Sleeping Giants: Enkindling the Theological Virtues through Your Teaching

Authored by Kyle Neilson in Issue #31.3 of The Sower

Kyle Neilson helps us to find ways to awaken Catholics to their baptismal gifts.

The Spiderman movie provides an evocative analogy for Baptism. Most of us know the story: after Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically-modified spider, he discovers he possesses strange new powers: he can shoot webbing from his wrist, his reflexes and eye-sight are uncommonly sharp, he can climb walls, and more.

I was baptized in the Protestant tradition at the age of 18, and experienced its effects in dramatic ways. To offer but one example, prior to my Baptism I habitually treated my exemplary parents very poorly. Within a few weeks following my Baptism, I realized the gravity of my behaviour; I understood the fourth commandment: ‘Honour your father and mother.’ I also experienced a new desire and capacity to love my parents. After a sincere apology, we enjoyed a beautiful reconciliation and started afresh.

At the time, this change in me surprised all of us. Only years later, after becoming a Catholic, did I come to understand that such a change was, in fact, par for the course. Like Peter Parker, I discovered powers given ‘from above.’ The virtue of faith allowed me to grasp the truth about honouring one’s parents, even though I knew about the commandment since childhood. Through charity, I was given a new heart for my mother and father. I possessed an immediate growing desire and power to love them.

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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

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