Here are some things I learned and observed from our 1st Session:
1. I never knew that the liturgy readings followed the NAB Bible. (OK, Duh, right? But nobody ever told me. I don't even own an NAB Bible. In fact, I admit, I don't even know what NAB stands for, but I'll look it up as soon as I'm done with this. New American Bible?)
2. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (the one promulgated by Pope John Paul II) uses quotes from the RSV (Revised Standard Version) and the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version).
3. We were encouraged to highlight passages in our Bibles (with colored pencils being one suggestion,because they don't bleed through the pages) and to make notes with a very fine ball point pen in the margins, as a "2-way dialogue" with God. I admit, I get REALLY uncomfortable with this... I don't like writing in my books. However, I decided to give it a try anyway. Hopefully I will not regret marking up my brand new leather Bible!
4. The lack of interest and knowledge of the Catechism by many of the individuals present was mind boggling. While not everyone there was anti-Catechism, I was shocked at some of the comments:
"This is boring..."
"What's the point of this thing, anyway? I don't get it..."
"This just all seems like... legalese to me."
Some of these women, didn't know their faith very well. (Which is great that they were there to learn, so I hope they stick it out!) One or more are even involved in grade school CCD, which really kind of scares me. As parents, we really need to take a very active role in our childrens' faith formation. Even with the best of intentions, you cannot guarantee that your children are going to be taught authentic Catholic teachings. We MUST be involved when it comes to our kids and if you have had a poor faith upbringing, I suggest that you learn WITH your kids and take responsibility for catching up. It is never too late. Start with the Baltimore Catechism #1, easy obtainable online or at a Catholic bookstore, and read through it with your children. You will quickly learn the basics and it is very empowering.
5. There are 2 different creation accounts in Genesis. The first in Genesis 1 is chronological:
(On Day 1, God said "Let there be light." and He creates Day and Night,
on Day 2 the firmament called Heaven,
on Day 3 dry land called Earth, gathered waters called Seas, and vegetation,
on Day 4 the Sun, Moon and Stars for signs and seasons,
on Day 5 swarms of creatures, fish, etc. to fill the waters, and birds to fill the sky,
on Day 6, animals and "beasts of the earth" and MAN and WOMAN,
on Day 7, He Rests. )
The 2nd account, in Genesis 2, is from a different perspective: In the beginning, there are "no plants of the field yet on earth", and God formed MAN out of dust and breathed life into him and he became a living soul. Then the garden of Eden was planted. It seemed as if the man was alone for a very long time. "Original Solitude". God wanted to make him a helpmate. Animals were formed and brought forth for Adam to name. Nothing was fit for man. Next, Adam was put to sleep, and Eve was formed from Adam's rib.
I am having a little bit of a struggle reconciling these 2 different accounts into "the Big Picture", but I'm jumping ahead of Session #1 already, so I have some more praying, reading and researching to do until I find something that makes sense."This at last is bone of my bonesand flesh of my flesh."