Friday, January 18, 2013
Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church
Compendium: Catechism of the Catholic Church by USCCB Publishing
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I got this when it came out, flipped through it, and then put it on the shelf, where the poor thing was never moved until I gave an explanatory talk last night to the RCIA class about how to navigate your way around the Catechism (and other related topics such as Imprimatur stamps, etc.)
When I was looking through it this morning to attempt to answer a question (this group is sharp and curious, although I TOLD them I wasn't an expert on the Catechism, but was good at navigating the numbering system) ... anyway, so I was looking for specific info and realized I'd never given this a proper read.
The Q & A structure originally put me off, although now that I read the introduction I see it is meant to reflect an ancient style, to "reflect an imaginary dialogue between master and disciple ... that invite the reader to go deeper in discovering ever new aspects of his faith." And now that I've had more experience with having to answer the unpredictable questions that RCIA attendees ask, I can appreciate the format more. Also, it is intentionally kept brief, intending to spark interest in digging deeper in the actual Catechism.
Digging deeper I saw there are some very good features I never noticed. For example, although it has some absolutely gorgeous art, I never noticed that each illustration is accompanied by a thorough explanation, whether it be of the symbolism, related commentary, Church Fathers' meditations, prayers, or a combination thereof. Not only do these invite further reflection, they serve as examples of how to "read" devotional art.
Also, there's a nice appendix of common prayers.
I believe I'll be reading this along with my daily Catechism pages.