Introduction to Catholicism. A Complete Course

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1 Teacher s Manual Introduction to Catholicism Introduction to Catholicism A Complete Course TEACHER S MANUAL

2 Teacher s Manual Introduction to Catholicism i vii Introduction Contents Con t e n t s 1 Chapter 1: The Call to Holiness 12 Chapter 2: Prayer 25 Chapter 3: The Trinity 37 Chapter 4: The Church 50 Chapter 5: The Blessed Virgin Mary 60 Chapter 6: Revelation 70 Chapter 7: The Old Testament 79 Chapter 8: The New Testament 90 Chapter 9: The Sacraments 98 Chapter 10: Baptism 108 Chapter 11: Confirmation 116 Chapter 12: The Eucharist 128 Chapter 13: Penance 139 Chapter 14: Anointing of the Sick 148 Chapter 15: Matrimony 159 Chapter 16: Holy Orders 167 Chapter 17: Freedom 176 Chapter 18: The Moral Virtues 185 Chapter 19: The First Commandment 197 Chapter 20: The Second Commandment 205 Chapter 21: The Third Commandment 216 Chapter 22: The Fourth Commandment 225 Chapter 23: The Fifth Commandment 236 Chapter 24: The Sixth and Ninth Commandments 247 Chapter 25: The Seventh and Tenth Commandments 256 Chapter 26: The Eighth Commandment 265 Chapter 27: The Beatitudes 277 Chapter Tests & Answer Keys vii

3 Chapter 1 The Call to Holiness This chapter reveals how all Christians are called to holiness by God and by the Church. The student will learn the best means of acquiring holiness and how to use holiness to evangelize others. Our Church is the Church of the Saints. Chapter 1 Lesson Plan Reading & Homework Assignments Lesson 1 Read Chapter 1 Lesson 2 Supplementary Reading Short Essay: How does the mission of St. Josemaria relate to the call to holiness? Lesson 3 Study Vocabulary and Study Questions Practical Exercises Lesson 4 From the Catechism Prepare for Chapter 1 test Lesson 5 Chapter 1 test Chapter 1 Study Guide begins on page 11 of textbook 1

4 The opening paragraphs of Chapter One set the tone for the whole book: every Christian is capable of becoming a saint. Seeking perfection is not an option, it is an obligation. All are created to glorify God, and in seeking to be perfect, as our heavenly Father is perfect we do glorify God. As the course develops, it will be helpful to remind the students, again and again, that our aim in life is to be holy in imitation of Jesus, who is all holy. Chapter Goals Students will be able to: Understand what holiness means; Be aware of his or her call to holiness; Identify the means for achieving holiness; and Recognize obstacles to holiness. The Call to Holiness This section sets the stage for the concept of personal holiness. It points out that the model for all holiness is Jesus Christ himself. The origin of the word holiness is explained, and examples of the deaths of two saints are given. Set aside time to explain how the heroism of the lives of these saints differs from some of the so called heroes presented by the current culture. Heroism is about self sacrifice rather than self glorification. True heroism in service of Christ requires self sacrifice and self control. There are rewards in this world, but the greatest rewards are otherworldly. To support this concept, the book has been written with the negative effects of the culture in mind. The secular world is opening up to the students like a garden with many blooms of flowers, some spiritually healthy and some spiritually poisonous. Some of the poisonous fruits of the current culture are readily 2

5 apparent: boredom, disenchantment, fear, and loneliness. The choice to be a saint should be seen by students as the most rewarding and viable option. It is important that they understand the ability to be a saint is present in every walk of life. The call to holiness is from God. Only God, through his generous and constant outpouring of grace, is able to bring it to completion. But we must freely choose this life of holiness and seek out the means to attain it. In other words, we must really want to be holy. Holiness, then, is cooperation between God and his people, a drama of divine grace and human freedom. True holiness is a manifestation of God s plan for us, for every person is called to live and be loved. To love God is to do his will. The more closely we follow God s will the more like saints we become. The vocation to holiness will probably sound very odd to most of your students. They may be of the opinion that holiness means not having fun, or being a goody goody, or that it is only for priests and nuns. The present day culture and its climate of moral relativity ( do whatever you want ), consumerism ( get whatever you want ), and religious indifference ( believe whatever you want ) have devastating effects on young people. Immoral movies, inappropriate music, and the breakdown of authentic family life affect the souls and minds of many young people. They can be led to think, act, and live as if the truth does not exist, that the high point in life is satisfying the desire for pleasure and physical comfort, and that God plays no part in one s happiness. Worse still, while they may believe that God exists, they may live as if he, in fact, does not exist. The irony of the problem is that young people are by nature yearning for meaning and truth in their lives. The teacher should lead them to discover the truth of the Catholic Faith. Personal holiness is to be found in living both human and moral virtues. For example, help them to see there is a connection between obedience to their parents and sanctity. The Church Calls Us This section further explains the call to holiness. It details how each of us is a necessary and important part of the Mystical Body of Christ. The concept of the lay apostolate is introduced. Every person has a particular role to play as sharers in Christ s role as priest, prophet, and king. In a true sense, all are called to be apostles to others. Every baptized person has a mission from Christ, and a member who fails his mission can be considered useless to both the Church and himself. Students should see themselves as evangelizers for Christ. We return to the theme of personal sanctity, which is initiated by the waters of Baptism. The grace given to use by the Holy Spirit in this sacrament helps us to truly love our neighbor and live lives of holiness. High school students are sensitive to the necessity of acquiring good friends. This easily leads to a discussion of being a good friend to others in order to lead them to Christ. Those who follow Christ will draw others to him by their example. Notes 3

