Recently I read the following quote that got me thinking:

“This is the only condition that Christ really places on us: ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’  And we know very well how much he has loved us!  He died for us!”  ~ Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

 Let’s take a couple moments and consider what we might provide in our catechesis that helps others more fully embrace this condition (and others) by Jesus.

1. Do those you catechize know how Jesus Christ, God incarnate, who’s love is unconditional, does have conditions for His followers?  For example Christ calls us to “Take up our Cross and follow Him” (Mt. 16:24), Christ calls us in no uncertain terms to Love God with our whole heart mind and soul (Mt. 22:37), to love as he has loved us (Jn. 13:34) and even the call be humble (Mt. 19:24).  These “conditions” are calling us to respond to the message, the Good News and grace given as pure gift to His children (i.e., us).

2. Catechesis is meant to both echo the life saving message of grace, love, mercy and joy as well as call one to profess, to live a life that conveys one who has been changed, renewed, reborn into this abundant life promised by Christ.

“Conditions” can have a positive reality to them and I believe Christ shows us this truth.

What are your thoughts?

ImageThe French proverb “The more things change the more they stay the same” seems to be very appropriate for the hugely popular show on PBS of the post-Edwardian era in England.  Something that struck me about a recent episode is that the quest for ones happiness can often lead one away from the very thing they are searching for.  Lady Edith Crawley allows herself to be sweaped up into a romance with a Michael Gregson who’s wife is considered insane, but British law will not allow him to divorce (presuming he has every right to do so).  He’s going to great lengths to prove his love to Lady Edith by becoming a German citizen so he can divorce his wife and marry her. This example is just one among so many others of how we can distort truth.  The world back then and now too often sees fidelity in marriage to be good so long as your wife is not, as in the case of Mr. Gregson, insane (or a number of others reasons).   

Catechetical Takeaway 

3 catechetical points that are vital to catechesis in the Third Millennium:

1. Proclaiming the truth (whether on the issue of marriage or another aspect of life)  is essential to the freedom of God’s children.  Sometimes the truth is seen as judgmental because it challenges ones freedom and what is often socially acceptable (although not morally acceptable).   

2. Keep in mind that catechesis on “Life in Christ” is not merely “morality” but about life with God.  The Catechism paragraph 1691 says:

“Christian, recognize your dignity and, now that you share in God’s own nature, do not return to your former base condition by sinning. Remember who is your head and of whose body you are a member. Never forget that you have been rescued from the power of darkness and brought into the light of the Kingdom of God.” [St. Leo the Great Sermo 22 in nat. Dom., 3: PL 54, 192C] [790]

3. Let your message be clear.  Catechism paragraph 1697 goes onto say that “Catechesis has to reveal in all clarity the joy and the demands of the way of Christ”.  The demands of being a doctor, a professional sports player or a renowned scientist are quite high and so also are the demands of the Christian life (which so often we can resist because it is perceived that a loving God should help make our lives good and happy).  The Christian life, although having its challenges, is filled with abundant joy, peace beyond understanding, transforming grace and total charity which brings authentic freedom and true happiness.  


The life we’ve been given is a true gift even with all it’s demands.  May our eyes and heart always look to Christ for the ultimate answers that allow us to respond according to the truth of the Gospel and all that entails.