Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Public Service

I became a catechist for my parish as a way to serve, and to study the schooling system as it exists in the modern world. As a teacher in-service evening, we attended a dinner and presentation designed to give catechists from all over the county (technically cluster) a chance to learn and share ideas and helpful pedagogy.

The discussion amongst me and my fellow teachers was truly invaluable and enlightening. It was the best advice and encouragement I could possibly have received, including support in my desire to have my children homeschooled. Unfortunately, the presentation by Dr. Eileen McGrath of RCL publications was, at best, unhelpful and, at worst, a temptation away from the faith. I could only stomach an hour of the presentation since it was a better use of my time to return home and tuck my girls into bed. Her sources and experts consisted primarily of self-help gurus like Robbins, Dyer, and Chopra. Her main thrust seemed to be the power of positive thinking as "self-care." I had no idea how this applied to catechists and the best application I have come up with in the last week is not to harangue your students. As if I needed that warning.

Some of her talking points seemed to directly contradict Church teaching, such as, "We are not born negative." I believe that original sin and its stain are pretty big negatives. The other tired teaching she spouted was, "We are made in the image of God so we are divine." If I was divine, there would have been a small, concentrated spurt of fire and brimstone at that point, therefore, I am not divine. I can only send out this small public service announcement to my readers. If you want to learn the faith, read a the life of a saint or the Catechism or the Bible just not anything written by Dr. Eileen McGrath.

1 comment:

Rob said...

"We are not born negative" = pelagianism = the denial of original sin. Reminds me of Belloc's Pelagian drinking song. Beer solves everything.

"We are divine" admits of an orthodox interpretation, although not specifically because we are made in the image of God, but because we participate in the divine nature. "God became man that man might become God."

All in all, sounds like everyone's time would have been better spent drinking beer.