Opinions Expressed in "Rants," while informed by Catholic doctrine, are merely the opinions of the author.

Catholic Communication Breakdown

Do you know what the Pascal Mystery is?

We just saw it. In fact we see it all the time?  Could you tell me what it is?

Well, turns out most Catholics can’t.  They don’t know. 

Even though, as they were in Church this Easter, the words “Paschal Mystery” were used by the priest over and over and over again.  “We rejoice in the gift of your Paschal Mystery,” Father reads.  “Why are we rejoicing again?” we all silently respond.

To me this demonstrates a fundamental challenge in our Catholic faith – we have a communication breakdown.

Any parent or teenager knows what this is like – “They don’t understand!” they call out, “They speak a different language!!”

It seems like the vast majority of Catholics today don’t speak that old language any more – phrases like, “Paschal mystery,” “communion of faith,” “redemption for sin,” or “incarnation” wash over young Catholic families like rain over the rocks of a stream, seeming not to penetrate.

I see it in their eyes, as they sit in Church, trying to engage, unable – it’s a different language. Thousands of years of priceless knowledge, ancient truth, is beyond their reach.

Seems bleak to some.  But believe it or not, I’m very hopeful. Very optimistic.

You see, its simple, what we need – is translators – people who speak BOTH languages – the language of the Church, AND the language of today’s culture.

And right in our Catholic schools, we have teachers and students who are fluent in the language of our culture – from YouTube to Facebook, from Call of Duty to NHL AllStars, from Katy Perry to the Black Eyed Peas.

AND we have the marvelous opportunity to teach them the ancient language of the Church, to give them their sacred heritage, so they can learn ways to tell the old greatest story in a new way.

They can teach us Priests.  They teach ME, everyday that I visit a Catholic school.

Some see Catholic schools as one of the great challenges of the church.  Personally, I see Catholic schools as one of the Church’s greatest hopes.

Most of all, we can all learn together – that the “Paschal Mystery” is not just theological truth.  It’s an encounter – it’s the way Jesus is HERE, present in people who get to know each other, and learn to love each other, the way Jesus loved us.