's purpose is completely different.  Don't let its size intimidate you either, as it is not difficult reading at all and can be read topically or randomly.  But as a Catholic one should never presume or assume one knows what the Church teaches, find out for yourself; the correct answers are only as far as this book which should be on a shelf in your home or office.

Next year (2014) my one year reading project will be all 73 books of the Bible!


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