Edmund: Hi everyone. Welcome back to the Real + True podcast. I’m your host, Edmund Mitchell.
Emily: And I am your host Emily Mentock.
Edmund: And this podcast is for us to discuss the unit of videos of Real + True in more detail, to dive deeper into the content and to share a bit of the behind the scenes of the mission and vision of Real + True.
Emily: And if you’re watching this now or listening, it means that Unit 7 has launched. So if you haven’t checked out the Unit 7 videos, you can find them on YouTube or check them out at realtrue.org.
Edmund: So this unit is the unit on Jesus. So this was a big one. This was intimidating.
Emily: It was our biggest unit that we’ve covered in terms of paragraphs in the Catechism, the most to contained into a single unit. And yeah, a big one, because it’s about Jesus.
Edmund: Like Jesus is pretty important. And do you want to go over everything that we covered? So we covered that., we’re in the part of the Catechism, we’re in the Creed, the first pillar. And we’re in the part, the Catechism on the Creed covers each, , like line of the Creed, so we’re on, “I believe in Jesus Christ.”
And then, Emily do you want to kind of break down the rest of the content?
Emily: Yeah. So this covers paragraphs 422 to 682. So if you’re reading your Catechism at home, , and the thesis sort of, you know, the central theme for the Unit that we focused all of us around, cause the Catechism says a lot about Jesus in these sections.
Um, and what the creed says is “I believe in Jesus Christ”, but what we really kind of focused it on, the underlying message through all these three different videos is that “Jesus Christ is true God and true man.” So it’s not like when we say, “I believe in Jesus Christ” in the creed. Okay, we’re saying, “I believe in Jesus, true God and true man.” And then the videos will kind of like break each of those pieces open. So in the Proclamation, we asked the question, “Was Jesus a real person, or really God?” Because, you know, I think a lot of people, especially in our target audience for this project, they know that Jesus, they know who he stands for in terms of religion or their faith that they grew up with.
But, you know, maybe they haven’t stopped to think about Jesus as a real person. And then what does that mean, if he also, this person said that he was God? Um, and then in the Explanation we asked the question, and say what the Catechism says in answer to it, “Why did God become man?” Okay. So if Jesus was a real person, why did God become a man, a real human who walked with us on earth?
And what the Catechism says about that. And then finally, in the Connection video, we explore, “What does it mean to have a relationship with God?” And especially through the lens of Jesus and his humanity as our brother, what does it mean to have a relationship with God? So go watch these videos if you haven’t.
Edmund: And these are, they’re five to six minute videos, but the amount of work and the amount of people that are involved in coming, you know, thinking about and crafting what the video, of the final product ends up looking like. There’s a lot involved. And especially with this one, we really took a lot of time to think about how we were going to set up a unit on Jesus.
And for those of you who are, who know the Proclamation, videos are not much less explicitly Christian, you know. They’re about, you know, what would the world be like without maps? Or those types of things. But this video in particular, we decided to take a little bit of a different approach and talk explicitly about Jesus.
And Emily maybe you want me to share a little bit our thought process behind why we went with that and why we thought it still was in our strategy for breaking open the Catechism.
Emily: Yeah. So I would say there were two things that really went into this. So one was that, you know, there was no like good enough analogy.
Um, besides probably the things that Jesus said about himself that would kind of set up the idea that Jesus was a real, true God and true man. So in the past, we’ve been able to explore, you know, other more universal kind of like concepts from the world, from the human experience to really get people to arrive at asking questions that then the Explanation video answers.
But for this one, it was really hard to do that without actually talking about Jesus. So first it was just like, okay, there’s no analogy for any other person in the world that, you know, can kind of like, , hold up to getting people to ask questions about Jesus without talking about him. So that was part of it.
And then the other piece of it was really that. Okay. Just because we’re talking about Jesus, because he was a real human because non-Christian historians have written about him, because non-Christians know about him and believe that he existed, you know, just because we’re talking about Jesus doesn’t mean that we’re necessarily talking about faith.
I think that that’s true in the lived experience of people who hopefully encounter this content. It’s definitely true of people all over the world. So what we wanted to do was just established that from even starting at a historical perspective, Jesus, as a person, and then go move from there, into talking about, you know, him from a faith perspective or getting people to ask questions about him from a faith perspective, starting at the foundation of him just as a real human.
Edmund: Yeah, he’s fascinating. No matter what. I mean, and I think that was really, it was really important for us to just, just embrace that, that Jesus himself is a fascinating character in history and kind of stands at the center of history and it’s worth just, just approaching him for who he is.
And I think
Emily: it’s hard to talk about how he was different from other historical characters without starting to I’m starting from the point of like, well, how was he the same in some ways too? So that then we can look at what set him apart.
