Saint Polycarp by Ermes Dovico

The Daily Compass brings us back to the catechism

From today, the first Sunday of Advent and the start of the liturgical year, the Daily Compass will dedicate every Sunday to the catechism. Lessons will be  taught by Professor Luisella Scrosati which are introduced today with a reflection written by Cardinal Robert Sarah.

Ecclesia 28_11_2021 Italiano Español

One cannot have a true experience of God without knowing and adhering to the content of the faith, without the catechism. This thought, expressed by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship, is the origin of the new Daily Compass initiative, "Sunday Catechism": today we are introduced straight to the heart of this initiative with a reflection written by Cardinal Sarah, who explains the importance, indeed the urgency, of knowing and teaching catechism. Every Sunday thereafter, we will publish a lesson by Luisella Scrosati which will start from the articles of the Creed.

“Sunday Catechism” recalls the popular name with which so many generations have called catechism lessons, which in the memories of many, took place on Sunday morning. It is not a question of nostalgia, simply that name expresses well our goal: to re-propose and make accessible to everyone, the contents of our Catholic faith, in a moment of great confusion in the Church, in which the faith is reduced to sentiment and everyone feels free to invent their own Catholic "doctrine". It is a question of re-proposing an objective content where presently subjective opinion triumphs, the process typical of the phenomenon of Protestantism that the Church is currently experiencing.

Above all, it could be said that year and year, and even after decades, during which time the catechism has been phased out, the Catholic faithful are by now profoundly ignorant of the contents of Revelation. Very few would know how to explain the parts of the Creed which, nonetheless, they confess every Sunday at Mass. And it is precisely from the Creed, from our profession of faith, that the course proposed by the Compass begins. 

It is not a question, as many might think, of creating an antagonism or a contradiction between doctrine and real life, between an intellectual knowledge of the Law and an encounter with Christ. Quite the contrary: it is a true encounter that really leads to the desire to know Revelation. It is like a man or a woman falling in love, they desire to know everything about the other person: their life story, thoughts and values. So that a true union can grow between them. The same is for Christ: the doctrine is exactly Jesus who speaks to us about Himself, His heavenly and earthly family, and explains the destiny to which He calls us. We cannot grow in true communion with Christ without truly knowing who He is.

Sunday was the obvious choice for this initiative because this is the Lord's day which is dedicated especially to prayer and meditation. Prayer also serves to put the small and large events we deal with every day in the right perspective: prayer and doctrine constitute the judgment from which all others spring.

We begin, not surprisingly, with the start of the new liturgical year, the first Sunday of Advent: it is the liturgical calendar that also dictate our initiatives, and it is significant that the beginning of the lessons coincides with this intense period which underlines the advent of Jesus, of His salvation and His return; the expectation of Jesus who should be the meaning of every moment of our life. It is with this open heart and with this desire to know Jesus that we begin this new Sunday course, an adventure that will help us appreciate even better the love that God has for each one of us.