Seven Steps to a Deepening Faith
By: Judith Costello
When I first started writing for CatechismClass.com, I was told to follow the formula on which this form of catechesis is based. It is a 7 part formula, and the truth is, I thought it was too cumbersome. But I set out to try it, to work within this format. And now I truly believe this is a Divinely inspired way to teach!
Any attempt at instruction should include facts, background information, inspiration and a way to integrate the material--but that rarely happens. In the CatechismClass.com format, the head and the heart, the body and the soul are reached because of a clearly defined process.
What is this format? It includes stunning visuals from the rich history of our faith. And then there are 7 stages to the instruction:
The Introduction includes the historical background on the topic as well as a clear, concise description of the material to be covered.
This is followed by Prayer. All we do should begin and end in prayer. In the case of these lessons, the prayers are often related directly to the material being studied.
The next step is to consult Scripture. Our faith is deeply rooted in the Word of God.
The following step is to look at the Church documents which address the topic. The Catechisms of the Church-- not only the current Catechism but our historical documents-- as well as the writings of the Popes and the saints, give clear instruction and inform us on the Sacred Tradition of our faith. When we instruct our youth, new members of the faith and adults who want to deepen their faith, we are not giving them a new theory. We are sharing from the deep well of faith. Truth must be understood and then we must proclaim it to the world!
To deepen the understanding of the previous materials, there is a section of Integration. Again, this is not theory. It is a reflection based in Scripture and Tradition that deepens the understanding of faith topics.
Following this section, an Activity and Comprehension Quiz are offered. These materials allow the student to interact with the lesson. The activities may vary greatly, but the purpose is to put the lesson into practice in some way. I like to offer creative activities: make a rosary, draw a picture, journal, create a frame for artwork…these are some ideas I have shared with readers. Then the quiz offers a way to test understanding, which is absolutely essential. We want to make sure the material is truly understood.
The end is of course, Prayer. We begin and end in prayer and make the entire teaching a form of prayer! As Christ Himself taught us, “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.
I highly recommend the lessons presented by CatechismClass.com. This is a format that has power!