The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Articles Under: Marriage and Family

Those who have children and those who teach children have firsthand experience of the child’s need to do his own work. The very young child expresses this need quite bluntly: “I do it!” As the child matures, the expression becomes more nuanced and polite: “May I try?” In what appears to be a regression, the adolescent expresses the same need, though not with the same charm: “Why don’t you trust me?” I would argue that the child’s desire to “do for self” stems not from unruliness but rather from an intrinsic need impressed upon his nature by God himself. The... Read more
Teachers, administrators, and others working in Catholic schools are devoted to their students. They want what is best for them. This is why they will want to increase the variety and level of support offered to parents. Doing so will not only help mothers and fathers fulfill their responsibilities to their children but also help the school fulfill its own obligations—both to those whom they serve directly and to the Church and her mission. The Church consistently affirms the importance of the family. In Lumen Gentium , Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, we are told that “the family... Read more
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Pope St. John Paul II capped the second cycle of his Theology of the Body (TOB) catechesis [1] with a set of reflections on how a healthy sense of shame should govern our experience of the sexuality of the body through various forms of media (TOB 60–63). In particular, he highlighted the importance of shame in maintaining a proper respect for the naked body and in helping us recognize the grave disorders embedded in pornography. In 2015, the USCCB promulgated Create in Me a Clean Heart , which explicitly builds upon St. John Paul II’s catechesis and provides an excellent... Read more
The Rosary is arguably the most widely prayed, most enduring devotion in Catholic history. Many have spoken about the power and beauty of the Rosary. Pope St. Pius X said, “Amidst all prayers, the Rosary is the most beautiful, the richest in graces, and the one that most pleases the Most Holy Virgin.” [1] October, the month of the Rosary, is the perfect time to introduce this beloved prayer to children and to encourage families to pray it together. The following are some recommendations for handing on this treasure of the Church. Remind Your Learners That Mary Is Our Mother... Read more
Pope St. John Paul II devoted about 30 percent of his Theology of the Body (TOB) Catechesis (TOB 24–64) to extensive reflections on Jesus’s teaching in Matthew 5:27–28 regarding the need to avoid “lust” in the recesses of the human heart. St. John Paul II did not focus so intently on this teaching simply to hammer home the evils of lust. Instead, he saw lust as an acute threat to the divine plan for human love, and that plan for love was always his greatest concern. He repeatedly presents the teaching of Jesus not so much as a condemnation of... Read more
Pope St. John Paul II explicitly linked his Theology of the Body (TOB) catechesis [i] with the synod that he convoked to explore “the tasks that Christ gives to marriage and to the Christian family” (TOB 1:5). I n his post-synodal document, Familiaris Consortio , he states, “To bear witness to the inestimable value of the indissolubility and fidelity of marriage is one of the most precious and most urgent tasks of Christian couples in our times.” In that same section of Familiaris Consortio , he specifically mentions the modern mentality that “openly mocks the commitment of spouses to fidelity,”... Read more
The Theology of the Body (TOB) catechesis [i] culminates with profound teachings on responsible parenthood and a vigorous defense of Humanae vitae , but St. John Paul II equally proclaimed the depth and importance of the unitive aspect of marriage. In fact, nearly half of the TOB reflections are based directly on Jesus’ teachings on the indissolubility of marriage (TOB 1–23, based on Mt 19) and the monogamy of marriage (TOB 24–63, based on Mt 5). While emphasizing the inseparability between the procreative and unitive aspects, a key teaching of Humanae vitae , St. John Paul II also provided a... Read more
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