My friend Dr. Farey (head of Catechetical Formation, Course Director B.Div, and Course Director License in Catechetics at the Maryvale Institute in Birmingham, England) has a wonderful quote that is so pertinent to catechesis today:
“How is the heart ever going to know what is good if we don’t use our mind to inform the heart? Don’t let anyone say to you, ‘don’t worry about all that study, all you need is to get your heart united to Christ’. Yes, we need our hearts plunged in Christ… be led by Christ but let your mind be led by Christ through the Church so that your heart can follow what is actually good, and not just what is an awful lot of opinions of what must be good… The Catechism is there to help us.”
I often speak of formation in Christ (not merely information) needing to be at the heart of catechesis. However, I could not agree more with the importance of assuring that in our catechesis in the Third Millennium needs to incorporate both the heart and the mind when passing on the deposit of faith.
Too often today people struggle to have their hearts follow what is actually good. At the risk of sounding judgmental, it appears that individuals allow the messages and ideas given by society to shape their understanding of life, liberty and even the pursuit of Jesus. Teaching the truths of the Faith, especially the deposit of faith articulated in the Catechism, will help others see how these truths that are Godly point to the good (which is from God). Too often our society desires to revise what is good or form one’s idea of God based on a more modern application of what is seen as good (because they believe that “they see it more clearly” than what the Bible says or what the Church would say).
What do you think about Dr. Farey’s quote? I’d enjoy your insights and thoughts.