Wednesday, March 22, 2006

No More Spoon Feeding!

The podcasts are beginning to elict interesting insights, at least interesting to me. I have been listening to EWTN's Open Line program, essentially an entire week in one sitting (yes, I spend a long time in the car), and I have noticed a very interesting tendency on the show.

No matter who the presenter is, you get the same questions more or less.

You heard me. I listened to an entire week and there were at least 10 questions which kept coming up. Further, many of these questions are painfully elementary, such as a Cradle Catholic from Ireland asking, "What is a Doctor of the Church?" The questioner sounded like an older chap and this is what made me particularly sad. How is it that a guy goes through practicing the Faith for all these years and never running afoul of such a simple designation? Further, why did he have to call an American radio show to get the answer?

Now, I know there are some of our readers who are thinking, "Hey, Father, while you are on it, what is a Doctor of the Church?" Not surprising, frankly: if one person asks, as I say, then 10 people are thinking it.

But I'm not telling you. That's right. I am not telling you, not in this post at least. Here's why.

Too often, people have lots of questions. You could think of each question and its respective answer represent a point on a grid. If a person asks you a passel of questions, what does the person end the encounter with? A series of dots spread through the map, but without any necessary connections. Without necessary connections, you will not remember or import that data into your heart and mind.

So, I am calling a moritorium on random questions, or rather, I am enacting a basic barter system. You may ask a question but be prepared for me to hand a book to you. That's right; I am not spoon feeding folks for very much longer. Yes, I recognize that not everyone can handle the same things or might not be "far enough along" to do big things. Reading a book or listening a tape or downloading a podcast is not a big thing. But there are lots and lots of Catholics who have never been encouraged to go farther. The downside to this is telling; people stop acting like the Faith has anything to say, because all they have in their mind is a series of unconnected ideas and facts.

Maybe this applies to you. Think about it. When was the last time you did anything to grow in your knowledge and comprehension of the Faith.

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