Clearing the Heart to See the Truth


“Jim”, a life-long Pentecostal who,  with his Catholic wife, is attending a class taught by the Holy Family School of Faith on the catechism for the Year of Faith in the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas told me last week that he has thoroughly enjoyed learning what we have covered so far (Faith and reason, the Holy Trinity, Creation, and the Fall, just to name a few of the themes,) and that he has not heard one thing from me that he doesn’t already believe, and is looking forward to our resuming after the Christmas break.

“Kate” is a young, attractive, 20-something fallen away Catholic, and is attending a Year of Faith catechism course, and has now returned to practicing her faith. “It just opened my eyes to what I have been missing, and I want more!”

“Bill” is a mechanic and is currently involved in his parish’s RCIA program, and is taking the class as part of the catechumenate. He commented recently that he was so happy to be joining a Church that offers him the truth in a world that often offers confusing and morally relative advice that can “mess with you.” Bill is a recovering addict, and is now finding a source of strength in sobriety in the life and teachings of the Catholic Church.

Since the election, so many people have come to me privately to tell me how worried and concerned they are about the direction that the country is headed. No doubt there is room for grave concern. The HHS mandate as well as the extreme pro-abortion/pro-homosexuality positions of the Obama administration is legitimate cause for anxiety. Our Lord warned us of persecution, however, and this is why St. Paul reminded the persecuted Christians in Rome to have hope, “where sin abounds grace abounds more,” (Rom 5:20). This may sound like wishful thinking in the face of terrible and insurmountable odds, but it is not. It is really true, Grace abounds more!

Pope Benedict the XVI has taken a radical step this year in his obedience to the obvious promptings of the Holy Spirit when he not only declared this year as the Year of Faith, but further encouraged each Catholic to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In responding to this call, our Archbishop, Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, asked that the Catechism of the Catholic Church be taught to adults in parishes across the Archdiocese. There were so many requests from the parishes that we had to get creative in order to figure out how to reach at all of the interested parishes. The turn-out has been utterly incredible! There are parishioners from all walks of life who are hungry and excited to received knowledge regarding their Catholic faith.

Someone from the USCCB’s office called the Archbishop and wondered what was happening in Kansas City, Kansas. They had never received so many orders for the catechism! Great credit goes to Archbishop Naumann for his commitment not to let the Year of Faith go by without responding to the graces offered by God. Further, credit especially goes to the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI for his prophetic leadership and courage.

Something is happening in the Church in the United States. Yes, there are problems as the recent election displayed with sad and somber honesty. To avoid a crippling sense of despair, I decided to quit watching and reading internet news, even the conservative ones, and began paying closer attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing right in front of me. I have found much greater peace and optimism as a result.

There is a surging interest in the teachings of the Catholic Church. Even better, there is an increased desire in Catholics with whom I am meeting to grow in holiness, which is the only solution to our current dilemma. Before we broke for the Christmas season, I asked all of my students to do one thing during our recess: pray the rosary daily for the conversion of our President and Country, for me and the School of Faith, and for one hardened sinner of their choosing, be it someone they know of someone famous. I told them they needn’t share who it is with anyone other than the Lord. Padre Pio called the rosary his ‘weapon.’ We should heed this great modern saint and pray the rosary daily for spiritual and moral victory.

St. Paul also said “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Let us keep in mind these two pieces of advice, where sin abounds grace abounds more, and if God is for us who can be against us? In so doing, we will confront this growing culture of death with the proper optimism, joy, and strength needed to win the spiritual battle. And we will win, for the victory has already begun! Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and of the New Advent, Pray for us!

UPDATE: For parishes and diocese’s interested in offering a catechism study for their faithful, please check out the School of Faith’s DVD series Pilgrimage of Faith, available on our website at

9 Responses to “WHERE SIN ABOUNDS…”

  1. Bill K says:

    I have forwarded the part of your article relating to Archbishop Naumann and the CCC to my Diocese Bishop. Others should do the same in their own Diocese.
    Hopefully all US Bishops will adhere to the instruction of the Holy Spirit and Pope Benedict in Porta Fidei regarding the CCC, beginning with paragraphs 11.
    There are no excuses; people who are too busy to attend classes can read the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” in their own homes.
    For any readers (both Catholic and non-Catholic) who want more info on the CCC, a good web site including verifiable quotes from Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict is:
    “What Catholics REALLY Believe SOURCE” .

  2. dianne hofmann says:

    Thank you for reminding me how very fortunate we are here in Kansas to have such a faithful bishop and how blessed Catholics worldwide are in their saintly pope.

  3. Lamont says:

    Troy, Perhaps you could post a brief commentary on the Catechism as you present it. The Catechism is clear and concise but it does lack the kinds of illustration and application to daily life that most people find helpful.

    • Troy Hinkel says:

      if you are not able to attend our School of Faith classes live, I do suggest that you check out some of our online classes on our website at Also, we do offer our catechism class via a DVD series for both personal and parish use. It is available for purchase on our website.

  4. Kevin says:

    Troy, thank you for this reflection! It was very inspiring and brought me a lot of hope. Keep up the great work!!

  5. Tom M says:

    “To avoid a crippling sense of despair, I decided to quit watching and reading internet news, even the conservative ones, and began paying closer attention to what the Holy Spirit is doing right in front of me. I have found much greater peace and optimism as a result.”

    I couldn’t agree more!

  6. sam says:

    Yes grace does abound always not just in exceedingly sinful times. Your optimism to opt out of everything except the faithful is indeed sad. Yesterday Pope Benedict XVI sent his 1st twitter and will send some each day henceforth. He has also answered 3 questions of the many put to him by people on twitter. Now there are nearly 1.3 million people corresponding w/the Holy Father’s twitters. So today he is asking for help from responsible and good people of the Faith in responding to the millions of questions. He also considers it as a tool for evangelizing and educating people in the faith as well as helping those seeking God.

    While you are not the only one disappointed w/the election results and the direction of this nation, hopefully many of us will remain engaged just like the Holy Father himself does, and not cop out by hiding for religious reasons, since Pope Benedict XVI whom you obviously admire considers it our duty as Catholic Christians to engage the good, the bad and the ugly. Prayer is excellent but God expects us to use all our capabilities in thwarting the enemy of the good. No one is exempt in this battle for souls.

    • Troy Hinkel says:

      Whoa! Your comment strikes me as rash and harsh! If you mean to say that we need to stay informed in order to engage the culture I agree, although I don’t agree that viewing mainstream news outlets that can be slanted and sensationalistic is the only way of doing this. To jump from this to then accuse me of ‘opting out of everything except the faithful,’ and the I ‘cop out for religious reasons’ is outrageous and wrong! I did post this on my blog, for goodness sake, which is read by many people who do not share my Catholic worldview. Further, I began this particular blog by sharing three different personal anecdotes of people who are of the culture but who are being changed by the teachings of Jesus Christ through His Church based on classes on the catechism. I meet with and teach people like this almost everyday! I find your critique of me very odd and extremely negative based on these details which are plain and evident in my post!


  1. Something good is happening in the Church in the United States... - Christian Forums - [...] not to let the Year of Faith go by without responding to the graces offered by God. Further... …

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