Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quote of the Day: Making Adjustments

It may surprise today's reader to learn that the Roman Catechism in the sixteenth century was fully aware of the problem of catechetical methodology. It remarks that a lot depends on whether the instructor teaches something in one way or another. Therefore one must carefully study the age, intellectual ability, way of life, and social situation of the listeners, so as really to become all things to all men. The catechist must know who needs milk and who eats solid food, and he should adapt his teaching to the ability of the listeners to absorb it. The biggest surprise for us, however, may be the fact that this catechism allows the catechist much more freedom than contemporary catechetics, generally speaking, is inclined to do. Indeed, it leaves to the instructor to determine the sequence of topics in his catechesis, depending on the persons being instructed and time constraints - assuming, of course, that the catechist himself is personally dedicated and lives a life based on an ongoing meditation upon his material and that he keeps in view the four principal divisions of catechesis and coordinates his own plan with them...In other words, this means that it makes available to the catechist the indispensable basic divisions of catechesis and their particular contents, but it does not relieve him of the responsibility to seek the appropriate way of communicating them in a given situation. (Cardinal Ratzinger - Handing on the Faith in an Age of Disbelief)

No comments: