Mistagogia – chrześcijańska majeutyka
Mistagogy – Christian maieutics
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In the early days of Christianity, mystagogy was used by the Fathers of the Church to help the neophytes to transform the experience of the sacraments of initiation into a living experience of the presence of God. Early Christian mystagogy took the shape of catecheses, which were proclaimed during the first Easter week after the celebration of the sacraments at the Easter Vigil. Their goal was not to transmit religious knowledge, but to introduce the neophytes into the mystery of the living God who gives to the people his grace through the sacramental signs. This method is reminiscent of the ancient maieutics which is an inductive way of dialogue. Maieutics was proposed by the famous Greek philosopher Socrates as a method of teaching by helping someone articulate ideas already present in his mind. The philosopher plays the role of an intellectual midwife who assists at the birth of the truth. Therefore, one may describe the mystagogy as a spiritual midwifery because it is a kind of pastoral support, which enables Christians to enter into a living relationship with God. Following the pattern of the antique mystagogic catecheses, the German theologian Karl Rahner has constructed a contemporary model of mystagogical pastoral care. His pastoral mystagogy is a kind of maieutic method what leads into the primordial experience of God. Such a religious experience reaches the roots of human existence. Because of it, the new mystagogy believes that human subjects can alone experience the presence of God and his work of salvation in everyday life. The task of the pastor is in this perspective to serve as a mystagogue supporting someone to disclosure his personal relationship with God as an event of everlasting grace. Such a style of pastoral care respects the needs of today’s people who are longing for a deeper spiritual life and want to give a true meaning to their existence.
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