Why do I write my own catechism? Is the catechism of the Dutch bishops insufficient?
No. Nor could my catechism ever equal the level of the one of the bishops.
We can't turn away from non-Catholics, either, or think we're better. By our faith, we're becoming better than we were, but this doesn't mean we'll outdistance other people.
But I think every Catholic should write a little catechism of his own, to form a clear idea of his own belief and to account for it before his fellow people.
I got the idea to write one when I suddenly found an answer to a central difficulty in my thinking about Catholicism.
My question was twofold:
First, I read a book in which sister Lucia tells what she remembers about the apparitions of virgin Mary in Fatima and about her little comrades Jacinta and Francisco. I wish to believe virgin Mary appeared to the children in 1917. But then I also have to take her message seriously.
Well, she gave the children a vision of hell. She impressed upon the little shepherds that people think too easily they will never go to hell. But the examples she gave of grave sins that cause people go to hell didn't ever seem so grave as the sins I do myself. On the other hand, my former mentor once set me at ease, saying I'm too scrupulous.
Secondly, I couldn't really imagine God creates anybody He knows will eventually go to hell.
After discussion with several experts, I found the following solutions:
Virgin Mary gave the little shepherds of Fatima in general terms examples of sins, but the children understood these sins in a childlike way. Hence they thought people can go to hell by inconsiderately saying a strong phrase.
As to the second part of my question, I got the following idea:
God creates a person 'as he has to become', so, for every person, He creates the own ideal form this person has to strive after. But He also leaves man free to wish or not wish to become this ideal form. If anybody does wish that, as most people unconsciously do, God will help him and He will eventually perfect this person in heaven. However, God decides to await the free answer of anyone He creates. So He doesn't want to know beforehand how the person He creates will answer.
My present project is also an effort to order my thoughts. May my guardian angel stand by me.
Maastricht, 2-nd of July 2008