RCIA & Adult Faith Formation: Permanent Mystagogy

Authored by R. Jared Staudt in Issue #1.1 of The Catechetical Review

According to the General Directory for Catechesis, “adult catechesis must be given priority.”[1] In fact, the GDC links adult catechesis to the baptismal catechumenate: [Adult catechesis] “involves ‘a post-baptismal catechesis, in the form of a catechumenate...presenting again some elements from the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults with the purpose of allowing a person to grasp and live the immense, extraordinary richness and responsibility received at Baptism.’”[2] Therefore, adult catechesis is not simply a refresher course in content but is permeated by the idea that the life of Baptism (and each of the sacraments) must be lived in maturity. And this requires ongoing formation and support, a “permanent mystagogy.”[3] Therefore, Pope Benedict XVI, in Sacramentum Caritatis, calls for a “mystagogical approach to catechesis, which would lead the faithful to understand more deeply the mysteries being celebrated.”[4]

Initiation is ultimately ordered to being one with our Lord in an intimate and eternal communion. Such intimacy requires that we approach Jesus’s Body with love, free from serious sin, and with a reverent disposition. However, many seem to take the reception of Communion lightly in the Church today. Reception of the Eucharist, for many, has become routine, uniform, and even presumed as a right, regardless of canonical standing or state of soul. We know from St. Paul that improper reception of Communion works against its true purpose and rather than deepening our participation in the life of God, it can actually alienate us from him:

"Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself" (1 Cor. 11:27-30, RSV).

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

Start your subscription today!


This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Catholic Schools and Their Call to Evangelize
By Dr. James Pauley
Free Several years back, at the end of Mass, we listened attentively to a pitch for Catholic education from our well-respected Catholic high school’s football coach. He described his own childhood and the sacrifices his parents made to send their kids to Catholic schools. He asked how many of us adults had attended Catholic schools and a sizeable... Read more
From the Shepherds: Evangelizing Through Catholic Schools
By Bishop Thomas Olmsted
Free Ample research has shown that a great majority of young people are leaving the Church before age 22 and choosing to never return. Many studies have been done on the Millennial Generation to discover their affinity (or lack thereof) to the Christian Faith. The Church’s response to this lack of faith is the New Evangelization. In 1990, Pope John... Read more
Curriculum from a Catholic Worldview
By R. Jared Staudt
We can take for granted the fact that the Catholic Church runs a large number of schools throughout the world. It is clear that the Church must offer religious education, but why does the Church teach math, gym class, science, literature, and history? Wouldn’t it just be easier if the Church focused more narrowly on the supernatural; why also... 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