Monday, April 16, 2012

The Content of the Faith

Monday greetings to all.

Arrived back from Boston last night. Here is a photo I snapped outside of one of my sibling's homes in the Boston area over the weekend:

Each year Spring is such a miracle to me, especially in places like the Northeast and Midwest sections of the United States. What appears absolutely dead gradually comes back to life; and what vibrant life it is.

I found a really cool web site that allows this kind of cool stuff:

Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, on a more serious note. As I renewed my baptismal promises at Easter, the event I consider to be the most important annual event for Catholics, I thought about whether or not I had grown in that baptismal faith over the past year. I looked back and realized that so much of my engagement in things Catholic had to do with preparing people for the new translation of The Roman Missal. So much was about helping others to find new ways to appreciate the liturgy and to engage in the celebration of the Mass, especially given the challenges and opportunities the new translation was to afford. When I entered the Triduum a few weeks ago, I realized that I hadn't spent much time in the past year focusing on strengthening my own faith. True, I have continued praying the rosary frequently and I focus so much of my prayer on those on my prayer list. But I guess in all the busy-ness of this past year, I really haven't taken the time that I need to to focus on my relationship with Jesus Christ. I do all kinds of workshops and lectures in which I quote the various catechetical documents of the Church, documents that say things like these two short statements from the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC):

GDC 80

“The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ.”

GDC 98
“At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

I urge catechists, particularly those involved with Christian initiation, to really ponder these statements which, in essence, say that the "content" of catechesis is a person, the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Too often catechists get so bogged down in teaching the "content" of the faith (doctrines and dogmas and moral tenets), that they forget to introduce those entrusted to their care to the person who is the content of it all: Jesus himself. I guess I find myself in this same bucket very often. I need to stop and think about what these documents are saying about my own life. While I can speak pretty forcefully and (they tell me) eloquently about the content of Church teaching, I can't speak so forcefully or eloquently about my own personal relationship with Jesus of Nazareth.

So, the Triduum this year became a "starting over" point for me. I listened in ways that I had hoped would lead me to know the Lord Jesus in a more familiar way. Walking with him through his last days helped me as the liturgies unfolded. I have a long way to go, certainly. But I am hoping that this fifty-day celebration of Easter, as well as the years ahead, will see a renewed relatinship with the one who is the content of my faith.

Thanks for listening to my post-Easter soul-baring!

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jerry Can you suggest to your fans that they read the first Reading of the sunday Mass from the Acts of the Apostles many times again and again. I think it is very educational for people in the USA about what very early christian life was about. It does offer a challenge to the way we live today.It may also threaten people who belive there is nothing good in Socialism or Communism.