"Transmitting or Informing? Print
Written by Sherry   
Monday, 04 April 2011 16:41

Back to the Lineamenta for the Synod on the New Evangelization. Here's what I find so stunning, so powerful, so true.

Basically the Church is saying:

Transmitting the Faith is first and foremost transmitting a relationship with Jesus Christ, not teaching information about Jesus Christ. If a living relationship with Christ does not exist, we have not succeeded in "transmitting" the Faith.

We may have successfully conveyed Catholic theological concepts, dogma, discipline, and moral perspectives, Catholic history, facts about Catholic practices and canon law and the saints, etc.

But the Faith has not been transmitted unless the Person and the relationship at the center of the Faith has been transmitted.

And we can't transmit the the relationship at the center of the Faith unless we, ourselves, have lived that relationship.

Essentially, if I'm not a disciple myself, I can't evangelize. I can educate others about the faith without being a disciple.

But I can't transmit the Faith in a living way to someone else because I can't give away what I don't possess. I can't make disciples without being a disciple myself.

Think I'm over-stating? Read the passage from the Lineamenta below:

"In referring to the Gospel, we must not think of it only as a book or a set of teachings. The Gospel is much more; it is a living and efficacious Word, which accomplishes what it says. It is not so much a system of articles of faith and moral precepts, much less a political programme, but a person: Jesus Christ, the definitive Word of God, who became man.[34] The Gospel is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

However, not only does the Gospel have Jesus Christ as its content; but even more, through the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ is also the promoter and the centre of its proclamation and transmission. Consequently, the goal of the transmission of the faith is the realization of a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, in the Spirit, thereby leading to an experiencing of his Father and our Father.[35]

Transmitting the faith means to create in every place and time the conditions for this personal encounter of individuals with Jesus Christ.

The faith-encounter with the person of Jesus Christ is a relationship with him, “remembering him” (in the Eucharist) and, through the grace of the Spirit, having in us the mind of Jesus Christ. Pope Benedict XVI stated: “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. [...] Since God has first loved us (cf. 1 Jn 4:10), love is now no longer a mere ‘command’; it is the response to the gift of love with which God draws near to us.”[36] The Church realizes herself precisely from carrying out her task of proclaiming the Gospel and transmitting the Christian faith.

This personal encounter allows individuals to share in the Son’s relationship with his Father and to experience the power of the Spirit. The aim of transmitting the faith and the goal of evangelization is to bring us “through him [Christ] in one Spirit to the Father” (Eph 2:18).[37] This is the newness of the Christian God. From this perspective, transmitting the faith in Christ means to create the conditions for a faith which is thought-out, celebrated, lived and prayed; in short, this means participating in the life of the Church.[38] This way of transmitting the faith is very much grounded in Church Tradition. Reference to it is found in The Catechism of the Catholic Church and its Compendium, both of which take up the subject of the new evangelization so as to encourage, explain and repropose it.[39]

The Church Transmits the Faith Which She Herself Lives

12. The transmission of the faith is a very complex, dynamic process which totally involves the faith of Christians and the life of the Church. What is not believed or lived cannot be transmitted. . .

The Gospel can only be transmitted on the basis of “being” with Jesus and living with Jesus the experience of the Father, in the Spirit; and, in a corresponding way, of “feeling” compelled to proclaim and share what is lived as a good and something positive and beautiful."

Your thoughts?