Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Still Shining in the Darkness: or, Be Not Afraid of Geekness

Jesus told John, Peter, and the others, to "make disciples of all nations;" and to teach us " observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:18-20)

Jesus and a Vital Message

I'm a Catholic layman, so my duties include dealing with "social, political, and economic realities" I run into: or that run into me. (Catechism, 898-900)

Like any other Christian, a very important part of my job is "to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and accepted by all men throughout the earth." (Catechism, 900) That's a tall order.

The "divine message of salvation" brings me back to Jesus:
" 'At the heart of catechesis we find, in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, the only Son from the Father . . . who suffered and died for us and who now, after rising, is living with us forever.'13...."
(Catechism, 426)
"Catechesis?" That's a particular sort of teaching:
"CATECHESIS: An education of children, young people, and adults in the faith of the Church through the teaching of Christian doctrine in an organic and systematic way to make them disciples of Jesus Christ. Those who perform the ministry of catechists in the Church are called 'catechists'
(5, 426-427).
(Glossary, Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Don't Try, But Don't Stop Trying

So, what can I do to "make disciples?"

This paradoxically intriguing post, in another blog, outlines one approach. (A tip of the hat to Fr. Christian Mathis, on Google+, for the heads-up on his post.)
The message in Father Mathis' post seems to be that a hard-sell approach, he calls it "zeal," can drive folks away from faith. He outlines how to share faith through personal relationships. I think it's a good idea.

Working with What I've Got

I'm one of those people who say things like "paradoxically intriguing," and read dictionaries for fun. If I had more finely-tuned social skills, I might be a geek. As it is, I've been told I'm a nerd, and I agree:
Which reminds me of that famous line from "Twelfth Night:"
"Be not afraid of geekness: some men are born geeks, some achieve geekness and some have geekness thrust upon them."
(with apologies to William Shakespeare)
A cartoon explaining distinctions between geeks and nerds is at the end of this post.

I've decided to settle for being me: a man who loves language and digging through piles of information; and who is pretty good at putting words together. Writing these posts seems like a reasonable way to use my skills and experience.

Shining in the Darkness

John, who stayed with my Lord at the cross, explained who Jesus is:
"1 2 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

"He was in the beginning with God.

"3 All things came to be through him, and without him nothing came to be. What came to be

"through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race;

"4 the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. "
(John 1:1-5)
Two millennia later, the darkness still "has not overcome it."

And that's another topic.

Related posts:
  • "Catechesi Tradendae"
    On Catechesis in Our Time
    John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation (October 16, 1979)

Geeks and nerds, from

(from, used w/o permission)

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.