A few weeks ago I had a couple of hours’ session with a dozen teachers in one of our Catholic High Schools. My brief was to present something of the beauty of the teachings of Christ and of the Church on human sexuality. I was inspired by the openness and enthusiasm (note the etymology) of the teachers.
Together we quickly realised that “human sexuality” is often reduced to physical actions, and that any helpful teaching about human sexuality will cover all that is human and much of what is often compartmentalised as “divine.”
The session finished with a reflection on the Sacrament of Penance. How did we get there?
Well, for most of us, much of the sin that we struggle with, is linked to our human sexuality. When we sin in this area, this does not mean that we are on the wrong track, but rather that we are settling for less than our heart’s desire. Because personal acknowledgement of our sin is essential if we are to experience the full grace of God’s forgiveness, the Sacrament of Penance is essential in the life of one who seeks to live fully.
So how can we pass on to others the essential place of the Sacrament of Penance. We might distribute copies of Section Two, Part Two, Article Four of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or we could lead by example.
I suggested that teenagers in a Catholic College would really get the message if they saw their teachers going to confession. Imagine a priest sitting under a tree in the centre of the school ground once a week during break providing teachers with an opportunity for confession. There would be no more effective evangelization for students in a Catholic college than to see their teachers humbly on their knees seeking God’s forgiveness.
A few weeks ago Pope Francis spoke about doing theology on our knees. And then this week Pope Francis set the method, teaching sacramental theology in the only effective way, on his knees as a sinner before God: