Sunday, April 19, 2015

Notes from the Liturgical Catechesis and the New Evangelization Conference Part 4: James Pauley, Practical Considerations

Here is the 4th installment of my notes from the Liturgical Catechesis conference at the Liturgical Institute at University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein. This is from the second talk by James Pauley, University of St. Francis Steubenville.

"Liturgical Catechesis: Practical Considerations"

Necessary skills for a rich liturgical life that a catechist needs to have and teach:
1. Ability to disengage from distractions. 
We need to quiet ourselves. He teaches catechists that students have a right to the full prayer of the Church. They need to learn prayer with scripture, Liturgy of the Hours and other deeper forms of prayer. Students arrive in religious education class distracted. In the first 10 minutes of a class we need to get them away from their distraction.

2. Ability to unite our minds and hearts to the words we pray.
Where do catechists go for content? Textbooks, the Catechism, but also need to go to the rites of the Church. The first task of liturgical catechesis is to explain the words of the Mass. So, draw from the rites and preserve a disposition of wonder and awe. Especially important for those preparing for sacraments. Don't wait until the rehearsal to share with them the words of the rite. (We often do that for Confirmation, Matrimony...)

The second time we should use the words of the rites is in ALL other catechesis. Use the words of the readings or the Missal or ritual prayers. Example: when teaching about sin, use Ash Wednesday readings or the words of absolution from the Rite of Penance.

3. Ability to see what God is doing in the liturgical actions.
Reflect on the fruits and effects. You don't need to cover everything about a sacrament but be sure to cover the effects and do it well.

What does God do in a sacrament? Look at the words of the rite. They tell us exactly what we are asking God to do. Example: the Epiclesis in new marriage rite draft calls the Spirit to pour out God's love into the couple's hearts.

See CCC 1624 (matrimony) - grace builds on nature
CCC 1642 - what happens when Christ dwells with them... human love becomes supernaturalized

4. The ability to cooperate with sacramental grace so that a change is effected in how we live.
Liturgy is expected to lead us into metanoia. We are to be transformed to share Christs love.

Two principles
1. the liturgy is a lifelong source of catechesis
2. There is a great need for all of us to be more responsive to the grace we receive in the sacraments.

We need to be mentored how to live the sacramental life, cooperating with the grace of sacraments. Example, we should be doing Mystagogy for marriage. That would include testimony, mentoring...

(From his handout:)
REFLECTION:  What for me, does attunement to God's presence and action in liturgy look like?  How can I put myself more frequently in that position? How can I invite those I teach into this place?

Part 5: Jim Beckman - Youth

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