The Baltimore Catechism was used as a primary teaching tool when I was a child. Even though I probably was taught withit for only the first three or four years of my Catholic education, like others before me I haven’t forgotten the simple lessons it taught me, like:
Q. Who is God?
A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.
“All things”includes me and everyone else on the earth,along with everything else that I can perceive. God is the maker of all that is, and as such is the most important Being that exists. My very existence depends upon God.
It follows then,and this is from the modern Catechism of the Catholic Church,that “to adore God is to acknowledge,in respect and absolute submission, the ‘nothingness of the creature’ who would not exist but for God.To adore God is to praise and exalt him and to humble oneself” (CCC 2097).
WHEN YOUR MIND WANDERS
One of the most frequent complaints that people who genuinely want to get more out of the Eucharist raise is that they find that their mind wanders at Mass. The cause of their distraction may be as simple a question as “Did I turn off the car lights?” or as weighty a concern as “I wonder how I’m going to pay the mortgage or rent this month?” It is understandable, given the hectic pace of life, that when we try to quiet ourselves in the presence of God we often find that our minds are cluttered with many distracting thoughts.
H ELP FROM THE FATHERS OF THE C HURCH
For often in the very sacrifice of praise urgent thoughts press themselves upon us, that they should have force to carry off or pollute what we are sacrificing in ourselves to God with weeping eyes. Whence when Abraham at sunset was offering up the sacrifice, he was troubled by birds of prey sweeping down on the carcasses, but he diligently drove them off,so that they might not carry off the sacrifice being offered up (cf. Gen. 15:11). So let us, when we offer a holocaust to God upon the altar of our hearts, keep it from birds of prey that the evil spirits and bad thoughts may not seize upon that which our mind hopes it is offering up to God to a good end.