Thursday, September 21, 2006

Gospel, Catechesis, Catechism: More Highlights

Man can touch the eternal only in sensible realities, but the things of this world are also intrinsically designed to mediate contact with God. (pg. 18)
Do not presuppose the faith but propose it...Wide-ranging exploration of new fields was good and necessary, but only so long as it issued from, and was sustained by, the central light of faith. Faith is not maintained automatically. It is not "finished business" that we can simply take for granted. The life of faith has to be constantly renewed. And since faith is an act that comprehends all the dimensions of our existence, it also requires constantly renewed reflection and witness. (pgs. 23-24)
Faith is an orientation of our existence as a whole. It is a fundamental option that affects every domain of our existence. Nor can it be realized unless all the energies of our existence go into maintaining it. Faith is not a merely intellectual, or merely volitional, or merely emotional activity - it is all of these things together. It is an act of the whole self, of the whole person in concentrated unity. (pg. 25)
Education and knowledge can be a blessing only when that deeper simplicity of heart - that inward poverty (Mt. 5:3!) that can hear God's word and obey it in humble faith - remains in place. (pg. 45)
The gospel addresses itself to reason; it responds to man's longing to understand the world and himself and to discover the way to do justice to his essential being. In this sense, catechesis is instruction, and the early Christian teachers were really the founders of the state of catechists in the Church. But the actual living out of this doctrine is an essential component of it, and man's intellect sees properly only when the heart is integrated into the mind. (pgs. 56-57)

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