Connect the Dots

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Connecting the Dots

  

“Connect-the-dots” is a tagline used to explain the joining of scripture based homilies to one or more Catholic Catechism elements in an environment which recognizes the unique beauty of Catholicism.    The phrase is intended as a way (but certainly not the only way) to draw attention to fact that   Catholicism is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself.  One should understand two basic premises in order to accept the legitimacy of “connecting the dots”.

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Connect the Dots

 

  “Connect-the-dots”

“Connect-the-dots” is a tagline used to explain the joining of scripture based homilies to one or more Catholic Catechism elements in an environment which recognizes the unique beauty of Catholicism.    The phrase is intended as a way (but certainly not the only way) to draw attention to fact that   Catholicism is the one true Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself.  One should understand two basic premises in order to accept the legitimacy of “connecting the dots”.

 

The beauty of the Catholic Faith is in its foundation.  The truths of Catholicism come from Scripture (The Bible), Catholic Tradition (capital “T”), and the Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Church).  

 

The Bible is the product of the Catholic Church.  It lasted unrevised from inception into the 15th century.  It is only because of religious protesters (Protestants) that it has been changed, but not the original version. While Protestants “updated or refined” the Bible, the “Catholic Bible” remained constant, because it speaks God’s unaltered Truths.   As such it has a prominent role in the Catholic education process. 

 

The second foundational element, the Catechism, clearly presents Catholic Doctrine in a manner which lay people can understand. It is a compilation of Scripture, Tradition and the collective wisdom of the Magisterium. Not surprisingly, the Catechism contains an enormity of footnotes to many sources, including Holy Scripture. It is the Catechism that embellishes The Bible in a manner that Christ established in founding His Church.  It is the Catechism that contains the Faith Beliefs of the Catholic Church.  This is where the beauty of our Faith resides. 

 

Catholics have the obligation to know their Faith.  The Bible and the Catechism are two sources through  which Catholics become “informed”. 

 

Most Catholic homilies are Scripture-based; consistent with the readings for the day.   This is a good thing; most Catholics don’t read the bible. Arguably one could say that most Catholic given-homilies would be just as effective in a good protestant church, and they would be right.  But an informed Catholic laity must know the Catholic Faith.   The Challenge of 4C Today is to encourage priests and deacons to explain the connection between the Mass’s scripture reading(s) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or minimally, proclaim and highlight the beauty of Catholicism. Realistically, most Catholics only receive “instruction” from the homily at Sunday Mass.  The priests and deacons only have ten (10) to fifteen (15) to deliver instruction through the homily.   They only have that limited time to help develop an informed laity.  But that is ample time to connect-the-dots. Mass attendees will observe what’s going on…the word will spread. If done with sufficient frequency and with sufficient emphasis, a more informed laity will emerge who will be better prepared to “evangelize” their fallen away friends and relatives.

 

Lastly, an often-used word within homilies is the word, ”Christian”.  The word covers a great number of religious denominations, including Catholic, but Catholicism is not merely a denomination.  We are Catholic because of the accreditation by Jesus Christ Himself.  If necessary we should be called “Catholic” Christians, or preferably, simply Catholics.   We need to be reminded of that!