Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lawn Chair Catechism, Week 1: Part 1, Chapter 1

This summer I am challenging myself to read and keep up with the Lawn Chair Catechism book being discussed over at The book this summer is A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic's Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe by Joe Paprocki.

If you want to join in, the complete schedule is at the Lawn Chair Catechism page and includes a link to the Leader's Guide (where the weekly discussion questions can be found). It's not too late if you want to join in. Just get the book and start reading and jump in whenever you can.

So here we go:

My first thought, when I saw the acronym H.E.L.P., I got worried. It often takes me a while to remember what an acronym stands for, especially when it's not just one word for each initial, as is the case with this one. But, just one chapter in and I think I'm getting the hang of it. Maybe! I'm sure I'll be flipping back to the Introduction throughout my reading of the book to constantly refresh my memory.

But I like the idea of it:
H = Holding onto the faith (the Creed)
E = Expressing the faith (sacraments)
L = Living the faith (Catholic morality)
P = Praying the faith (prayer)

By the end of the book, I may have this well ingrained in my head. Let's hope!

Tonight, before I got around to reading this first chapter, I was nursing the baby in his room before putting him to bed. As I rocked in the glider and he ate I realized that I did not bring my iPod Touch up with me as I usually do. I got over the initial disappointment rather quickly as I came to the realization that this was a perfect time for some prayer time with God. A good time to speak with him and try to listen as well.

It was hard at first. Unfortunately I don't do this often enough. I hate to admit that, but what better time for a little honesty, right? So I found myself contemplating the intellectual knowledge of God versus the emotional or "heart knowledge" of God. I always feel like I understand things on an intellectual level and I accept them on that level, but that I lack in the area of pure emotional love for God.

Imagine my surprise when I started reading and got to the part where Paprocki discusses ideas versus beliefs. It was all right there! To believe requires both head and heart. The head part is easy for me; the heart part I find a little tougher. I often find myself asking God, "Lord, I believe, help my unbelief."

In the little of this book I have read so far, I think it will speak well to my thirst for head knowledge. On the other hand, I can see that it will likely help foster my desire for my heart to swell with a greater belief in our beautiful faith, too. It's there now, it's just not as balanced as it should be.

This first chapter establishes what the four pillars of the Catholic Church are. I'm looking forward to getting deeper into each pillar and the richness found within each.

To wrap this up, this section from the Introduction chapter speaks to me strongly and gets to the heart of my own need to balance things:

"God is actively present in our lives, shaping us into the person that reflects his divine image. Learning about our faith is not simply an intellectual exercise. It is a movement of the heart. St. Anselm taught that theology can be thought of as 'faith seeking understanding.'" (pg. xiv)

This reminds me that I am right where God wants me to be. I may be more drawn to learning about the faith on an intellectual level, but God will use that to help shape me to accept more and more with my heart. It strikes me in a powerful way. It makes me wonder what all God has in store for me!

How exciting!!

This post is linked up to Part 1: The Creed and Chapter 1: Laying a Firm Foundation {Lawn Chair Catechism} at Come on over and check out the discussion.

No comments:

Post a Comment