I’ve always known my 1970’s “Jesus Loves Me” catechism was bland, even when I was a kid in the middle of it. Today I think of how dysfunctional it has made many Catholics including myself now that I work to learn what was never taught.
I remember trying to teach myself by reading some books dad had in his book case. Imagine a 14 year old kid reading, “The Baltimore Catechism” series to learn what confirmation was truly about, for lack of anything else that would help me understand it. I would ask questions as I was hungry for answers and the response was always the same, “But Jesus Loves You”. Well, I should add that I got the “God is Love, and Love is God” response alot too.
What really put a burr under my saddle is when I realized a few weeks ago that they stripped my catechism of any talk of the following (not that it wasn’t ever brought up, but it wasn’t taught and some things even mentioned just in passing).
Devotion (Hey, why bother when you can just “talk to God”)
Sin (No explanation needed other than empty confession lines with a few folks that all have grey hair - in fact, most churches are full of saints because the communion lines are so long, but confession lines so short).
Sacrifice (“If it feels good do it”, and “do what you feel is good for you” replaced, “offer it up” and the Acts of Kindness and Acts fo Charity)
Justice (supports notion of lack of talk about sin, because catechism focused on God’s love and mercy - even though they didn’t teach us to seek the latter in confession - but never on the fact that we will face him in final judgement).
The bottom line is I think someone tried to strip the Cross from Catholicism by taking us straight from the birth of Jesus to his Resurrection, with nothing in between other than love and mercy.
Am I alone on this?
What is your favorite catechism book. I now have the CCC and Fr. John Hardens, “The Catholic Catechism”. Any other good ones out there? I know the Baltimore Catechism series is pretty rich in content, provided it is balanced out with anything that it must be in the CCC since it was written pre-Vatican II.