Thursday, July 5, 2007


I just read California Catholic Daily’s article “How is the Holy Spirit like fragrance?”

It was a report on Thomas Zanzig’s address to Catholic educators in Los Angeles on June 22nd. Zanzig works for the Silver Burdette Gin religious publishers. Their web site offers sample strategies from the Zanzig-edited Adult Faith Formation Strategies.

Treating the “Mission of Jesus,” the strategies speak only of addressing poverty, healing broken hearts, freeing the oppressed and those in prison, and comforting those who mourn -- presented in a manner to elicit clarifying responses from participants. Personal faith sharing seems central, with some Church teachings introduced in the course of the faith formation experience. Gimmicks, too, are encouraged -- such as simmering potpourri and asking, “How is the Holy Spirit like the fragrance.

We are encouraged to move from “knowledge about” to “relationship with” and from “understanding for the sake of belonging to action, service and witness for the sake of justice, peace and ecological survival.”

Yes, justice and peace and ecology are important issues, but a faith based mainly on these, with less emphasis on the teachings of the Church and personal sanctity is not going to lead to the Truth and the Life. I would not trust the above approach in my adult formation program.


MMajor Fan said...

LA seems to have lost its way. I think they need to worry about their own fragrance than wondering what the Holy Spirit smells like.

Daniel 2:40 Then the king Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face, and worshipped Daniel, and commanded that they should ofer an oblation and sweet odours unto him.

Roman Catholic said...

Unfortunately, so emblematic of a fair portion of the Church in America these days.

Whatever happened to "Da mihi animas coetera tolle" ("Give me souls, take all the rest")?