Saturday, April 18, 2015

Notes from the Liturgical Catechesis and the New Evangelization Conference Part 3 - Petroc Willey

Here is the 3rd 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 talk by Petroc Willey, University of St. Francis Steubenville.

"From the Sign to the Mystery: Foundations for a Liturgical Catechesis"

Liturgy is about seeing the invisible. We need to see the Cross. That's the mystery.

The pedagogy of God
The key to all catecheisis is the CCC.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is not just a dictionary but a tool. We look at how it presents things. The methodology is the he pedagogy of God.  Pedagogy is not methods.

God communicates himself to man gradually (CCC first articles.  God prepares us for revelation of Christ in stages. 

The Ladder to Heaven
This is illustrated in Guigo the Carthusian's book about Jacob's ladder (La Scala Paradiso) This is a vision for catechesis. The ladder is Christ himself. His feet are on the ground and his head is in heaven. Catechesis is about trying to understand the ladder, but not about leaving behind the visible to seek the invisible. We have to love what we can see to learn to love what you cannot see. The ladder needs to be held more firmly the higher up we go. We need to move in stages.

New evangelization is for the baptized who think they know Christ but really don't. They who have not heard proclamation of the gospel. People are sent to us out of order. They are often completely lost. They have no foundation for the ladder.

3 stages/foundations:
From the visible to the invisible
From the sign to the thing signified
From sacraments to mysteries

Pope John Paul II Faith and Reason. The sapiental reason.
We can know reality
We can understand mystery
We can see meaning

Recovering a vision of the sacred
Wordsworth's "Ode on Intimations of Immortality" - once, in childhood, he knew the things of heaven, but now in adulthood that is forgotten. Catechesis is about recovering this vision. The more we know the sign, the more we can see the reality. The more support for the ladder. It is about what did the sign mean in Christ's life not what it means in our cultural understanding. We are trying to understand the language of Gods love.

The human being is a microcosm of entire universe. We are visible and invisible. We are the ladder and we have visible and invisible in us. So, we need to recover what it is to see that. When we do that, we see that baptism really IS washing and that the anointing with oil is our anointing as priest, prophet and king. The CCC says our words do reach reality.

We need the anthropology to understand the human person and what they have in place before we can catechize. We need to help people find the ground that the ladder rests on first. Most people live in a flat universe. They don't have reality. Need to help them recover reality of created things and understand the depths.

Q and A
Q. Should children be the evangelizers? We must relearn to see the world like children. Openness, wonder - yes, children can teach parents.

Q. What does readiness for sacraments look like and do we take the time to discern? When someone approaches the church they are led by God. The answer is not "Come back later when it's time." The answer is "I will not let you go." ... And then to develop the process for them.

Q. Are metaphysics important and how do we teach it in a culture that doesn't understand? Yes. We need to teach a poetic imagination and a sense of the sacred.

Part 4: James Pauley (Second Presentation)

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