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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