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The “Bread Crumbs” of the Catechism
“In order that the sacrificial offering of his or her faith should be perfect, the person who becomes a disciple of Christ has the right to receive ‘the word of faith’ not in mutilated, falsified or diminished form but whole and entire, in all its rigor and vigor”.[i] But what if I do not know how truths of the Faith connect and cannot present the faith in its whole? Following the “bread crumbs” of the Catechism of the Catholic Church will give me the answer. But what are these “bread crumbs?” The italicized cross references in the margins of the Catechism lead us from pillar to pillar and concretely connect truths of the Faith like individual threads of a web, each thread making the web stronger and stronger. A vital task of catechists is to not just present a bunch of doctrines, but to explain how they interconnect. Why is it so important to make these connections? The General Directory for Catechesis says, “The duties of catechesis correspond to education of the different dimensions of faith…In virtue of its own internal dynamic, the faith demands to be known, celebrated, lived and translated into prayer. Catechesis must cultivate each of these dimensions”. [ii] The Catechism presents these dimensions in its four “pillars”. The 1st pillar explains the Creed, the 2nd illuminates the Sacraments, the 3rd covers the Moral Life and the 4th is concerned with Prayer.