OUR STORY …
In today’s story, we get some private insight into a conversation between Bishop Bob and Sr. Charlie about Herman’s formation as a Cathedral mouse. They decided to employ the “Damascus Road” technique, a popular (but not always successful) approach for many in the Church today.
IT IS WRITTEN …
We find the Damascus Road story in a couple of different places in the Bible, but we’ll be focusing on it in Galatians 1:13-20. In it, Paul tells his own story, including a three-year wilderness period between his radical conversion and the start of his ministry. The wilderness period, a time of deep prayer, intense fasting, and great suffering was a big part of the key to St. Paul’s development as an Apostle.
LIFE GOES ON …
Variations of the Damascus Road approach to formation and education remain popular in the Church today. Sadly, however, they do not incorporate key elements such as the wilderness experience. As a result, we end up with Catholic adults who have received the sacraments and believe they have “graduated “ and are no longer in need of any continuing education as a member of the Catholic Church.
These are the very same people who later report that they don’t believe in the real presence, and they either drop out of Church or go elsewhere where their ears are tickled by doctrines that do not include the necessity of the Bread of Life (see Matt 6).
Bishop Bob and Sr. Charlie understood well that using the Damascus Road method also requires the catechumens to regularly ask themselves three questions:
- Based on what I have learned, what should I start doing?
- Based on what I have learned, what should I stop doing?
- Or based on what I have learned, what should I change the way I’m doing it?
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it. It’s cool to be Catholic. COOL2B!