Developing a Catholic worldview (and conscience!) is something that takes much prayer, study, reception of grace through the sacraments, time and effort. Below are some links to help you learn to see the world around you and the events in that world through new eyes, eyes that have the benefit of the corrective lenses provided by the teachings of Christ, guarded and handed on by His Church down through the ages. It is not the Church’s duty to concoct new doctrine but to faithfully protect and transmit what she once received as the deposit of faith, and to reflect and meditate on what she has received so as to grow in her understanding of and love for it, and so also to grow in love for Christ and faithfulness to Him.
Start with the Bible and the Catechism
- New American Bible: This is the one authorized for the Liturgy in the U.S. You can also use other translations. I like my NAB, St. Joseph Edition. I have a few different copies, including a nice big leather edition, and a small personal edition which I carry with me everywhere I go; it’s got all my notes in the margins and tons of bookmarks sticking out all over the place. (Don’t even get me started about the actual footnotes in the text.)
- I also regularly use the RSV I received as a young Methodist (I was 8), the RSV Catholic Edition, the RSV Second Catholic Edition, the RSV Study Bible (notes by Scott Hahn and Curtis Mitch), the Navarre Commentary Bible (so far I only have Acts), and sometimes the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) to compare texts. I also have many versions downloaded to use in my 4 Bible study software programs. (See the Bible study page for links. I’ll add Bible links soon.)
- The Catechism of the Catholic Church. (Link is to page with several different print formats.) Got questions? Find out what the Church really teaches. Read it online. Searchable.
- The old Baltimore Catechismis still useful for its question and answer approach to the faith. People who were catechized this way still remember and know their faith, whether they live it or not. Order from booksellers and/or download in PDF format for free. Below are just a few of the many links I found during a quick web search:
- Project Gutenberg’s Baltimore Catechism No. 4 (of 4)
- http://www.sanctepater.com/2010/02/free-catholic-books.html (Scroll down, look under References.)
- Baltimore Catechism No. 1: http://www.saintsbooks.net/books/Baltimore%20Catechism%20No.%201%20(of%204).pdf
- Sunday School teacher’s explanation of the Baltimore Catechism (1908) in several formats, links on the left of the page: http://archive.org/details/sundayschoolteac00urbauoft
- Pope Benedict XVI has asked that the faithful study the Catechism and the Documents of Vatican II during this Year of Faith. Read the documents online. Listen to Fr. John Trigilio’s show Council of Faith in the EWTN audio library. (Go to EWTN > Libraries > Audio Library, and where it says Search Shows and Episodes, enter search string Council of Faith. That will take you to the show page where you can listen to the show or download the episodes (13 in all).
The Formation and Examination of Conscience and Preparation for the Sacrament of Confession
Quoted from the online guide at the Saint Charles Borromeo website — Six Steps for a Good Confession
- Examine your conscience – what sins have you committed since your last good confession.
- Be sincerely sorry for your sins.
- Confess your sins to the priest.
- Make certain that you confess all your mortal sins and the number of them.
- After your confession, do the penance the priest gives to you.
- Pray daily for the strength to avoid the occasion of sin, especially for those sins you were just absolved from.
- California Youth Grateful to the Pope, online at EWTN.
- Confession Guide for Adults, online at National Catholic Register.
- The Sinner’s Guide, by Ven. Louis of Granada, O.P. A book not a brief confession guide. But listen to this: “St. Teresa of Avila stated that this work of Venerable Louis converted over 1,000,000 souls in her day. She, along with St. John of the Cross, St. Francis de Sales, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Vincent de Paul, and St. Rose of Lima, all counted it among their favorite spiritual books.” On my to-read list. My incredibly long “how will I ever read all of these books?!” to-read list. ;)
- The Blessed Curé of Ars in his Catechetical Instructions, by Saint John Vianney. How you go wrong with Saint John Vianney? Another book for the to-read list.
- A Pocket Guide to Confession by Michael Dubriel.
- How to Make a Good Confession, A Pocket Guide to Reconciliation with God, by Fr. John A. Kane.
There’s an app for almost everything. Confession: A Roman Catholic App will help you perform an examination of conscience, something many of us were never taught.
A Catholic mega-site full of answers
Catholic Answers offers free faith tracts (don’t worry, they’re nothing like those awful things Jack Chick sends out), seminars, radio and podcasts, forums and more. Check out their online store too. Support this great Catholic apostolate!
Catholic Answers is one of the nation’s largest lay-run apostolates of Catholic apologetics and evangelization. Its mission statement explains its purpose: Catholic Answers is an apostolate dedicated to serving Christ by bringing the fullness of Catholic truth to the world. We help good Catholics become better Catholics, bring former Catholics “home,” and lead non-Catholics into the fullness of the faith. We explain Catholic truth, equip the faithful to live fully the sacramental life, and assist them in spreading the Good News. — From the CA Mission Statement.
