Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Your Assignment is to study your local parish for this coming weekend (and this past weekend) and try to create a "snapshot" of the operative Christology in the parish. You will do this in four ways:
I. Creed - What is expressly taught about who Jesus is? You will find this in the homily, in the Pastor's message in the bulletin, and in any religious formation classes the parish offers. You might also want to ask this question, "who is Jesus?" of a few people.
II. Liturgy & Sacraments - How does the parish engage in the worship of Jesus and how does it present the sacraments as encounters with Jesus? This you will find through astute observation in a few areas:
A. What is the "feel" of the Church before mass? What is going on in the fifteen minutes or so before mass begins? What are the Hymns sung at Church? What is the content, what are they about?
B. How many altar servers and other lay ministers (lectors, ushers, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion) are there? What is their decorum? How are they dressed? How active are they in the mass?
C. What prayers are used? It would be unreasonable to write down each one in its entirety, but identify some of the key phrases that are used. What is the general tone of the language of the prayers?
D. What is the environment like? Describe, or even sketch the layout of the Church. Where is the tabernacle? Where do you find statues or images of Jesus, Mary, or the Saints? What is the "feel" or style of those statues or images? Describe any prominent stained glass, banners, or seasonal decorations. Finally, describe the vestment of the priest.
III. Morality - What is the parish attitude toward sin? Are there explicit references to it during the mass - particularly the penitential right at the beginning? What about during the homily or in the bulletin? Are pro-life or other issues addressed? Is the confessional in a prominent location? How often is confession available? What percentage of people would you estimate make use of confession on a regular basis?
Monday, October 4, 2010
1. Very early on, Gregory compares being a Christian to being a doctor, a politician, mathematician, etc. and says that just as these professions require an education, so to does being a Christian. Do you think that we really must have some level of education before we can call ourselves Christian? Explain.
2. What do you make of the "dancing monkey" illustration? We live in a society that largely calls itself "Christian" and yet we persist in crime, violence, injustice, and vice. Are we any more than dancing monkeys?
3. Gregory writes that to unite ourselves to Christ means to share in the "lofty ideals" that are used to describe him. Does this mean that if we do not assume the noble virtues in our character that we are not truly united to Christ? Compare the meaning of this segment to the discussion we had about the Ascension a few weeks ago. (Why did Jesus have to ascend?)
4. How does Gregory assert that Christianity "returns" man to his former or original state?
5. What reason does Gregory give (on the top half of pg. 64) for us being accurate imitators of the Divine?