The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

Teaching Spiritual Things Spiritually

Authored by Sr. Madeleine Marie Van Dillen, SsEW in Issue #8.2 of Catechetical Review

My Experiences with the Come, Follow Me Curriculum

Several years ago, I read an excerpt from an address of Bl. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus that changed the way I approach children’s catechesis.[i] In The Child’s Potential for Contact with God, Bl. Marie-Eugene, a Carmelite friar and founder of the Notre-Dame de Vie Institute in France, described the young baptized child’s capacity for a relationship with God: “The [child’s] use of his theological virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not hampered by all the layers that will come later, caused by selfishness and all the rest, all the sins ... there can be communication with God that is all the more intimate … since the child’s heart is pure and uncomplicated.”[ii]

Taking this purity into account, he said that the catechist’s role in teaching young children is to help them develop “spiritual reflexes that will carry him toward God later on, as if they were second nature.”[iii] Noelle Le Duc, a member of Notre-Dame de Vie, did just that in her catechetical work that became the foundation of the Come, Follow Me curriculum used around the world. The more I learned about this program, the more I saw how it fit into my community’s charism and apostolic work to “teach spiritual things spiritually” (see 1 Cor 2:13).

 

[i] Cf. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, “The Child’s Potential for Contact with God,” trans. Teresa Hawes, The Sower 35, no. 3 (July 2014): 32–33, accessible at review.catechetics.com.

[ii] Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, “The Child’s Potential.”

[iii] Ibid.

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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 [email protected]

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