Edmund: Yeah, it’s hard to talk about Christianity without talking about Christ. And it’s hard to talk about Christ without talking about Christianity,
Emily: WhIch is really like the, at the core of all of the Catechesis of this project. Right. We make the claim back in way back in Unit 1, that it all points back to Jesus.
Edmund: Yeah. And that’s what I love about this part of the Catechism is especially, well, especially special. I mean, it’s very special because it’s about Jesus and because all of Catechesis kind of directs itself back to Jesus Christ and it even talks in the Catechism, we weren’t able to cover this much in the videos, but it talks about Catechesis being about Jesus and the importance of that.
And, um, in the Connection video that we’ll get to, we talk about how, you know, often the doctrines are presented to us just like random beads and we don’t have any, anything to connect them all together. And so the Catechism really talks about how Catechesis is putting people into deeper communion with Jesus Christ.
So every doctrine is related to Jesus, every doctrine we can see through the lens of Jesus Christ. So there’s this. , paragraph 426, it says “At the heart of Catechesis we find in essence, a Person, the Person of Jesus Christ.” And it goes on to talk about to catechize is to reveal that person. And catechesis aims at putting people in communion with Jesus Christ.
So there’s this story. Um, I think Dr. Bob Rice, who’s an advisor on the project, said he was a youth minister and he went to some conference and someone gave a talk and he asked his kids afterwards, “what’d you think of the talk?” And the kids said, “I don’t know, it was just too…too much catechesis.”
And Dr. Bob Rice said, “well, the primary aim of catechesis is to put you in intimacy with Jesus Christ. Do you feel like you were made too intimate with Jesus? Where you put like too much in, in touch with Jesus?” And the kids said obviously, “no.” I think what you mean, “it was boring.” It wasn’t too catechetical. It was too boring.
Emily: Yeah. You’re exactly right, that catechesis isn’t just about learning truths or facts or, you know, doctrines of the faith, but all meant to point back to the person of Jesus. And so I think that when people do experience more, you know, sound catechesis or more, um, like, , Christ centered catechesis and they start to encounter that person of Jesus in a new way, or maybe even for the first time, that’s a totally different experience than sitting in class and just memorizing, you know, different lines of the Catechism.
Edmund: Yeah. We’re going to talk about this over and over again, because at the heart of the Catechism is Jesus. And I know we’ve mentioned in past episodes, but I mean, this is true for me. I knew a lot about the faith intellectually, but when I heard people talk about it through the lens of Jesus, my relationship with him in the Church, it really broke open everything. For the first time doctrines that I thought had nothing to do with me, they make sense in the context of Jesus Christ. Um, so let’s talk a little bit again about a unique difference of the Proclamation video. In the Proclamation video normally we have an interview and we went without one this time, but we did want to talk a little bit about what almost made its way in.
Yeah, it was really good. Do you want to maybe set this up a little bit?
Emily: Yeah. So because it’s all about encountering, you know, the real person of Jesus, um, like both at first and his humanity. And then, um, in the divine, we wanted to know, okay, well what’s maybe the closest, real lived experience to that? That would be if you’re, you know, maybe someone who’s watching the video and you’ve heard of Jesus, but you know, hadn’t really known him yet.
, and that closest thing we can kind of come up with, even though this didn’t make it in would be okay, what if you met like one of your heroes? Or a celebrity that you’re a big fan of? Or, you know, different things like that.
What would that experience be like when you’re actually seeing this person who you have an idea of in your mind? And even in a weird way, like sort of a relationship with like how you relate to the idea of that celebrity or that hero of yours. Um, that’s a, that’s a real lived experience. What would it be like to meet them and encounter them in the flesh? And your friend, JP had a story about this.
Edmund: Yeah. He had a story of meeting Gordon Ramsey, and it’s so true. You know, you think of these people that you see constantly on TV and you hear them talk and maybe read about them. So you feel like you know them, but actually seeing, meeting a person in real life is a totally different, a totally different experience because people are mysterious.
Like we’re, we’re a mystery even unto ourselves. Like it’s hard to understand. So to be in the presence of someone can never, , be replaced by just like learning about them or watching videos and stuff like that. So JP was at one of Gordon Ramsey’s restaurants and Gordon Ramsey and his family actually came in.
And everyone was swamping him, , you know, trying to get his attention and stuff. And so JP decided not to do that. And instead he just sent out a tweet that was like, “Hey, I’m at Gordon. Ramsey’s restaurant. Really love him, I’m a huge fan. And he happens to be here. You know, this is a really cool experience.”
