GDC 14: Minding the Field for Sowing

The introduction of the GDC covers numbered sections 14 through 33. Titled, “Preaching the Gospel in the contemporary world,” the Congregation for the Clergy offers an apt parable to lead off the meat of the discussion on catechesis:

“Behold! A sower went out to sow. As he sowed some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it had not much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil; and when the sun rose it was scorched, and since it had no root it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns which grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing, and yielding thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundred fold” (Mk 4:3-8).

14. The purpose of this Introduction is to foster in pastors and catechists a greater consciousness of the necessity to keep in mind the field in which the seed is sown, and to do so with the perspective of faith and mercy. The interpretation of the contemporary world presented here is obviously dependent on contingent historical circumstances.

Summing up, the introduction is aimed at pastors and catechists. The ministry of catechesis requires a perspective of the quality of faith. What do you make of the inclusion of mercy? What does that mean?

It’s also worth considering that the prescriptions of the GDC hold true as long as the diagnosis of the circumstances of history are accurate. One might also add the assessment of the culture–I certainly think that some approaches valid in one situation may be inappropriate even within the same nation.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in General Directory for Catechesis, post-conciliar catechetical documents. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to GDC 14: Minding the Field for Sowing

  1. Molly Roach says:

    Regarding the inclusion of mercy: I’ve been in the field of catechesis for a long time and one of the realities encountered is vast ignorance of God, of what the church teaches—and this is encountered in both adults and in children. I also find that the kids claim from year to year that they don’t remember. I HAVE ALSO DISCOVERED that approaching this ignorance and these claims with kindness, assists people to learn, and to remember. People do not respond to impatience and judgment—that doesn’t help anyone to learn about who Christ is. But they do respond to kindness. Hence, mercy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s