Updated and Revised, February 27, 2023
Developing a Catholic heart and mind, learning to think with the mind of the Church, learning to read Scripture in the heart of the Church, takes prayer, study, grace, especially 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, in likeness of Him, and faithfulness to Him. And it’s our duty to take in what the Church hands on, to make it ours, to let it seep deep down into our bones, and to become fully and totally His, to become sons and daughters of the Church.
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 used to use my NAB, St. Joseph Personal Edition Bible because it’s small enough to carry around easily. But now I’m home most of the time, no need for a small Bible, and my eyesight has gotten really troublesome, so I use digital Bibles more than printed ones. 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, not to mention many digital versions. Sites like BibleGateway allow you to use many Bibles online. Very handy.
- Fr. Mike’s Catechism In A Year podcast on YouTube, Spotify, Apple, or the Ascension Press website. Highly recommended.
- Online editions of the Catechism you can use for free: USCCB, the Vatican, St. Charles Borromeo, and Catholic Culture.
- Moral Conscience, from the Catechism.
- Catechism of the Catholic Church: Get your very own copy of the Catechism with the “brand-new, specially designed Foundations of Faith approach” from Ascension Press. (Not an affiliate link.) I’m enjoying my copy but I haven’t used it enough to do a review yet.
- Amazon Search page for Catechism of the Catholic Church (Amazon affiliate link, see Full Disclosure below for more info).
- Fr. Mike’s Bible In A Year podcast on the Ascension Press website, YouTube, Spotify, or Apple. Highly recommended.
- The old Baltimore Catechism is 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.)
- 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
Next, some other reading
- Forming a Catholic Conscience (article)
- Forming a Catholic Conscience (different article)
- What We Can’t Not Know: A Guide, by J. Budziszewski: Paperback, Kindle. (Affiliate links, see Full Disclosure below,)
As always, if you find any broken links, etc., anywhere on the site, please let me know. Thanks. And thanks for reading. God bless!
Image: The Angelus, by Jean-François Millet, via Wikimedia Common, public domain.
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