“Effective catechesis also incorporates learning “by heart.” For centuries the living
tradition of the faith was handed on principally through the oral tradition. From the
earliest time, catechesis has relied on the Creed, the sacraments, the Decalogue, and
prayers, especially the Our Father, as primary instruments of transmitting the faith.
In order to learn the principals truths of the faith, these instruments were easily
committed to memory in lieu of textbooks or other printed materials and could be
recalled often as the basis of catechetical instruction. “Use of memory, therefore,
forms a constitutive aspect of pedagogy of the faith since the beginning of
Christianity” (GDC, no. 154).”
There are many ways the liturgy, which by its very nature catechizes, helps us learn the faith “by heart”. I want to briefly focus on one profound way it does this.
The Church in her wisdom reads the same Scripture readings every 3 years (as well as each year we often hear the same readings during certain liturgical days). This allows the faithful learn “by heart” the Word of God and then respond by living it in our lives and proclaiming its truths to those around us.
Wow, this reality, in my opinion, is awesome. I love the wisdom of the Church!
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