GDC 79: Church as Mother

Let’s pick up from yesterday’s underscoring of the importance of the catechumenate in the larger picture of catechetical ministry.

79. In transmitting faith and new life, the Church acts as a mother for (hu)mankind who begets children conceived by the power of the Spirit and born of God. (Cf. Lumen Gentium 64) Precisely “because she is a mother, she is also the educator of our faith”;* she is at the same time mother and teacher. Through catechesis she feeds her children with her own faith and incorporates them as members into the ecclesial family. As a good mother she gives them the Gospel in all its authenticity and purity as apposite food, culturally enriched and a response to the deepest aspirations of the human heart.

* CCC 169. The relation between the maternity of the Church and her educative function is expressed very well by St Gregory the Great: “Having been made fruitful by conceiving her children thanks to the ministry of preaching, causes them to grow in her womb by her teaching. Moralia XIX, c. 12, 9; PL 76, 108).

The feminine imagery is interesting given the gender roles within the Church through history, and especially today. Today, women provide the bulk of ecclesial catechesis, and nearly none of its preaching.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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