Chapter 1, Our Most Important Job
Parents are asked to consider their primary obligation to their children--to raise them to love and serve God and spend eternity with Him. Scripture, reason, and personal experience are used to encourage parents to put God and the Catholic faith at the center of their lives.
Chapter 2, Square One--God
The first step in raising good Catholics is instilling a rock-solid faith and love for God. There are plenty of people who learned the facts of their religion but one day lost all faith, not only in religion but in God. God is so obvious and so wonderful in our lives, that we can introduce our children to Him daily. They can feel, see and experience Him in the world around them as well as read about Him in the Bible. Part of believing in God however, is still believing in Him when the going gets tough. Lots of scripture, personal experiences and thoughts used throughout.
Chapter 3, The Trinity
Although we can never totally understand God, we can get to know Him better through the Blessed Trinity. This chapter contains thoughts and scripture to help our children learn about the three persons in God.
Chapter 4, Church
In this chapter we move to more specific teaching. Using scripture, the necessity of belonging to a church and not just “going it alone” is brought out. Jesus’ teachings show why we need to belong to an organized church.
Chapter 5, One Church
Now we move full steam ahead into the crux of differences within Christianity. There are hundreds of Christian denominations, but Jesus established only one Church. Relying on scripture, reasons are given as to why all Christian denominations are not created equal. If truth is the goal, then we need to seek a church that can guarantee it is teaching the full truth. Since Jesus promised us the gates of hell would not prevail against His Church, there must be one church free from teaching in error--the very same one He established before His ascension--the Roman Catholic Church.
Chapter 6, Church Authority
Squabbling between Christian denominations boils down to whose authority is believed. Do we follow our own authority, a favorite preacher, Martin Luther, or the Roman Catholic Church? Scripture and history explain why we need to trust in the teachings--all the teachings--of our Church. If our children learn to trust Church authority, provocative questions by anti-Catholics will not throw them, even when they are unsure of the answers. Once our children understand, why they can trust the teachings of the Catholic Church, complete faith in its teachings will follow naturally. There is a strong awareness in this chapter that many parents themselves may not accept full Church authority.
Chapter 7, The Pope
The natural next step in accepting the authority of the Roman Catholic Church, is to acknowledge the leadership of the vicar of Christ, the pope. Infallibility is also explained. Scripture is examined closely to understand why anti-pope arguments are incorrect.
Chapter 8, The Eucharist
This chapter relies heavily on scripture interpretation and explains why the only logical conclusion is that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist. The argument by anti-Catholics that Jesus was speaking metaphorically when He said, “This is my body,” is disproved with logic, confirmation throughout scripture, and an explanation of the Greek word for the verb “is” which is often defined incorrectly to try and disprove the literal meaning of Christ’s words.
Chapter 9, The Sacraments
In this chapter, scripture is used to explain why Catholics have seven sacraments. Personal experience is shared to offer ideas on preparing children for Reconciliation, First Communion, and Confirmation.
Chapter 10, Sacraments
Catholics recognize seven sacraments in all. Scriptural and historical reasons are given as to why the Catholic Church believe Christ gave his Church seven sacraments. The Eucharist and Confession were covered in previous chapters so the remaining five are explained. Issues such as Church annulments, infant baptism, and priestly celibacy are addressed.
Chapter 11, Our Blessed Mother, Mary
History and scripture interpretation explain why Catholic teaching on the mother of God can be fully embraced. This chapter explains that Catholics are not the ones who made a big deal out of Mary. God opted to do that. He chose to elevate her as the Mother of God, He allowed His new covenant with us to rest on the consent of a single woman, Mary, and He chose to have His son become man, flesh from her flesh. God chose to go through Mary to come to us, so we follow Him and trust that the surest path to God is through the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of God the Holy Spirit, and the Mother of God the Son.
Chapter 12, Faith vs. Good Works
Can we work our way into heaven? If Jesus’ sacrifice defeated death and opened the gates of heaven, aren’t we guaranteed eternal happiness if we believe in Him? In this chapter the Protestant notion of being saved by “faith alone” is explained. Jesus taught that faith is essential, but it is only the beginning. Catholic teaching shows that Protestants and Catholics actually agree with one another that it is not our good works that earn us the right to heaven. Catholics however , believe that good works are a necessary response to a full faith in Jesus Christ.
Chapter 13, Angels and Saints
Non-Catholics typically shudder at the sight of a statue of a saint much the same as we would cringe at a worship ceremony before some pagan idol. History shows that even the early Christians asked the saints to intercede and pray for them. Novenas, relics and devotion to the saints are explained according to Catholic teaching.
Chapter 14, Prayer
Many popular Catholic prayers are given here. The rosary is explained and suggestions for family prayer times shared. Scripture is also used to dispute the common attack on Catholic memorized prayers as being “vain repetition.”
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