Ministry Tip of the Week
"In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a son" (Hebrews 1:1-2). "In giving us his Son, his only Word, he spoke everything to us at once...and he has no more to say" (St. John of the Cross, CCC 65).
"He who has seen me has seen the father" (John 14:9).
Doctrine is for prayer. If we don't see the catechism as a school of prayer, if each teaching doesn't in some way help us to grow in our relationship with God through the mystery of communion with Jesus Christ, we're misunderstanding our faith. And if we teach anything without directing our children, grand children, and students to a deeper relationship with the heavenly Father through it, we're misunderstanding catechesis.
The God of love has come to give us life. Prayer is a surge of the heart (CCC2558) that opens us to receive this gift, the life of heaven that grows as we come to know more deeply the One whom Jesus reveals, the One he has taught us to call our father. Life is a prayer, a living acknowledgement of a God who loves beyond all measure, a trustful surrender into the tender embrace of our heavenly Father in and through every moment. The content of faith (i.e. doctrine) should foster an experiential knowledge of this reality.
In hindsight, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Catechism begins with this end in mind: "FATHER,...this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3, CCC 1).