Sunday, September 23, 2007

RCIA journey

This year's rcia for our parish shows a lot of promise. We have an interesting group (9 people so far, I think) So far the group is all female and composed mainly of teachers from our Catholic school system. We are using the Growing in Faith Project by Bill Huebsch from Twenty Third Publications for the first time in RCIA. This is based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and was intended to be for Adult study groups. One of the good things about this resource is that it provides solid doctrinal content and asks questions in a mature way. One problem is that the program has 48 booklets while we don't have nearly that many weeks available to us in this years RCIA (especially considering the early date for Easter this year). So, I would have to say that as we begin this year I am eager to see how some of the changes we have made work and I am hopeful that together the group for this year can grow in their faith journey.

One of the things about RCIA that is important is the notion that everyone in the whole faith community is on a journey (not just those who are candidates or catechumens). Religious conversion is not a single event deal. Yes, we celebrate Baptism as a sacrament of initiation into the Church. But Baptism (especially for persons baptized as adults) only comes after a process of initial interest in the Gospel and growth toward acceptance of the Baptismal commitment (which is to continue to progress in our faith journey until we finally meet God face to face.

So, my faith journey began when I was baptized a few days after I was born (you could also say that my journey began even earlier than that since I was created by God with the ultimate destiny of union with Him). When I look back on my personal faith journey I can see similarities with the journey of the Israelites in the book of Exodus. My journey has had (as the journey of anyone could) times of :
  • intense interest in and awareness of the journey.
  • a lack of interest and a lack of progress on the journey.
  • doubt about how to proceed on the journey.
  • doubting God and even anger with God.

I know that some of the steps that I have taken on my journey have been the correct ones. I still worry that sometimes I have missed or might still miss an important step on my journey. I also have hope that I will be able to leave behind some of the things that still keep me from Christ and eventually "meet God face to face".

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