The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Catechetical Methodology and The Liturgy

Authored by Dr. James Pauley in Issue #29.2 of The Sower
James Pauley asks how we can overcome the liturgical indifference of so many we catechize. I have the privilege and honor of teaching many of the young adults who come to Franciscan University of Steubenville to study Theology and Catechetics—and these young people love the Church’s liturgical life and are enthusiastic to cultivate liturgical understanding and liturgical living in the Catholic laity whom they will someday teach. When I ask my students to identify adjectives which describe their personal experience of the Church’s liturgical life, words like ‘beautiful,’ ‘mysterious,’ and ‘irreplaceable’ are often mentioned. Of course, if we were to ask this question of the typical cradle-Catholic fourteen-year-old boy, he might use a different word to describe what he thinks of the Mass and the sacraments. The word he might use starts with a ‘b’ and ends with ‘o-r-i-n-g’ – certainly not a favorite word of catechists! Pope John Paul II described the sanctifying value of the sacraments for human beings in this way: ‘it is in the sacraments, and especially the Eucharist, that Christ Jesus works in fullness for our transformation.’[i] Of course, the transformation John Paul wrote of does not come about through mere liturgical attendance, but only through the ‘full, conscious and active participation in liturgical celebrations called for by the very nature of the liturgy.’[ii] If our fourteen-year-old boy is bored and uninterested in the liturgical realities set in motion before him, it is highly unlikely that his transformation will result merely from his presence. In my opinion, this is the great liturgical-catechetical crisis of our era. Severely limited in their understanding of what is happening in the liturgical drama and therefore in their capacity to fruitfully participate, many today are essentially cut off from the sacramental power to actually live the life of Christ in the world. How do we begin to break through the liturgical indifference which plagues so many today? This is an important question, to be sure.

The rest of this online article is available for current subscribers.

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Sower and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of Maryvale Institute. Contact sower@maryvale.ac.uk

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Toward a Eucharistic Revival
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The Feast of Corpus Christi last month was a momentous event in the life of the Church in the United States. The celebration of this liturgy begins a Eucharistic revival, a period of historic importance that will culminate in a National Eucharistic Congress in Indianapolis in the summer of 2024. The need for “revival” in relation to the Eucharist... Read more
The Spiritual Life: How the Eucharist Catechizes about the Meaning of Life
By Bishop Andrew Cozzens
Free The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is currently undertaking a Eucharistic revival. The idea for it began in 2019 when the bishops decided that we needed to respond to the moment of crisis in belief in the Eucharist in which we find ourselves—not only the discouraging results of the 2019 Pew study that reported that less than 30... Read more
The Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist
By Brian Pedraza
Free The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist should be numbered among the most kerygmatic of the Church’s doctrines. Here is where the Son of God, who out of the immensity of his divine love became incarnate, has chosen to dwell amongst his people until the end of time. Here is where divine charity makes itself available to the human heart. Here... Read more

Pages

Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now