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On the Spot: The Catholic Understanding of the Life of Grace
The lady sitting next to me at one of our parish sessions for adults clearly felt comfortable talking about her own Christian faith. She leaned over to me. ‘I was baptised a Catholic,’ she confided, ‘but I left the Church after some bad experiences. I never really stopped believing in God, and a couple of years ago I started going to a house church. I really learned what grace is there – something I never learned in the Catholic Church. Still, I’ve come back to the Church now…’ On the Spot highlights some of the complex positions, questions and comments experienced by catechists, teachers and parents. It outlines the knowledge necessary to be faithful to Church teaching and which will best help those we teach who call us to account for the hope that is in us (cf. I Peter 3:15). Amette Ley looks at how we teach the Catholic understanding of the life of grace. At that point the chatting groups were called to order and I never heard why she had moved from her house church back to our parish. The route from being a cradle Catholic, to finding a new sense of one’s faith through a Protestant denomination, and then returning to the Catholic Church, is not unusual, of course. But the whole experience of this lady seemed to me a good illustration of the confusion in many minds of how the Church understands the life of grace, and how we go about possessing it. Bringing people to understand this is, of course, at the very core of what catechesis must achieve.