A “cri de coeur”: Fr Z responds with a strong suggestion.

I had a note, really a cri de coeur, from a reader who said that she feels as if she and other good and innocent people in the Church today are undergoing one terror attack after another against our Catholic identity, one mass shooting or bus bombing or renegade truck smashing after another.

While I can try to calm and talk people off of ledges, I am not going to say that we are in a good situation right now.

When natural or man made disasters loom or occur, I often post about preparedness.  Take steps and make plans while things are relatively calm so that you don’t have to scramble for the basics when the moment comes to ACT.

When spiritual man-made disasters loom or occur, I must now post about preparedness.  Take steps and make plans.

What sorts of things might you do?

Of course, make a regular examination of your conscience and GO TO CONFESSION!

That, of course, means that you have to take steps to form your conscience properly.  And this is precisely the problem today, when it comes to increasingly frequent attacks on our Catholic identity.

These days there are strong, loud voices shouting down those who teach about the proper role of conscience and the formation of a Catholic conscience and instead are imposing by fiat a dangerous variation of the role of conscience.  Moreover, you might be in a parish or a school where you are being subjected to this twisting of conscience.

We must struggle against this oncoming tide and lose not spirit, trust in God, nor TIME.  We have to start now.   

As part of your spiritual prepping, you need to get your hands on trustworthy sources for your Catholic identity and even form small support and study groups.

One source that everyone can and should have is…

The Catechism of the Catholic Church.

US HERE – UK HERE (There are many editions.  Look around.)

I am a huge fan of Kindles (US HERE – UK HERE), but you should also have the BOOK, the material volume which you can hold in your hand and write in.  Get the book, which you can flip around in and hold spots in with a couple fingers as you cross check.

Read it.  Pick it up. Read portions every day.   Form a reading group with other Catholics.

St. John Paul II called the CCC, “a sure reference point”.   It is precisely the Magisterium of  John Paul that the present days powers are trying to obscure and, eventually, obliterate.

Possession of a copy of the CCC, and a solid familiarity with it, can be both shield and sword in the defense of your Catholic Faith.

Ignorance of the Faith makes you a potential victim of the predations of the libs.

When you hear from the pulpit or some other place a dubious notion that rings an alarm bell, check your CCC.   Then you can decide to ask Bp. McButterpants or Fr. Hugalot what gives.  “You said X, but the Catechism says Y.  [Then, with a smile…] What’s with that?”

Along with the Catechism of the Catholic Church you can review the always dependable Roman Catechism, the The Roman Catechism: The Catechism of the Council of Trent for Parish Priests.  Fathers… note the title.  Do you have a copy?  You should.  You should know this stuff like a mathematician knows his tables.  It’s basic.  And it’s not optional.

US HERE – UK HERE (There are many editions.  Look around.)

Also, make use of volumes of the wonderful Baltimore Catechism, which has different volumes for different ages (US HERE – UK HERE).  It’s so useful, in its Q&A format.   The Catechism of Pius X is also great.  (US HERE – UK HERE).  There are many good resources available.

However, make sure you have the Catechism of the Catholic Church.  


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Cri de Coeur, Semper Paratus, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. youngcatholicgirl says:

    I am currently doing a Catholic health course using “Casti Conubii” by Pius IX, “Love and Responsibility” by Karol Wojtyla, and, of course, “The Catechism of the Catholic Church”. Your post made me grateful to be doing it at this time, Fr. Z.

  2. Adaquano says:

    A very good reminder Father. I remember my pastor in high school and college frequently emphasized that every family have a bible and a catechism.

    Incidentally my wife, son and I went to a different parish this weekend and actually had a homily that acknowledged Hell and the importance of the sacraments. I noticed lots of young families, maybe there is a connection.

  3. Nan says:

    I have that and just bought a Ukrainian catechism.

  4. majuscule says:

    Get ahold of Archbishop Cordileone’s homily from his Mass for the Consecration of the Archdiocese of San Francisco to the Immaculate Heart of Mary this past Saturday.

    He mentioned the reality of Hell.

    He told us to pray the rosary every day and as a family of possible.

    He reminded us that penitential Fridays never went away. (Go meatless or give up something else you like or even skip a meal!)

    He recommended confession at least once a month.

    I hope this inspires the more traditional priests in the archdiocese. He has their backs. We need to support them.

  5. gracie says:

    It’s important to have a physical copy of The Catechism of the Catholic Church for when it’s banned as hate speech and internet providers no longer make it digitally available. Ditto for any other books that print the truth.

    To take it a step further, our ancestors were wise to have children memorize the truths of the Catholic faith so that they would internally know it backwards and forwards and not have to rely on outside sources for the information. Perhaps they lived with memories of persecution and knew that the only safe place to keep the knowledge of the Catholic faith was inside their heads.

    “All this philosophy, let’s get rid of it. It’s no good . . . we’ve all got to be alike. The only way to be happy is for everyone to be made equal. So, Montag, we must burn the books . . . all the books.” – Fahrenheit 451:


  6. Mike says:

    If you are reading Fr. Z’s Blog, you already know something of the difference between timeless Catholicism and the neo-Catholicism that’s been foisted on us to a greater or lesser degree for two generations. If you study a sound Catechism, you’ll know it better.

    (Would Fr. Hardon’s Catechism be suitable as well?)

    [That’s the catechism I was given when I was on my way into the Church. HERE]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  7. Mr. Graves says:

    This PDF is useful for a systematic study of the Bible and the Catechism in a reasonable amount of time each day. With a bit more time and an Orchard’s Commentary, it’s invaluable.


  8. Elizium23 says:

    From time to time, I struggle greatly with the weight of the world on my shoulder. The sky is falling, everyone is going to pot, where could we possibly be headed, and what’s with this handbasket?

    This is wrong and bad and a Christian should not be burdened with these feelings.

    My leaders and preachers have slowly but surely drilled an idea into me: Christ has won the battle. We know how the story ends. Trust in God, and do not be afraid.

    And this is what I should be concentrating my time and energy on: personal holiness and evangelization. I do myself no good to spend hours on Facebook making angry-faces and caustic comments on the sinful way of the world. I do not help myself by giving the stink-eye on the bus to people who trespass against me. I must concentrate on exercising personal virtue, growing in holiness, and proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom of God. If I am busy doing these things then I shall not have time for negativity. I am assured to be filled with joy and peace. I can better preserve my state of grace and restore it quickly if or when it is lost. And I will be ready for, God willing, a peaceful death or the Crown of martyrdom, and I will have a front-row seat for the ending of this epic film of life.

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