JEREMIAH 20:10–13; JOHN 10:31–42
There is a great need in the Church today for adult education. Several generations have now managed to pass through the Catholic education system with little more than an elementary understanding of Catholicism. Over this time, more and more Catholics have decided not to send their children to Catholic schools or religious education programs. All this is having a devastating effect on future generations.
We could dream up all types of elaborate adult education programs, but my proposal is that we encourage Catholic adults to read good spiritual books. Fifteen minutes a day is as good as any place to start. My proposal will no doubt be overlooked by most, and frowned on by others, because of its sheer simplicity. Nonetheless, let me assure you the simplest solution is usually the best, and hidden in our ancient traditions we will find the solutions to most of our modern problems.
Spiritual reading is a perfect example of an ancient solution to a modern problem. If every Catholic were to read a good Catholic book for fifteen minutes a day, this habit alone could be a game changer for the Church in our times.
What percentage of Catholics do you think have read a Catholic book in the past twelve months? This is a question I have been posing to audiences of late. The consensus seems to be about 1 percent.
Now imagine for a moment what would happen if every Catholic in your parish read a good spiritual book for fifteen minutes a day. How would your parish change? If every Catholic spent fifteen minutes a day, every day, learning about his or her faith, how different would our Church be in a year? Five years? Ten years?
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Most great things are achieved little by little.
How can I help other adults grow in their faith through spiritual reading? What am I willing to do to increase my knowledge of Catholicism and spiritual practice?
by Matthew Kelly