Introduction • xxiii
be met. Issues such as disbelief, relativism, subjectivism, and differences
about morality highlight conflicts between Church teachings and the
culture. The purpose of this section in each chapter is to point to the
way in which the Church proclaims salvation to the culture, based on
confidence in the validity and relevance of Catholic teaching.
It might also be helpful to note that in keeping with cultural practice
in the United States, the text uses horizontally inclusive language, that is,
describing human persons according to both male and female genders.
The only exceptions to this practice are when the
other source is quoted directly. References to God in this text maintain
5. Questions for Discussion
Following the section of each chapter that addresses aspects of faith as
applied to U.S. culture are questions that allow the readers to explore
personal and communal ways of internalizing the teaching of the Church.
6. Doctrinal Statements
Following both a story of faith and a concise review of the Church’s
teaching and its relation to the culture, each chapter contains a review of
points of doctrine covered in the chapter.
7. Meditation and Prayer
As far as possible, this book is meant to draw the reader into a prayerful
attitude before God. Every chapter concludes with a meditation drawn
from a saint or spiritual writer. A catechism needs to be more than a
summary of teachings. God has called all of us to prayer and holiness.
Doctrines are distillations of prayer and thought made possible by the
Holy Spirit’s guidance of the Church. Prayer is the gate that leads us to
a deeper understanding of the Word of God and to the hidden treasures
of doctrinal teachings. A formal prayer is presented at this point in each
chapter. It is usually drawn from the Church’s liturgy or from traditional
prayers of the Church so that the reader may become more familiar with