“Who teaches us to love? Only the Holy Spirit”


Last week, I was slightly curious when the Holy Father lumped together “catechetical courses” with “courses in yoga, Zen and all these things” and said none of these would lead us to true freedom of the child of God.

“You can take a million catechetical courses, a million courses in spirituality, a million courses in yoga, Zen and all these things. But all of this will never be able to give you the freedom” of being a child of God.

What was he getting at?

I think the clue lies in some of the other lines…

“Who teaches us to love? Who frees us from this hardness [of heart]?” he asked. “Only the Holy Spirit.”

and also this…

Only the Holy Spirit can “move the heart” and make it “docile to the Lord, docile to the freedom of love”

There is a great lesson for us here as catechists! Doctrinal orthodoxy in our catechetical courses is not enough! Not unless we catechise with the power of the Holy Spirit, recognising him as the master Catechist, the interior Teacher. It reminds me of the great need for docility to the Holy Spirit as catechists. Yes, we must plan and structure. But we must also accustom ourselves to the quiet and gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit, to teach under his guidance, and not under our own insights.

I have realised for a long time that orthodox doctrinal programmes are not enough to make people disciples of Jesus Christ. More is needed.

We recently decided to include extended times of Adoration, including an opportunity for our catechumens to be prayed with, during our Catechumenate. I feel we need as many opportunities as possible, creating conditions to enable them to open their hearts to the Holy Spirit.

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