Sunday, 24 May 2009

Promoting vocations and religious practice

I found this post at Young Fogeys interesting.

It has some echoes of an article in the April-June 2009 issue of The Sower. The article is by Amette Ley, and is entitled "God's Pedagogy and the call to obedience". It is one of Amette's "On the Spot" articles which seeks to suggest responses to difficult questions or situations which might arise in the work of the catechesis.

In this article, Amette draws on the idea of a "divine pedagogy", that is found in the General Directory for Catechesis, and examines the idea of response to God's revelation (obedience) in that context. Amette looks at the idea of our response to God in revelation: knowledge and freedom (Adam and Eve's fall), effort is needed (Noah has to undertake the task of building the Ark), renunciation (Abram must undergo a journey), courage (Moses confrontation with Pharaoh), abandonment of our own plans (David does not build a house for the Ark, instead accepting God's promise of a household/dynasty of his own) ... all leading up to Christ as the example par excellence of response to the mission received from the Father (obedience even unto death).

There are then similar stages that we go through - or need to go through - in our own development of a response to God's call to us: the transition from going to Mass without protest, to realising that we will have to make some effort to get there, to taking a full responsibility of our own for going to Mass. The same applies to other areas of Christian living.

What Amette points out, though, and this is where there is an echo to the article at Young Fogeys, is that this is something about which we need to talk to our children and young people. We need to be explicit about it, and not just assume that it will happen by accident. If they do not know and understand the process of growth in faith that is represented here - and is exemplified in the way in which God has dealt with his people down the ages - they are not going to live it. They will simply rebel through lack of knowledge.

Or, in teacher-speak, it is about assessment for learning: the student needs to know where they are at now, and then what they have to do to improve and progress to the next stage in their learning.

And the connection to vocations awareness is pretty clear.

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