A Closer Look at the Scrutinies: How an Ancient Rite Remains Relevant Today

On the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays of Lent, Catholic Churches with aducts preparing to be baptized at the Easter Vigil will perform three successive rites called "the Scrutinies." These rites, with roots dating back to the early Church, are part of a larger process called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults.If you're not familiar with these rites, they might feel like an unnecessary add-on to the Sunday Mass. But oneeds you understand the history and the theology behind the Scrutinies, … [Read more...]

Mystagogy: the Heart of Spiritual Formation

The Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults — the Catholic process by which adults enter the Church — suggests that there are four stages or steps in the process of Christian initiation. These steps — evangelization, catechesis, initiation, and mystagogy — not only define the journey of general formation in the life of Christ (in other words, "becoming a Christian") but they also give us insight into the process by which followers of Christ are called "deeper" into the contemplative or mystical li … [Read more...]

Finding Faith in Midlife

Talk about a trip down memory lane.Richard Cole's Catholic By Choice: Why I Embraced the Faith, Joined the Church, and Embarked On the Adventure of a Lifetime (Loyola Press) recounts the story of how the author, at midlife, suddenly embraced the Catholic faith, even though he had spent most of his adult life looking down on religiously devout people as somehow mentally or emotionally deficient. Raised a mainline Protestant, like so many members of his (my) generation, Cole never gave the … [Read more...]