Our biggest challenge in RCIA formation is deepening the conversion of our seekers to such a level that they become lifelong disciples of Christ.
This task is so mysterious and so overwhelming that we sometimes give in to temptation. The temptation is to tell ourselves that it is up to the Holy Spirit, not us, to convert hearts. Our job, we are tempted to say, is simply to make sure the seekers know the teaching of the church.
While it is true that conversion of hearts is the work of the Spirit, each of us has been given spiritual gifts through which the Spirit acts. How would you feel if you needed heart surgery and your doctor said to you, “The Holy Spirit is the true healer of hearts. I will only tell you what the guidelines are for diet and exercise, and then I will go away and pray for you.”
The number-one job for every RCIA catechist
Pope John Paul II said, “The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ” (On Catechesis in Our Time, 5). We are not merely dispensers of knowledge. We are agents of conversion. We are healers.
The “mystery” as to how to cause conversion is a mystery of love, not a mystery of technique. The mystery is the complete sense of “beyond” that we feel when we experience true love. The “how to” of developing a love relationship with Jesus, however, is pretty straightforward. The RCIA gives us six keys or principles for accomplishing this task. I guarantee you that if you ground your RCIA process in these six principles, you will be incredibly successful at converting hearts and making lifelong disciples.
The six keys every RCIA team should know by heart
You can find the six keys for making lifelong disciples in paragraphs 4 and 5 of the RCIA
- The initiation of catechumens is a gradual process
- that takes place within the community of the faithful.
- By joining the catechumens in reflecting on the value of the paschal mystery
- and by renewing their own conversion, the faithful provide an example that will help the catechumens to obey the Holy Spirit more generously.
- The rite of initiation is suited to a spiritual journey of adults
- that varies according to: the many forms of God’s grace, the free cooperation of the individuals, the action of the Church, and the circumstances of time and place.
Knowing these six keys and building your RCIA formation process on them is not difficult in the sense of “hard to understand.” But it is a very big challenge to implement each of these six keys every day, in every aspect of our RCIA processes. It is difficult to maintain focus and discipline over time.
What are your thoughts?
In the next series of posts, we will look more deeply at each of these six keys. For now, please add your comments in the box below. Which of these six keys seems the most exciting to you? Which one seems the most challenging?
Click here to read about the first two steps.
1 thought on “RCIA’s six keys to making lifelong disciples”
As I continue to reflect on the content of the Video Marathon and on the six keys mentioned above, I think the real challenge in our parish is the engagement of the community. I will bring that concern back to the RCIA team. Thank you for all that you do to help us be better disciples bringing others to a relationship with Jesus.