We continue the 52 week plan to grow in Catholic Manhood by becoming a better Catholic Son and Catholic Father. In honor of St. Joseph, the great earthly father of God, every Wednesday throughout the year we will look at one of the Catholic Manhood habits to grow in holiness and happiness.

We continue the second major habit this week: Major Habit 2 – Be Continually Formed in the Catholic Church. 

Major Habit 2 can be broken down into three smaller habits. Last week, we studied Habit 8 – Study the Lives of the Saints. 

We turn our attention to Habit 9.  

Habit 9 Study using Trustworthy Catechists and Sources

Grow in the faith under the guidance of trustworthy catechists, including your parish priest and deacon, to continue to grow in understanding of the faith through the reading of Church teachings, the reading of great Catholic books, and participating in bible studies, classes, retreats and parish missions.

What is a catechist? – A “catechist” (from a Latin word which means “to echo”) is someone who is well-formed in the Catholic faith and who faithfully passes on (“echos”) the Catholic faith to others in “an organic and systematic way, with a view to intimating the hearers into the fullness of Christian life” (CCC ⁠15).

What is a trustworthy catechist? – The Catholic faith has been faithfully preserved and passed down for over 2000 years by Christ’s Holy Catholic Church (CCC 9) despite the rise of various heresies; heresy is “the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed” (CCC 2089). 

A trustworthy catechist has been formed in the fullness of the Catholic faith and has the “obedience of faith” (CCC 2087), is committed to nourish and protect faith with prudence and vigilance, and who vehemently avoids sins against the faith: doubt or the rejection of some necessary Catholic truth through neglect, refusal to assent, outright denial or doubt (CCC 2088). 

Why is having a trustworthy catechist important? – To avoid his own sins against the faith, a man needs to be taught by those who are not themselves guilty of sins against the faith. 

Jesus warned against untrustworthy teachers who He called “false prophets” (Mt 7:15-16, 24:24) who teach false doctrine (Mt 23:13) and lead men astray (Mt 24:11; Mk 13:22). St. Peter (2 Pt 2:1-3), St. John (1 Jn 3:1) and St. Paul (1 Tim 4:1-2) also warn against false teachers.

How do I discern if a catechist is trustworthy? – A trustworthy catechist has been thoroughly trained in the faith, has an good reputation and is endorsed by trustworthy authority (priests, apostolates, schools), uses Scripture guided by the Catholic Church, links teaching to the Catechism, and uses materials endorsed by the Magisterium (the teaching office of the Church). 

Importantly, a trustworthy catechist does not teach things which oppose dogmas of the Church, and avoids novelties and personal interpretations which create confusion and scandal. 

What are some trusted sources of catechesis? – This is not a comprehensive list, but here are some trusted catechists and organizations:

This week’s questions – Each week there are a few questions to help you meditate upon the habit of the week. Here are this week’s questions: 

How might learning more about the faith be a blessing to me and others?

After reviewing the above, what is one source which could help me grow in the faith?

This week’s commitments Making a habit a reality requires commitment to concrete action. Here is this week’s challenge:

Commit to take the next step in growing in the faith through personal bible or catechism study or by enrolling in a course at your parish.

Don’t forget to pray with the ECM Daily Gospel Devotional each day.

Consider listening to the EveryCatholicMan.com Gospel Devotional Podcast to be better prepared for Sunday Mass.

Daily Prayer – During the week, pray this short prayer, or one like it, to be led to trusted sources and catechists who can help you grow in the knowledge of the Faith :

Holy Spirit, You desire for me to grow ever deeper in the Catholic Faith so I can live a more holy and happy life and pass along the faith to others. Please give me the Gift of Knowledge and lead me to trustworthy sources and catechists who can help me grow in knowledge of the Faith. Amen.

anImage_8.tiff

1 Catechism of the Catholic Church