xx • United States Catholic Catechism for Adults
challenge the negative. One way of doing this is found in the stories that
begin each chapter. Most of these narratives are biographical sketches
of American saints or other outstanding Catholics who represent the
variety of racial and ethnic witnesses to the Catholic way of life. These
stories give us glimpses of how Catholics participated in the unfolding
of American culture from colonial days to the present. Those chosen
for these examples are Catholics whose lives or actions illustrate a par-
ticular Church teaching. From the earliest days of the Church when St.
Athanasius wrote the life of St. Anthony of the Desert, it was clear that
telling stories about saints and holy people encourages others to want to
be like them and is an effective way of teaching Catholic doctrine.
2. Teaching: Its Foundation and Application
In each chapter, the introductory story is followed by a presentation of a
particular teaching. This foundational teaching provides expositions on
aspects of the Creed, the Sacraments, the Commandments, and prayer. A
few comments about each of these sections are in order.
A. Creed: The Faith Professed
When we pray or recite the Creed, we can be reminded that Catholicism
is a revealed religion. God is the author of our faith. All that we are
expected to believe is summed up in the revelation of Jesus Christ. God
has spoken all that is necessary for our Salvation in Jesus, the Word
made flesh. God also gives us the gift of faith that enables us to respond,
accept, and live out the implications of Divine Revelation. In this first
section of the book, the roles of Apostolic Tradition, Scripture, and
Magisterium are clearly outlined.
B. Sacraments: The Faith Celebrated
The second section of this text deals with the celebration of the Christian
mystery in the liturgy and the Sacraments. Through the Sacraments
the Holy Spirit makes available to us the mysteries of God’s revela-
tion in Christ. The saving gifts of Christ’s ministry are encountered in
the liturgy and are available to us. This is evident in the Sacraments