instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The glazed look simply gives way to sleep

Fascinating reading, both chatty and insightful, from Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane on the on-going Synod.

This, for example, makes a point I think is very important in the lay response to the Synod (and, perhaps more importantly, the lay response to whatever Pope Francis does about it)(my emphasis):

It’s also come clearer to me in the Synod that, unless we’re genuinely in touch with reality, we’ll continue to speak and act in ways that don’t communicate and therefore have no hope of evangelising anyone. In my years of teaching, I found myself at times trying to communicate something I thought was crucial to a group of students who were giving me the glazed look: I wasn’t getting through. In such a situation, you don’t just keep saying the same thing in the same way in the hope that if you say it often and loud enough the penny will drop. It never drops; the glazed look simply gives way to sleep. You have to find another angle – new words and images that do communicate. And if you can, then you see the penny drop as the students “get it”. That’s where we are now with evangelisation, especially in the area of marriage and the family. A very small minority might be “getting it”, but the vast majority are not. That’s why we need new ways of communicating what we think, rightly, is crucial.
If I may step on His Excellency's line, I pray that the very small minority that gets it understands that it's still the same it that's to be gotten even if the ways of speaking and acting change. Archbishop Coleridge's example of Church funerals for suicides may help here (at least for Catholics who aren't categorically opposed to Church funerals for suicides).