Welcome to this summer’s Lawn Chair Catechism! We're reading Joe Paprocki’s best-selling book, A Well-Built Faith: A Catholic’s Guide to Knowing and Sharing What We Believe. We’re taking it one chapter at a time all summer long.

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Make a pie chart with the following items included on it:

  • Work/school
  • Family
  • Exercise
  • Eating
  • Sleep
  • Play/recreation
  • Rest
  • Spirituality

For many of us, the spirituality slice is the smallest slice in the pie. Why is this? It’s not because we aren’t spiritual. It means that we need to expand your understanding of what it means to be spiritual.

Many of us equate spirituality with those experiences that take place in church, during a church-related activity, or in prayer. With that as our criteria, our spirituality slice of the pie will always be hopelessly small compared to the other slices.

In reality, our spiritual life is not a slice of the pie at all. It is the whole pie!

We all have distinguishing characteristics that serve to identify us. In a similar way, the Catholic Church has four very important distin- guishing characteristics that we name each time we recite the Nicene Creed—we say that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic.

We all learn through imitation. It’s no surprise, then, that as we seek to grow spiritually, we look to others—parents, godparents, sponsors, and others—who, by their example, show us how to follow Jesus. We’re blessed that the Church offers us such role models in the saints.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion:

  1. What does it mean to say that spirituality is not just a slice of the pie that represents our life, but is the whole pie?
  2. What’s the difference between belonging to the Church and being Church?
  3. What does the concept of stewardship have to do with spiritu- ality and Church?
  4. What does it mean to say that the Church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic?
  5. Why do Catholics place such great emphasis on Mary and the saints? Explain our understanding of the Communion of Saints.
  6. How would you summarize the Catholic understanding of the afterlife?

Feel free to comment on your own thoughts from this week's reading, your impressions and reflections, and/or your answers to these questions. You can also share your blog post by linking up below.

Next week, we'll introduce Part 2: The Sacraments: Expressing Faith and then discuss Chapter 7: Using a Laser Level for Alignment: Worship and Liturgy. For the complete reading schedule and information about this summer’s Lawn Chair Catechism, visit the Lawn Chair Catechism page.


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Copyright 2014 Sarah Reinhard