|Becoming a Great Lover: Life After Sunday|
|Written by Sherry|
|Tuesday, 01 March 2011 00:00|
I wanted to bring a wonderful evangelization and formation resource to your attention: Life After Sunday. As their website puts it:
The purpose of catechesis is to learn how to become a great lover.
Who can teach us how to love in the only way that will satisfy the human heart? Only Jesus Christ. Allowing ourselves to be drawn into a deeper intimacy with him is the purpose of all catechesis.
“At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, the only Son from the Father... who suffered and died for us and who now, after rising, is living with us forever. To catechize is ‘to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God’s eternal design reaching fulfillment in that Person. It is to seek to understand the meaning of Christ’s actions and words and of the signs worked by him.’ Catechesis aims at putting ‘people. . . in communion. . . with Jesus Christ: only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make us share in the life of the Holy Trinity.’” —CCC 426
"A Long-Term Crisis in the Parish"
While in Boston attending the installation of Archbishop Sean O’Malley, Cardinal J. Francis Stafford, then president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, sat with a reporter for The Pilot to talk about the crisis in the Church. “Many of the problems that we are experiencing in the priesthood, I think, especially the sexual abuse, are due to a crisis, not just an acute crisis, but a long-term crisis in the parish and in the community of the parishes that is lived out. Part of it is rooted in the fact that people do not really experience love within the parish; it is a place in which they really do not trust one another enough to be able to experience the forgiving love of Jesus as that is mediated by the community” [emphasis ours].
We believe the Cardinal has articulated well the most pressing need for the "New Evangelization" in America today. In many parishes, relationships among parishioners can be casually indifferent in a way that often does not communicate Christ’s passionate, merciful love for each person “in the flesh.” As a result, the personal experience of God’s love can appear as distant as the impersonal contact with a fellow parishioner; faith in the Presence of Christ can become increasingly difficult to recognize in the breaking of the bread, in the Word and in the faces of the people in the pews or on parish committees. In the meantime, many Catholics attend Mass on Sunday, but then live the rest of the week without the mystery of the intimate Presence they have just received, a Presence who longs to permeate their lives every day. While many Sunday Catholics make an earnest attempt to live their faith, they still experience the faraway God of isolated Christians in the popular culture.
Very true. And so clearly put.
Take a look at their beautifully written small groups materials which can be downloaded for review and used for a nominal donation. They would make a great resource for Mystagogia (New Catholics), and many other faith-sharing group settings. Evangelization and early formation in the midst of real Christian community is so powerful.
Check out Life After Sunday. You won't be sorry.