An example of some meaty catechesis from my childhood


Some time ago on Twitter, I took to scheduling a regular post at night time, and one for in the morning – not exactly first thing, but before most people get in to work. On TweetDeck, you can set these up to publish when scheduled. The night one was a retweet of a masterpiece of sacred art, and the morning one was something about a saint for that day. I felt that there could be several positive features of this practice.

It would make sure that my Twitter feed was begun and ended on a positive note with something that people would expect from a priest; with God’s grace, somebody might be helped by either or both of those posts. That seemed to work, and there were sometimes quite a lot of likes or positive comments. If I also kept to a rule of not publishing anything outside of these limits, it was a way for me to set a small “rule of life” reminder not to be looking at social media too late at night or early in the morning.

After a while I realised that the saint tweet could end up taking up more time than appropriate for something that was meant to be quick, and the sacred art could get a little repetitive. Therefore I started to tweet quotations from the Penny Catechism and from the Imitation of Christ. In due course, I could change the texts. This also seems to be popular, and appropriate for a priest on Twitter.

Personally I have enjoyed hearing the echoes of Miss Strawson from the top infants class in 1965. A few days ago I tweeted a question from the Penny Catechism that I remember fondly from all those years ago:
Q.17 What is God? A. God is the supreme Spirit, who alone exists of himself, and is infinite in all perfections.
We had to copy out the answer and underline the word “supreme” several times. We learnt that the angels are spirits but God is the supreme spirit. We learnt how it was silly to ask “who made God?” because unlike anything or anyone else, He just IS without anyone else making Him. And we learnt that “infinite” means without any end and that God was good and loving and powerful without any limits. I think it was the first time I started to reflect in depth on the nature of God and eternity. And I still remember today that early experience of awe which leads to adoration.

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