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: Forming Disciples who Make Disciples
By Dr. James Pauley
Free It was yet another miraculous catch of fish. When Peter saw the fish and heard John say “it is the Lord!” he dove into the water in his zeal to be with the risen Jesus, rather than waiting to bring the boat to shore. After the meal, Jesus took Peter aside and asked, “do you love me more than these?” And then Jesus asked again. And a third time.... Read more
Freeing Up for Mission: Critical Steps for the Path Forward
By Jim Beckman
Free Early Memories I had a somewhat magical season of my life that has left lasting memories for me. I was only eleven or twelve. Up until that time, life had been marked by tragedy. My dad had been injured and left paralyzed, one of my sisters had tragically died, my mom had even suffered a nervous breakdown and was away from us for several months.... Read more
Multiplication: Passing on a Message and a Mission
By André Regnier
There is a growing trend within the Church, rightly so, toward mentorship or coaching of our leaders. The idea is that great programs are not effective without great people leading those programs. Associated with this focus on mentorship is a theory some people call “spiritual multiplication”, which attempts to go one step further in mentoring... 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