Engaging Faith: Practical lesson ideas and activities for Catholic Educators

November 30, 2007

Saved By Hope

Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical
Spe Salvi
(“Saved by Hope") has many applications to catechetical instruction, including offering a reminder that the Christian message is not only "informative" but also "performative," that is, "the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing," Pope Benedict says. Released today, the encyclical teaches that it is in receiving God through Jesus Christ that we receive hope.

Pope Benedict illustrates this point narrating the life of St. Josephine Bakhita, an African native who was sold and resold several times in slavery yet never gave up hope. Her spirit was free and her spirit eventually triumphed.

A summary of today’s release of Spe Salvi is found at several news sources.

A discussion of the informative vs. performative elements of catechesis with high school students was the subject of Daniel Mulhall’s article discussed below.

Also note that a new Ave Maria Press book The Cross, Our Only Hope: Daily Reflections in the Holy Cross Tradition likewise claims boldy that the "Cross of Christ is our hope."

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