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Religious Education

Religious Education

The goal of the Christian life, as intended by God, is theosis, the divinization of the believer. We are “to become partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). The Greek Fathers stressed that this participation is in fact a process, one that begins with the mystery of baptism but will not be complete until the resurrection of the dead at the Last Day. From the psychological standpoint, an important aspect of this process is the coming to awareness that we have indeed “put on Christ.” One of the patristic names for baptism was, in fact, photismos or illumination. Thus the dynamics of Christian education consists in making the illuminated conscious of the light enkindled in them by the Holy Spirit. “In your Light we shall see Light.” Or as St. Simeon the New Theologian has it, “we who have been divinized by grace and by adoption in Baptism are also to be divinized in awareness and knowledge.”

This realization of the magnitude of our calling may be brought about by a number of means. One of them is surely formal Christian education. As the baptized person is gradually introduced into a knowledge of the mystery of salvation, he grows, more conscious of the gift of divine life he has received.

 


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