Check out their Vote Your Faith site. The Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics (PDF online) and also the Voter’s Guide for Serious Christians are helpful. I wish every Catholic and non-Catholic Christian had read these, the Gospel of Life before last year’s election. Things might be very different now and we might be moving closer to a culture of life instead of hurtling headlong toward being a culture of death.
Online Catholic Encyclopedia
The Original Catholic Encyclopedia is another online resource that I use regularly. It may not be new, but I think it’s invaluable. I’m sure you’ll find the OCE very useful too.
This Original Catholic Encyclopedia (OCE) site holds the complete 16 volume set with the original text of all articles (~11,500) faithfully preserved…Catholic Answers began the process of creating an authoritative reproduction of this classic, world-renowned reference by scanning 14,000+ pages from the original volumes and processing the scans with OCR software. Issues that arose from the scanning/OCR process were addressed by a team of Catholic editors and technicians. All TCE content on this site was produced by Catholic Answers directly from original Catholic Encyclopedia print volumes. [Emphasis mine.]
News from a Catholic Perspective
- Catholic News Agency: “Founded in continued response to Pope John Paul II’s call for a “New Evangelization…”
- The World Over main page at EWTN; archived in the audio library (series are listed alphabetically) or use this link to subscribe to recent shows in podcast (XML).
- Zenit: The World Seen From Rome; various languages.
Life Issues & Bioethics from a Catholic Perspective
- Important note: After learning about the the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and their support (financial and otherwise) of an incredibly long list of radical socialist groups and “community organizations” (same thing), I have decided to keep the USCCB link in the list but with a caveat, to quote our Lord:
“THEN Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to his disciples, Saying: The scribes and the Pharisees have sitten on the chair of Moses. All things therefore whatsoever they shall say to you, observe and do: but according to their works do ye not; for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy and insupportable burdens, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but with a finger of their own they will not move them.” Matthew 23: 1-4. (Hey, sounds a lot like our politicians, too!)
A lot of our American bishops (not all!) are hypocrites and wolves in sheep’s clothing. (No offense to wolves. I like wolves. The animal kind, not the human kind.) Learn more about the situation with the American bishops. Watch these videos, over an hour each of shocking truth about the hijacking of the Church by socialist revolutionaries: The CCHD and Alinsky, Obama’s Counterfeit Catholics.
- Priests for Life: Spreading the Gospel of Life; Fr. Frank Pavone, Nat’l Director.
- Option Line’s 24-Hour Pregnancy Hotline.
- Human Life Int’l: “In many countries, HLI is the pro-life movement.”
- Population Research Int’l: Dispelling the myth of overpopulation. Check out Understanding Overpopulation: The Basic Concepts.
- Women for Faith and Family: Helen Hull Hitchcock, director. Pro-life, promoting true feminism and beautiful faithful liturgy too.
- LifeNews.com: independent news agency specifically devoted to reporting news that affects the pro-life community. (Not primarily Catholic, but they I think they cover pro-life news pretty well.)
Understanding and Living the Gospel of Life
- Study materials @ the Priests for Lifewebsite.”Priests for Life continues to rejoice in the gift which Pope John Paul II has given to the Church in the encyclical letter, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life). This document is the most comprehensive and authoritative statement of the Magisterium on the tragedies of abortion and euthanasia, and on the good news of the dignity of the human person.”Priests for Life was one of the very first associations in the Church to provide a commentary on this encyclical. It consists of two 45-minute talks given by Fr. Frank Pavone, and is available from the Priests for Life office on one audio tape entitled We are the People of Life. You may listen to this tape right here on the Internet in RealAudio or MP3 Format part 1: Listen or Download and part 2: Listen or Download.“We must commit ourselves to never be silent in the face of lies, never be passive in defense of truth, and never forget the plight of our unborn brothers and sisters. — Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life.”
Theology of the Body
- Theology of the Body Institute: Pope John Paul II devoted the first major teaching project of his pontificate – 129 short talks between September of 1979 and November of 1984 – to providing a profoundly beautiful vision of human embodiment and erotic love. He gave this project the working title “theology of the body.”
- 129 General Audiences from 1979-1984 given by Pope John Paul II on his Theology of the Body. This is the foundational material. I’m downloading and studying these myself now.
The “rich patrimony” of John Paul II’s teaching “has not yet been assimilated by the Church. My personal mission is not to issue many new documents, but to ensure that his documents are assimilated.” —Benedict XVI (Interview on John Paul II’ s Legacy, October 16, 2005) [Quoted from the Theology of the Body Institute page, What is the Theology of the Body?]
Update April 29 2019: I’m going through these pages, one by one, to check links and make any necessary corrections. If you find any broken links, etc., please let me know. Thanks, and thanks for reading. God bless!