There are so many times Catholics hear conflicting information regarding the requirements of sacraments, what is in or out in dogmatic teaching or whether or not Limbo is in or out this year in the deposit of faith. It is time for everyone responsible for Catholic education and catechesis on ALL levels of the faith to get back to work and teach what is contained in the Catholic Catechism of the Church. Our information driven culture unfortunately does not always rely on the proper sources for our Catholic teachings. We have a perfect opportunity to utilize all aspects of media communications to properly educate and teach our own fellow Catholics correctly in the principles of the Catholic Church. In the past few years, one of the greatest developments for catechesis is the World Wide Web, especially official sites of the United States Bishops and the Vaticanâ€™s official website. These resources are the most definitive spots for Catholics and all interested faithful to find the answers they are seeking in an easy, modern and efficient manner. Our technologies have made it possible for us to keep track of the teachings of the Holy Father through daily newsletters, Catholic Online periodicals (on which you are most likely reading this article), text messaging, and video on demand and so on. There are even sites that offer an opportunity for those that are unable to attend religious events the chance to view the Blessed Sacrament in Exposition or even the daily events surrounding a papal visit or trip.
In April, the Unites States is again going to play host to the Holy Father during his first pastoral visit to this country as Pope. It is really a time for all Catholics to keep track of what is unfolding in the papal itinerary, share personal observations and watch as the Church in American gets set to greet its world leader. In the same manner, the technologies we take for granted are also a place where we can study, pray and meditate on matters of faith and religious beliefs. Many places on the World Wide Web offer refuge online for a few moments of prayer and quiet contemplation. With such a developing and technologically perceptive world, we as Catholics are not always able to get to the local Catholic Church. As part of Benedictâ€™s admonition to appreciate Lent as a spiritual banquet and time for retreat, it would help all of us in the balance of our daily routines a sacred moment to learn about our faith and a chance to pray.
During this Lenten period, our Catholic parishes often have events designed to make the most of this spiritual season. Often, Morning and Evening Prayers are offered, Stations of the Cross, Lenten retreats and special homilies are all part of our journey in preparation for Easter. We need to make time for these events, not because we are obligated in any way, but because these events reflect our ardent Catholic desire to become more familiar with our spiritual nature as human beings. A good way to start the journey towards deeper personal prayer and introspection is through online reading, study and prayer. If indeed there are any questions that have had you wondering about answers, the web is a good place to start your research, then follow up with your parish priest, deacon or religious educator. There are many questions being raised in our Catholic communities, in the true spirit of educational truth, and faithful adherence to our Catholic beliefsâ€¦do not speculate or presume answersâ€¦seek out the correct and proper sourceâ€¦
Finally, make time to get involved in your parish communityâ€¦we all miss seeing your smile.