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.

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

Applied Theology of the Body: The Difference between Contraception and Natural Family Planning
By Dr. Donald P. Asci
St. John Paul II dedicated the entire sixth chapter of his theology of the body (TOB) catechesis to reaffirming and deepening the Church’s teaching on responsible parenthood, providing his most direct and extensive application of TOB to the Church’s teachings on sexual morality. Drawing upon the teachings of Gaudium et Spes and Humanae Vitae , St... Read more
Children's Catechesis: Theology of the Body for the Very Young
By Katrina Zeno
In the book Speaking the Truth in Love , Dr. Petroc Willey offers a triadic framework for transmitting the faith: the heart, head, and hand, where hand is the process of “handing on” the Deposit of Faith. [1] I hope he won’t mind if I borrow this triadic framework and modify it slightly for teaching St. John Paul II’s theology of the body (TOB) to... Read more
Youth & Young Adult Ministry – The Miracles God Can Work in Just Forty Hours a Week: The Fruits of Boundaries in Ministry
By Andrew and Coreen Wagenbach
Who could survive a low-paying, time-consuming, unpredictable, and exhausting job for more than a few years? And if they do survive, who could possibly thrive, especially as a family? We are living proof that it is possible, but it takes an important skill that many of us were not taught: building and protecting boundaries . The first requirement... 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