The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Overcoming Resistance (by God's grace!) to Church Teaching in Those We Catechize

Authored by Ken Ogorek in Issue #35.2 of The Sower
A disciple is one who shows discipline—who follows the teaching and example of another. Adam and Eve didn’t like being told what to do and we haven’t changed much since! Resistance Does Not Equal Error One of the most important messages I deliver in speaking, teaching etc. is as follows: “Never mistake resistance on your part for error on the Church’s part.” Because we’re all wounded by original sin, it would be surprising if we didn’t struggle occasionally—on our journey of learning the Faith—with a doctrinal or (more likely) a moral teaching of our Church. All too often I hear folks tell me of making the quantum leap from “I’m not sure about that teaching” to “That teaching needs to be reversed. The Church needs to get with the times!” It’s important that we help those we catechize know that it shouldn’t surprise or disconcert them if they find some aspects of Church teaching, initially at least, to be a hard saying. We should advise them to take their struggle to the Lord in prayer, saying essentially, “Lord I’m struggling with this teaching, but I know that you can neither deceive nor be deceived; and if a change is going to occur, it won’t be in the teaching but rather in me. Please help bring about a change my heart, Lord.” We might point out to our listeners that this prayer might need to be repeated on several occasions—maybe on many.

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