A few of my readers have asked me for recommendations for children’s catechesis. One of the resources we have been using for the past several months is Memorize the Faith by Kevin Vost. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to learn more about the Catholic faith or teach it to children.
I love learning, especially learning about the faith and the spiritual life. Memorize the Faith is one of those books that you can learn from as a whole family.
Author Kevin Vost presents a method called loci (Latin for location), a mnemonic device that is based on St. Thomas Aquinas’s memory system. I have read some reviews arguing that it is not really the same method St. Thomas used. I can’t speak to that issue. But I can tell you the system works.
The loci method of memorization
Basically, you imagine a room in a home. Specific objects occupy different places in that room. Each object is meant to remind you of one item in a list you are memorizing. The location itself also aids your memory.
For example, in memorizing the Beatitudes, you start at the door of the family room. A ghostly person in rags meets you there. He represents the first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Then you enter the room and see a woman in black sitting on top of a dresser to the left of the door. She represents, “Blessed are those who mourn…” Yes, some of the images are a little outrageous. That’s to make them more memorable.
Easy enough for most ages
So far, D and M have reviewed the 10 Commandments (which we learned a few years ago), and memorized the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy, the Beatitudes, the Sacraments, the Mysteries of the Rosary, and the Twelve Apostles–in the order they’re found in the Bible. We also each made our own room to memorize 150 years of popes at the time of the Conclave last spring. I haven’t used the book as much with C yet, since we are focusing on Confession and Communion with him this year.
This book makes memorization easy. You can adapt it to any list you want to memorize. I’m looking forward to the section on memorizing 21 Centuries of Church History
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