Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Living the Catechism with Cardinal Schönborn

I was working in my office yesterday when I heard a thump in the corner. Some books had fallen off my shelf “all by themselves.” I went to see.

Four slim volumes entitled Living the Catechism of the Catholic Church were lying on the floor in a stack, as though a conscientious librarian were about to catalog them. Written by Christopher Schönborn, the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna (left), the books offer A Brief Commentary on the Catechism for Every Week of the Year.

Just as I am embarking on a year-long (or longer) series of posts on the Catechism. Hmmm.

Here’s a short excerpt from Schönborn, Volume 1, chapter 3, “Seeking and Finding God,” which corresponds with CCC paragraphs 1–49, or what I’ve been writing about since Sunday:

Why is our knowledge of God often so faint and cloudy as to make God seem an unreal idea?

The causes of this are many. Our reason is weak, we remain preoccupied with what is immediately before us, we cling to the sensory surface of things. Above all, however, we are crippled by an intellectual lethargy, stemming from original sin, that allows us to shirk the efforts and sacrifices involved in seeking the truth (CCC 37). 

In order to know God, we must seek him, which requires a willing with all our power. But that is lacking in us. God has certainly given us the reason and will with which to seek and find him. Yet we would remain, for our part, “in darkness and in the shadow of death” (Lk 1:79) had he not accommodated himself to us in a wholly new way: through his revelation. 

Which is a nice way of introducing the posts that will begin tomorrow, on The Revelation of God (CCC 51–73).

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