In response to what appears to be a tremendous lack of knowledge of the Catholic Faith in Catholic adults & teens, the Church has greatly improved its efforts to instruct their faithful with solid teaching. The Holy Spirit has called numerous ministries, like NEM, to service the Church with new methodologies and presentation content. It is clear that many Adult Catholics who avail themselves to these gifts are growing in knowledge. But are our adults translating this knowledge into action?
As a rule, is the content we are teaching in our churches
transforming our parishioners into saints who are living a profound faith?
As I travel around the country, I am witnessing pockets of adult communities who appear to have authentic faith. That is to say, there is visible substance to their faith by virtue of the way they are living their lives. This is a great source of encouragement to me and, I suspect, to those who are among those pockets.
The key question that we must examine is whether this trend is a remnant or a new norm. We in the Church claim to have the fullness of truth, but the world is not knocking down our doors to gain access to it. Why? I believe it has to do with what we “Be-Living.”
The journey of discipleship is one that travels from living like the rest of the world to living life anew based solely on the word of God. So we know that the vast majority of the core of our Church is at various points within this journey. Unfortunately, most are still living like the world – trusting in money for their security.
Somehow, we have come to believe that growing in knowledge equates to growing in faith. However, I am witnessing that these adults who are growing in knowledge are satisfied with learning new things without having to transfer that knowledge into active trust in God. Therefore, people outside the Faith see it as irrelevant because they witness those who profess its value still living like themselves.
If we are going to become effective, our knowledge must transfer into an active, trusting-in-God faith. Below are just a few points that those responsible for catechizing can use to evaluate their own methods.
- Is the goal of your catechesis simply to impart knowledge, or do you search out and catechize its application in the lives of your students?
- The power of the word of God is in its application – how do you teach to apply God’s word?
- Does your method of catechizing encourage your students to solicit the help of the Holy Spirit to empower them to live the truths you are imparting?
I Cor. 13:2, “If I have all knowledge…but have not love…, I am nothing.”
Without action of love, even our faith is useless!