Last week I posted my 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge for you. But if for some reason, that doesn’t seem to be the right fit for your reading goals this year, I have an alternate challenge that would be extremely rewarding and is totally doable in just five minutes a day.
What is it? Read through the Catechism of the Catholic Church in one year. Many Catholics have never read the Catechism from cover to cover. I did this last year (well, it took me a year and a half), and it was so faith-building.
I assumed at the outset that it was going to be a little dry and hard to get through at parts, but nothing could be further from the truth. I have written a little about this before, but the CCC contains some of the most beautiful language. Here’s an example from a paragraph that was recently referenced in my women’s bible study:
Thus the Lord’s words on forgiveness, the love that loves to the end, become a living reality. The parable of the merciless servant, which crowns the Lord’s teaching on ecclesial communion, ends with these words: “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” It is there, in fact, “in the depths of the heart,” that everything is bound and loosed. It is not in our power not to feel or to forget an offense; but the heart that offers itself to the Holy Spirit turns injury into compassion and purifies the memory in transforming the hurt into intercession. (CCC 2843)
Injury into compassion and hurt into intercession…wow, right? Such a beautifully powerful way of expressing this truth that we believe. Because that’s the thing…if you are a confirmed Catholic, then in this book is everything that you believe. So it’s important for us to read it; and when we read it slowly and methodically (over the course of a year) it is more likely that we will find ourselves contemplating it’s implications in our everyday lives.
It breaks down to reading about two pages per day. You could make it your morning devotion before prayer–it will give you plenty to pray about. Here’s the plan I used, which includes reading through the whole Bible at the same time. If you are up for an extra challenge — do both. (I did this, and it is cool to see how many of the readings correlate!) I realize that January is half over, but you can easily start this now and get caught up over a weekend. I promise that if you read no other spiritual books but this one this year, you will find your faith transformed.