St. Margaret Mary Alacoque contemplating the Sacred Heart

Yesterday I was listening to a presentation on CD by Dr. Petroc Wiley who is doing great work in the field of catechesis.  He is the Director of the Maryvale Institute in England.  One of the points that really caught my attention is when he spoke of the reality that catechesis is not based in praxis but in contemplation.  It got me thinking…

So often catechists and even directors of religious education programs (as well as other people in various ministries of the Church) focus excessively on the “practical application” tools and see the theology to be merely for theologians.  This causes one to lose focus I believe.  All the practical tools at our disposal are good at assisting us in helping make relevant the faith but it is not the heart of our work in catechesis.  On the other hand mere theory or theology about this doctrine or that doctrine is not the answer either.   Our catechesis must come from a knowledge and love for Christ and His Church.  Jesus says, “One thing is necessary, and Mary has chosen the better part” (Luke 10:42).

Contemplation of the divine mysteries is essential in catechesis.  When we seek to echo a message and most especially a person we must do so out of a heart overflowing with God’s life.  Prayer and reflection cannot be underestimated in the work of catechesis.  So often I want to get things done that I lose my focus regarding what is most necessary – prayer, entrusting this work to Christ, seeking the Holy Spirit’s guidance.

Come Holy Spirit, draw me to contemplate your mysteries so my catechesis will truly radiate you and draw others to know and love you more and more!

What are you thoughts about praxis and contemplation regarding the work of Catechesis?

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