You may have missed the fracus a few years back when I killed Santa Claus, but his memory still lives on. In our house now, “Santa” means “unexpected gifts from Mom and Dad.” This past Christmas, see, Santa gave each of my children a copy of the new Youth Cathechism, also known as the YOUCAT.
You may also have missed the fracus about the YOUCAT when it first came out. I heard some screeches from the far reaches of Extremistan, but truthfully, I didn’t pay them much attention. Instead, I “liked” the YOUCAT’s Facebook page and what I saw there prompted me, I mean Santa, to stuff a copy of it in each of my three children’s stockings.
They’ve been reading it too, especially when I say at the dinner table something like, “tonight, I want each one of you to share something that you liked that you found in the YOUCAT.” Yep, I’m scary that way. And I’m even scarier when I’m like this on Saturday: “For your 20 minutes of reading time this afternoon, start reading in Section Three of the YOUCAT, and at dinner we’ll discuss what stood out to you.”
By the way, usually when I do things like this, I receive a reenactment of the groanings of the people of Israel under the oppressive yoke of the Pharoahs. A win-win situation on the parental front! I get to endure what God endured from His people. Stiff-necked generations r’ us at Casa del Weathers, for sure. No matter. Everyone is amused and entertained, only if you count the folks who are over eighteen or who have four legs.
Back to the YOUCAT, there is another reason why I love it, aside from the obvious parent-child bonding rituals. I dig the neat quotations and sayings that are in the sidebars on the pages. Many times the publisher will share these on their Facebook wall, which is what prompted me to purchase it.
Here is one from today,
We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution.
Each of us is the result of a thought of God.
Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.
Pope Benedict XVI,
April 24, 2005
YOUCAT page 38
Neat, huh? On the YIMCatholic Facebook page, I shared this one recently,
Draw your strength simply from your joy in Jesus. Be happy and peaceful. Accept whatever he gives. And give whatever he takes, with a big smile.
Bl. Teresa of Calcutta (1910–1997) to her coworkers YOUCAT page 177
And this one too,
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jn 6:54, YOUCAT page 143
This one came with the neat little drawing that is at the top of the post,
Someone who is not temptedSt. Augustine (354–430)
is not tested;
someone who is not tested
makes no progress.
YOUCAT page 286
What I’ve found myself doing lately, is picking up the YOUCAT myself from time to time, just for fun. I love the fact that in the Foreword, my Pope writes,
So I invite you: Study this Catechism! That is my heartfelt desire. This Catechism was not written to please you. It will not make life easy for you, because it demands of you a new life. It places before you the Gospel message as the ‘pearl of great value’ (Mt 13:46) for which you must give everything. So I beg you: Study this Catechism with passion and perseverance.
Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination.
Do not make that an excuse to flee from the face of God! You yourselves are the Body of Christ, the Church! Bring the undiminished fire of your love into this Church whose countenance has so often been disfigured by man. ‘Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord!’ (Rom 12:11).
I must admit that even today it still seems to me to be a miracle that this project finally succeeded.
In the World Youth Days since the introduction of the Catechism of the Catholic Church—Rome, Toronto, Cologne, Sydney—young people from all over the world have come together, young people who want to believe, who are seeking God, who love Christ, and who want fellowship on their journey. In this context the question arose: should we not attempt to translate the Catechism of the Catholic Church into the language of young people? Should we not bring its great riches into the world of today’s youth?
I hope that many young people will let themselves be fascinated by this book.
Many people say to me: The youth of today are not interested in this. I disagree, and I am certain that I am right. The youth of today are not as superficial as some think. They want to know what life is really all about.
You need to know what you believe. You need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing. Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination. You need God’s help if your faith is not going to dry up like a dewdrop in the sun, if you want to resist the blandishments of consumerism, if your love is not to drown in pornography, if you are not going to betray the weak and leave the vulnerable helpless.
Yes, that is me getting crazy with the bold highlights there. Here’s the reason why. Because when it comes to life and the faith, I’m no different than my children. And having spent a little time with the YOUCAT now myself, I heartily endorse it not only for your children but for you, dear reader.