On the Spot: How do you feel?

Authored by Amette Ley in Issue #32.3 of The Sower

On the Spot’ aims to highlight some of the complex positions, questions and comments experienced by Catechists, teachers and parents. It tries to outline 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] This time we look at how we can most effectively use questioning to draw those we teach and catechise closer to the person of Jesus.

The children in the youngest class of the local Catholic school had been learning about the time Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem when he was twelve years old, and how Mary and Joseph searched for him with great anxiety until they found him in the Temple. The main focus during this session was on the question, ‘How do you think Jesus felt when he was lost in the Temple?’ The five year olds huddled closer to each other, one or two of them still sucking their fingers and twiddling their hair for comfort. They knew how they would have felt, lost and alone in a big town with their mothers nowhere to be seen.

This, and similar questions posed by some catechetical materials, may spring from the best of intentions. There can be a tendency to assume that children and young people - and also those new to the faith - will be anxious about, or unable to grasp doctrine. For this reason, it is sometimes proposed that all catechesis must begin the person's 'experience', with ‘where the person is.’ This can lead to a very subjective, emotionally-based perception of the faith, and does not clearly reflect the pedagogy of God who came down to where we are in the person of his Son Jesus and made a gradual revelation to us through him.

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

Start your subscription today!

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

Articles from the Most Recent Issue

Editor's Reflections: Recovering God's Work in the Sacraments
By Dr. James Pauley
Free The distress has been palpable. Important voices within the Church decry clericalism as the cause of the current scandal. Others point to the Church’s teaching concerning sexuality not being lived or taught with clarity. Still others describe a lack of authentic conversion, that many of our leaders are not allowing the grace of Christ to bring... Read more
The Eucharist: Who, When, What, Why, and Where? Part 1
By Peter Kreeft
Free Socrates and Plato and Aristotle and Buddha and Confucius and Lao Tzu all gave us their minds; Christ gave us his body. They all tried to save the world from ignorance by their philosophies; Christ saved the world from sin and death and hell by his body and blood—both on the cross and in the Eucharist. Christ said, “Come unto me.” Buddha said, “... Read more
The Two-Fold Gift of Sacramental Grace: To Heal and To Uplift
By Sr. Mary Madeline Todd, OP
One of the marks of contemporary experience seems to be a widespread sense of brokenness, a sort of heaviness of being. Therefore, one of the least debated claims of Christianity is that we need healing, both personal and societal. Social analysts repeatedly look for the causes of this individual and collective discontent. While there are cultural... Read more


Watch Tutorial Videos

We've put together several quick and easy tutorial videos to show you how to use this website.

Watch Now