Seen on the web: “There’s value in having children learn and even memorize the basic tenants of their faith.”

There’s a story of a man who was deeply depressed, felt that life was pointless, and decided to commit suicide. He had been raised a Catholic but had left the Church years before. As he was about to overdose, his last thoughts were “Why did God even make me?” The words of the old Baltimore Catechism suddenly were in his head: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next”.

He was so startled that he dropped the pills. Then he started thinking and remembering what he had learned in Catholic school, all those many years ago. He decided to go see a priest and talk things over. He never tried to commit suicide again.

The point here is that there’s value in having children learn and even memorize the basic tenants of their faith. Often, in moments of distress, we can’t think clearly. It’s then that the prayers and teachings we learned as children can come to our aid and get us through those desperate moments to a safer place. The Catechism’s been like a rock, for those who were raised with it. It taught us the basics in a very simple language. And it’s always there, even if on the back burner, to be brought forward when needed.

Posted by Shane O’Neill

Read the “old” Baltimore Catechism here


  1. I often tell my grandchildren to learn their faith well, because if they ever find themselves in trouble, Jesus will help them through it, no matter what trouble it is. I have two ready to go away to college, and I only hope they know their faith…

    • When my oldest son went off to college my wife and I prayed that God would keep him close. On our first visit to the dorm we soon realized that his room was located right across the street from a Catholic Church/Newman Center. God is good.

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