On the few occasions that I had the privilege of hearing Cardinal Arinze speak, In talking about Catholics, he said: “They don’t know and they don’t know that they don’t know.” How true that statement is about people today. People often think they know something, they have the answer to a question in their lives and they are now experts, but in reality, they are dead wrong.
Since the Second Vatican Council began 50 years ago, there are many so called experts on the Council. People run around telling others what Vatican II said, yet, many of them have never even picked up a copy of the documents and the others have never read them. Most Catholics know what they believe the Council said from what they read in their newspaper or by someone had their own agenda and never received the truth of the documents.
So often, I’ll have someone tell me that they know something about the Church which is not true and I’ll ask them where they learn what they said. They will say thew were at a family gathering and their Aunt Millie or Uncle Joe told them. The problem is, Aunt Millie and Uncle Joe are just as uninformed as they were, but they made their own false conclusions.
As we prepare to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and enter into a special Year of Faith, I want to encourage everyone to purchase two things. Get yourself a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Documents of Vatican II and read them. Make a plan for the Year of Faith. Decide how much you will read each day. Take a few paragraphs from each, and be faithful. Make notes as you go along. Highlight points that stick out in your mind. Jot down ideas in the margins. If you are faithful, you will come out of the Year of Faith with a better understanding of who you are as a Catholic and maybe have one or two answers when someone asks you what the Church believes.
Don’t be one of the people for who thinks they have the answer but doesn’t. Be a person who knows your faith, or where to turn for the answer!