6 Notes 4

7 God s Call To Us Part three, God s Call to Us, reminds the student that the call to holiness is directly from Christ. Holy people struggle to respond to life s situations and challenges as Jesus would. By following the example of Christ we will be recognized as his followers, as Christians. Time should be set aside to discuss with the students each of the bulleted paragraphs to insure they understand them. Be ready to discuss the student s difficulties in following these guidelines. Suggest to your students that they concentrate on one of these five goals each week. Explain that holiness is a struggle for everyone, and they should never get discouraged. Remind them that holiness is always possible when they work in cooperation with God grace. The Means This section introduces the students to the sources which should be used to achieve holiness. They are the following: The sacraments, particularly the Eucharist and Reconciliation; Spiritual direction (within or outside of confession) to overcome habits of sin; Spiritual reading that can include the Gospels, the lives of the saints, or other spiritual works. Many students have never thought of the Sacrament of Penance as anything more than a place to get rid of sins. Remind them that this sacrament also helps us to overcome our sinful inclinations, giving us grace to resist temptations and avoid future sins. Everyone involved in athletics knows that he or she is involved in a personal struggle. Remind the 5

8 students of the role coaches play in many people s lives. A coach helps an athlete improve by helping the athlete recognize his or her faults and offering advice. In a similar way, a regular confessor can help someone improve his or her spiritual life by encouraging them to become aware of their weaknesses an suggesting ways to overcome them. Just like success in sports and academics, success in living holiness involves a struggle. Students should be reminded that the desire to serve God should be even greater than their desire to do well in sports or in school. 6 The Starting Point of Evangelization The students should understand that the place to begin the work of evangelization is with their own friends. Students should be helped to realize that they have tremendous opportunities to influence the lives of their friends. Friends listen to friends. Young people have great admiration and respect for other young people who live according to the beliefs they proclaim. This is particularly true of younger students who look up to older students. Martyrdom for Christ It is important to discuss the notion of suffering for one s faith. The martyrs of the Church usually appeal to students because they are examples of heroic courage and fearless conviction. Students are also often fascinated by the various ways in which the martyrs were killed. This section provides a good opportunity for interesting discussion and captivating stories. Discuss what it means to be a witness to the Faith. Ask students for examples of people being persecuted because of their faith, whether it is a saint or someone in everyday life. Remind the students that those who follow Christ have always

9 suffered, but that they are admired and respected for their strength and courage. Remind them also that Christ told his followers that they would be persecuted, but encouraged them, saying he would be with them until the end. Notes Supplementary Reading Discuss with the students why St. Josemaria Escriva s message is important. Explain that before the twentieth century, it was fairly common for people to think that only priests and nuns were called to be holy. Christ and the Church have always called all people to holiness, and St. Josemaria Escriva and others helped remind people of this. Ask the students for examples of how we are called to be holy in our everyday work. Discuss the importance of making our work holy and how it can serve as a means of evangelization. Some students may not even be aware that the Church is still making saints. Try to find a picture from St. Josemaria s canonization in Rome. Show the students that saints are as present in the world now as they have always been. 7

10 Study Questions & Answers 1. Why does the author of the chapter s opening passage say, Sanctity is even the only adventure? Adventure implies venturing forth in freedom. We are never more truly free than when we are on the path to sanctity. [p. 2] 2. Who is called to holiness in the Church? All are called to holiness. [p. 3] 3. What is necessary to achieve holiness? In order to reach this perfection, the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them so that... doing the will of the Father in everything, they may devote themselves to the glory of God and the service of their neighbor. [p. 3] 4. In what century were most Christians killed for Christ? It is a fact that more people were killed for Christ in the twentieth century than in any other century. During the Second World War, millions of Christians were killed by the Communists and the Nazis for witnessing to Christ. [p. 3] 5. Why do popes call councils? The popes have called councils to explain Church teachings in greater detail, or to prevent serious problems from getting out of hand. [p. 3, 4] 6. Where do councils get their names? Councils are named after the city in which they take place. [p. 3, 4] 7. How does St. Paul s title of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, apply to us? It indicates that through the action of Christ, each of us makes up part of Christ s Mystical Body. Just as a body has different organs that serve different purposes, each of us has a different, unique role to play in the Church. If we fail to fulfill the role Christ has planned for us, we hurt everyone else who is a member of the Mystical Body, and even worse, we fail Christ. [p. 4, 5, 6] 8. How do we exercise our apostolate? We exercise our apostolate by directing our activity toward the evangelization and sanctification of men and by penetrating the temporal order through the spirit of the Gospel. [p. 5] 9. How does the grace of the Trinity work in us? The grace of the Trinity enables us to grow continually in wisdom and freedom to do good. Each time we choose to serve God, we become more Christ like, and as we become more Christ like, we have a greater effect on the world. [p. 5] 8

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