Dreaming together about the church of the future

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4 thoughts on “Dreaming together about the church of the future”

  1. I’m really struck by how the RCIA’s use of the language of journey (and its constant emphasis on the dynamic role of the community of faith) harmonizes with this initiative on synodality.

    We are a pilgrim people. This requires skills of walking together. Many people do not realize this.

    1. Me too! I think there is so much about this process that resonates with the catechumenate process. The RCIA dives right into the journey imagery in paragraph 1:

      The rite of Christian initiation presented here is designed for adults who, after hearing the mystery of Christ proclaimed, consciously and freely seek the living God and enter the way of faith and conversion as the Holy Spirit opens their hearts.

      In the coming revision, my understanding is that “way” will be changed to “journey” as a more literal translation of the Latin original. I pray this synod has a real impact on the church so that we begin to see ourselves on a lifelong journey of faith.

      Thanks Rita!

  2. Excellent. I’m also reminded of the language in Ad Gentes 13:

    “(N)ew converts set out on a spiritual journey, by means of which, already sharing through faith in the mystery of Christ’s Death and Resurrection, (they pass) from the old (people) to the new (people), perfected in Christ (cf. Col. 3:5-10; Eph. 4:20-24). This bringing with it a progressive change of outlook and morals, must become evident with its social consequences, and must be gradually developed during the time of the catechumenate. Since the Lord (she or) he believes in is a sign of contradiction (cf. Luke 2:34; Matt. 10:34-39), the convert often experiences an abrupt breaking off of human ties, but (she or) he also tastes the joy which God gives without measure (cf. 1 Thess. 1:6).”

    Even in the mid-60s there was a notion that conversion was far more than an intellectual task. The Council bishops realized some things were part of the journey of faith, even progress and rupture. (ack!) When I think of my own experiences when on pilgrimage (a term I like even better than journey) I remember being surprised at turns in the road (literally and otherwise). Walking or driving can be monotonous, but then one experiences a new vista, a lovely destination or rest stop, or a thought or insight arising from introspection. One meets new people: other pilgrims, porters, innkeepers, etc.. That abrupt “breaking off of human ties” struck me today for the first time that the possible experience of many catechumens and candidates involves whole new circles of friends. The synod gives us that opportunity. Also the recognition this is another part of the journey for us to assist our new friends.

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