Wednesday, March 22, 2006
A synchronistic series of events over the last couple of days led me to go to the bookstore and buy a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Mostly it was because a friend emailed me offline with the paragraph on divination. And when I read it, the thing that struck me most forcefully, after getting past it's remarkable similarity to the conclusion I had come up with on my own, was it's love. It was so clearly about love.
Which kind of stunned me.
Now why, you ask, would I be surprised to find love in the Catechism? Because mostly what I have heard about it I have heard from angry ex-catholics. Even my devoted Catholic friends rarely talk about it. If they mention it at all, it seems clear that they don't read it on any kind of regular basis. Maybe they read it as part of the confirmation process a gazillion years ago. But if they own a copy, it is tucked into a bottom shelf of a bookcase gathering dust. The only other exposure I have had is when the media uses it to demonize the Catholic Church.
So I was suprised to find it so soulful.. loving... compassionate.
I have only gotten through the first chapter, which basically deals with Man's relationship with God. The premise is that unless we are in relationship with God, we have no chance at happiness. I agree with that assertion completely, at least at it applies to me and my own life. The first chapter ends with a quote from St. Augustine:
"...our heart is restless until it rests in you."
It is a huge book. I am not sure that I will be plowing through it with quite the same enthusiasm as the Bible, but I am definately going to read it, a little at a time. I mean, even if I never end up a Catholic, how could there NOT be value in learning about what 2000 years of Catholic theology have come up with?
Here is a link to it online.