“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face.
Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.”
(1 Corinthians 13:11-12)
Point A. I remember my singular priority at Holy Mass in days gone by. Between the end of the opening prayer – first time down on my bottom – and the end of the holy, holy, holy – first time down on my knees – to convince my parents, discretely of course, to shoot straight out to the car park after receiving Communion.
For me, that was a “good” Sunday – out early.
Point B. Now I’m the assistant director of a catechetical institute at a Catholic university.
I am never unaware of the distance God had to take me.
And I’m sure He’s ever aware of the still greater distance He has yet to take me.
Between points A and B lay many encounters. Encounters with docile people; people docile to a body of truth, and more so to a God taken flesh who said quite startlingly, “I am the truth.” (John 14:6)
A child can be docile to whim, and also docile to wisdom, but only if wisdom is a person. Perhaps children don’t naturally follow rules, but they do naturally follow relationships. As a father now, I have become acutely aware of this.
Relationships with people, people docile to the truth, led me forward, to faith, to hope, to love, to a priceless peace of soul that every external whirlwind daily battles against.
The spiritual life is so very hard. Impossible totally without clarity being brought to my dimness. Otherwise I’d just remain like a child, victim to my own whims, not likely to be of much account.
That clarity, His voice, speaks to me in Scripture, of course. But also in something else given to bring clarity to all that confuses me about Scripture. That something else is the Church’s echo, passed down from the beginning – to give me surety that what was given in the beginning, was being given now, and would be given forever. This is the role of a Catechism.
Rewritten as needed through the centuries for ears that hear differently in different eras, the Catechism was authored afresh by the Church just before the millennium changed. And this year to come, 2017, is the 25th since that fresh vision of ancient and eternal truths was published for the world.
Like a child needs guidance to be led by more than whim, to learn to navigate the worldly and spiritual briars awaiting ahead; like a father needs guidance to be that relationship where a child may find truth reliably; like every soul longs to really know what it looks like to be at peace with God, I can take joy, great, great joy, in being able to reach out and hold a Catechism.
And read it.
I want to invite you to the pages of this precious book. Scripture’s intended companion.
William Keimig is a guest Blogger
CTS are honoured to be publishing a new, definitive and complete edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You can pre-order at www.ctsbooks.org/catechism