Posted by: L. E. Barnes | April 18, 2010

Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival

Each Sunday blogger RAnd, at This That and the Other Thing, hosts Sunday Snippets, a place where you can check out various Catholic blogs or even add a link to your own blog. Please check it out!

With the passing of Easter Sunday, the Church entered into a period known as mystagogia. Catholic author Stratford Caldecott explains its significance:


The need for ongoing catechesis in the mysteries of Christ and of the Church, a catechesis traditionally known as mystagogia (“initiation into the mysteries”), has been noted in Church circles for years. Mystagogy is the stage of exploratory catechesis that comes after apologetics, after evangelization, and after the sacraments of initiation (baptism, Eucharist, and confirmation) have been received. Baptism and confirmation may be given only once. Christian initiation, though, is a continuing adventure, since the grace of these sacraments is the source of a new life of prayer that must continue to grow if it is not to wither and die.

Another writer, Hugh McNichol, offers some additional food for thought:

Traditionally, this period is called the mystagogia, a deepening of our understandings in the mysteries of our faith. For the newly initiated into the faith, this period is the final stage for the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults. For we veteran believers this period provides a time for “shaking-up” and reaffirming our life in the Holy Spirit. While all of us can always benefit from a renewal of our spirituality, this period after Easter is the “high octane” celebration of an extended Easter season.

The early Church understood that post Easter many of the mysteries of faith that had been entrusted to the newly initiated needed time to “sink-in” and mature. Mystagogia is the seeping in period, in which all believers are able to take time and more deeply contemplate the Church’s life and sacraments, which we so joyously celebrated in the past weeks. When I think of this period it is similar to a retreat, a time in which we can take a break and understand the events that have happened in our liturgical celebrations. It is also a great time to renew our spiritual goals that frequently take a back seat to our other domestic activities.

Read the full article here.

During mystagogia, our parish continues having classes for those who have just entered the Church. Today we discussed ways people can get involved in parish life by giving their time and talents. Opportunities range from the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization founded in the late 1800’s, to volunteering at our school. I recall reading in an article about religious movements that one common feature of successful movements is that they give people things to do. Those that offer little in the way of involvement for its members tend to shrink or even die out. (Consider Mormonism: they make missionaries out of many of their people, producing new members as well as helping retain present ones.) The bottom line? Get involved!

We also continued our discussion of Kreeft’s Catholic Christianity. Today’s chapter deals with social and economic morality. Because of our limited time we were only able to cover a few of the topics in the chapter, such as private property. Kreeft points out that “[p]rivate property is a natural need and a natural right. This is why communism is unnatural.” (And of course, history has shown that communism simply doesn’t work!) But what about the dangers of materialism? Is it therefore wrong to be rich? One of our class leaders mentioned that he had helped sell candy for charity in front of stores, and he had observed again and again that people who (judging by their cars and clothes) were not well off financially tended to be much more generous than more affluent people. Why? As Kreeft says, “Riches are not evil, nor are all rich people selfish. But riches are dangerous… One indication… is the statistical fact that, in most cultures… the poor are much more generous than the rich to those below themselves on the economic scale.” He then puts it bluntly, “[riches] tend to be addictive.” Our class agreed that very often your possessions can end up “owning” you!

Another issue brought up was gambling. The Church does not condemn gambling per se. However, gambling is of course a problem if it becomes an addiction. “The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement,” the Catechism explains. I was taught as an evangelical that gambling was inherently wrong; thus, my fellow evangelical Christians tended to fight even things such as a state educational lottery. The Church takes a different approach, simply calling for prudence and self-control in this matter.

Someone brought up the issue of tithing. Protestants generally teach that one must contribute at least 10% of their income (whether that meant gross income or net income was a subject of debate) to their church and/or other Christian endeavors. This is called tithing. The Church, on the other hand, does not specify percentages, though it does emphasize giving. For instance, the Catechism says, “God blesses those who come to the aid of the poor and rebukes those who turn away from them…. It is by what they have done for the poor that Jesus Christ will recognize his chosen ones.”

We are still in the Easter season. May you be enriched spiritually during this–as Hugh McNichol put it– “high octane” celebration!



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    • Thanks! Glad you like it!

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