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My great hope as a catechist

When I first signed on to help out our RCIA team I wondered what the central direction of my speaking would come to be. I knew that no matter what I tried to set as my direction that my fellow catechists and the very people we were catechizing would push and pull things into a somewhat different form. It’s part of that clay analogy, I think. Having finally had a chance to read the Pope’s address to the Bishops the below resonated as a constant point just about every time we talk.

This leads me to ask how, in the twenty-first century, a bishop can best fulfill the call to “make all things new in Christ, our hope”? How can he lead his people to “an encounter with the living God”, the source of that life-transforming hope of which the Gospel speaks (cf. Spe Salvi, 4)? Perhaps he needs to begin by clearing away some of the barriers to such an encounter. While it is true that this country is marked by a genuinely religious spirit, the subtle influence of secularism can nevertheless color the way people allow their faith to influence their behavior. Is it consistent to profess our beliefs in church on Sunday, and then during the week to promote business practices or medical procedures contrary to those beliefs? Is it consistent for practicing Catholics to ignore or exploit the poor and the marginalized, to promote sexual behavior contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or to adopt positions that contradict the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death? Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted. Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.

Yup, I think I’ve said that so many times people can see it coming after about two words. Now if only I could say it with such eloquence and learning. Maybe someday. Probably not, but maybe.

Given that I’ve just now gone through this address, you can imagine by the fact I’ve not commented on the Mass at Nationals Stadium that I’ve not seen that either. It’s that silly work thing again.

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