GDC 16: “Looking at the world from the standpoint of faith”

Moving deeper into the parable of the sower, this section builds on the preface to the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes to suggest a base from which to operate:

16. The Church continues to sow the Gospel in God’s field. Christians, in the most diverse social situations, perceive the world with the same eyes with which Jesus contemplated the society of his time. The disciple of Jesus Christ deeply shares the “joys and hopes, the sadness and the anxieties of the men today”.(Gaudium et Spes 1) He gazes upon human history and participates in it, not only from the standpoint of reason but also from that of faith. In the light of faith the world appears at once “created and sustained by the love of the Creator, which has been freed from the slavery of sin by Christ, who was crucified and rose”.(Gaudium et Spes 1) The Christian knows that every human event—indeed all reality—is marked by the creative activity of God which communicates goodness to all beings; the power of sin which limits and numbs man; and the dynamism which bursts forth from the Resurrection of Christ, the seed renewing believers is the hope of a definitive “fulfilment”.(Gaudium et Spes 2) A world-view not incorporating these three elements cannot be authentically Christian. Hence the importance of a catechesis capable of initiating catechumens and those to be catechized into a “theological reading of modern problems”.(John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis 35)

The these three events: creation, fall, and resurrection–these three form the basis for the Christian worldview. I don’t think there’s any event in our lives that shouldn’t be governed, or any response that shouldn’t be guided by these events. My personal view is that this is, yes, theological. But this approach to life and its “joys and hopes, sadness and anxieties” is also mystical, if I may adopt that term.

Am I prepared to recognize the creation, human sin, and redemption in myself, in my friends, and indeed, in everyone I meet? For a liturgist, we certainly see the Paschal Mystery in this: the saving events of the Passion, Death, Resurrection, and Ascension.

What does this mean for a ministry of the Word wider than liturgical or catechetical? I would suggest we’re talking about evangelization rooted in these values. Do believers communicate an optimism fitting for the Resurrection? An acknowledgement of human sin and failure?A respect for the creative power and grace of God in the world around us–especially our brothers and sisters (upon whom we render mercy)?

The way I read this section is a regard for all life, all experiences, and all opportunities as a reason to be optimistic (Resurrection at root), to be sober (sin at root), and to be respectful (creation at root), and that all our efforts should be discerned and judged on how we can apply each and all of these principles.

Are you seeing anything else of importance?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
This entry was posted in General Directory for Catechesis, post-conciliar catechetical documents. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to GDC 16: “Looking at the world from the standpoint of faith”

  1. jdonliturgy says:

    “Hence the importance of a catechesis capable of initiating catechumens and those to be catechized into a ‘theological reading of modern problems’. ”

    This is important. It says we need to catechize people to have a “Catholic lens” through which they view everyday reality. It is also the heart of what we need to do in order to combat the effects of secular humanism. So many of our people rationalize the acceptability of gay “marriage”, for instance, based on a human rights reading of the problem instead of a theological one.

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