GDC 144: The original pedagogy of faith

Today’s section is titled, “The original pedagogy of faith” and is footnoted: (Cf. 1977 Synod of Bishops, Message to the People of God 11; Catechesi Tradendae 58)

144. Catechesis, which is therefore active pedagogy in the faith, in accomplishing its tasks, cannot allow itself to be inspired by ideological considerations or purely human interests. (Cf. Catechesi Tradendae 52) It does not confuse the salvific action of God, which is pure grace, with the pedagogical action of (humankind). Neither, however, does it oppose them and separate them. The wonderful dialogue that God undertakes with every person becomes its inspiration and norm. “Catechesis becomes an untiring echo” of this. It continually seeks dialogue with people in accordance with the directions offered by the Magisterium of the Church. (Cf. Ecclesiam Suam 1c) The precise objects which inspire its methodological choices are:

– to promote a progressive and coherent synthesis between full adherence of (the human person) to God (fides qua) and the content of the Christian message (fides quae);

– to develop all the dimensions of faith through which it conveys faith which is known, celebrated, lived and prayed; (Cf. 1977 Synod of Bishops, Message to the People of God 7-11; Catechism 3; 13; General Catechetical Directory 36)

– to move the person to abandon (her or ) himself “completely and freely to God”: (Dei Verbum 5) intelligence, will, heart and memory;

– to help the person to discern the vocation to which the Lord calls (her or) him.

Catechesis therefore carries out a complete work of initiation, education and teaching.

This seems quite sensible. Choices one and two reinforce yet again the notion of faith formation as being “gradual and complete.” (RCIA 75.1) And if indeed the catechumenate is the model on which faith formation is based–a concept we’ve seen often enough in the GDC, pastors and catechists should be prepared for this methodology.

The reference to Dei Verbum implies a lifelong dimension, recognizing that as earnest or sincere as our initial conversion (or, alas, graduation) may be, there is always work for God in each of us.

That last choice, discerning a vocation, we haven’t seem a great deal of so far in the GDC. Obviously, every believer has been baptized, that primordial sacrament of vocation. Without getting into concerns about a person living the Christian life in holy orders, in religious life, in marriage, or as a single lay person, we should first solidify what it means (for each person in our care) to be a baptized believer.

Quick question: how do you interpret the role of “memory” in the believer’s self-abandonment to God?

Other observations?

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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.

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