Well, he’s looked over and Gordon’s phone goes off. And he like had notifications on for Twitter. So he just like opened it up and then started looking around the restaurant. And so JP says his heart’s beating really fast. “Oh my gosh. Like maybe he’s upset or something.” And he said, Gordon came over to the table and said, “are you the one that sent that tweet?”
And he said, “yeah”, he said, “are you JP?” And he said, “come on up and let’s take a photo.” And he was super gracious, you know, talk to them, talk to the whole table for a while and asked him how he liked the food. And, um, it was a really real good experience for JP. And he said it made such a huge impact on how JP thought of Gordon Ramsey, um, that like he can be this kind of brash, like full of bravado chef, you know, is constantly yelling at people, but in, in real life, even with a fan where he has thousands of these experiences, he was very present with JP and, , he said like, it changed the way he perceived Gordon for the rest of his life. Like the rest of the time that he saw stuff from Gordon Ramsey, he had this, this actual interaction that really changed things for him. And it’s such a good example of like, Jesus, like you can read about Jesus, you can do all of these things.
Until you have a relationship and experience of God, of Jesus. Um, you’re just reading things. It’s just like an intellectual hobby.
Emily: Yeah. And I think for, you know, for the Gordon Ramsey story, like no matter what that experience had been, even if, you know, in that moment, Gordon Ramsey had sort of like confirmed that personality that he has in his show.
Like you said, it’s a little more brash, like that still would have been a real lived experience different than just like watching him on TV or following him on Twitter. And so, like, you’re exactly right. Yeah. WIth Jesus, when we’re not just like hearing about him from other people talk about him, whether it’s like, you know, how my parents taught me about Jesus or what I heard in school or things like that, that you actually can enter into your own relationship with him.
Even the things that like you heard taught that become true. And the things that you hadn’t heard before that you’re learning for the first time or in a new way, um, it just becomes this more like true and like personal and real relationship with a person. Um, not just the idea of someone that you’re, that’s sort of been like taught down.
Edmund: Yeah, I don’t want to beat a dead horse too much by just thought of one of my favorite essays. It’s part of a book by Walker Percy. If you Google, or maybe we can put the link in the comments, but, or in the, in the description, but Walker, Percy has an essay called “The Loss of the Creature” and it talks about this.
You can see hundreds of pictures of the Grand Canyon. You could read about the Grand Canyon, but there’s something mysterious about actually experiencing the Grand Canyon. And sometimes we can lose that by reading so much and seeing so much about the Grand Canyon, I think it’s the same in Christianity. We think we know what a relationship with Jesus is like, cause we’ve think we’ve read so much and heard so much that we know what it would be like.
Um, and that can sometimes stop us from actually directly interacting and experiencing God.
Emily: Yeah, absolutely. And so this video does such a great job of starting at those more like neutral kind of like distance places of like historians or people who have studied, like the impact that Jesus had in the world, even from a non-faith perspective.
So starting there and then building towards like all of the, like, somewhat like legitimate evidence, but then also, real people’s lived experiences of Jesus and how he changed their life, Until we make the point that then he’s a real person. And then if he was a real person, yeah. What did he himself, what did he say about himself?
What did Jesus, this real person say about himself? And then what does that mean for us? If those things were true? is sort of how the video ends in a really powerful way. Because again, it’s not starting at just like, well, the Church says this, so how do we go backwards and find the truth? It’s like starting from the outside and working it back to the person of Jesus.
Edmund: Like what did Jesus actually say about himself?
Emily: So powerful. So powerful.
Edmund: So this brings us to everyone’s favorite part of the podcast: standout Catechism paragraph. Are we ready for this? Okay, I’ll go first. So my favorite is from one of my favorite passages in the entire Catechism is paragraph 460.
So this is a part of the Catechism where it lists four reasons for the Incarnation. So four reasons that God became man. And my favorite. I’ll just read a little bit of it. Like my favorite part of it. But in paragraph 460, it says “The Word became flesh to make us partakers of the Divine Nature, for this is why the Word became man. And the Son of God became the son of man. So that man by entering into communion with the Word and receiving Divine Sonship might become a son of God.”
And for me, I think we just, again, we’ve grown up in a nation that has been impacted by Christianity. Some people would say it’s a post-Christian nation, but there’s so much Christianity kind of soaked into everything that we hear these things and don’t think about them, but to say like I’m a child of God is a crazy thing to say.
And, um, it, you know, through Baptism, we become children of God. Like until that we’re just, we’re a creation of God, but to become an actual adopted son or daughter of God is a crazy thing to think about. And the idea that God became man, not just to, you know, get us in line and make us stop doing bad things or not just to like, you know, die for our sins, but literally so that we could experience the same relationship that Jesus has with his Father.
That’s something that man, I really remind myself to, to think about deeply about how, I mean it’s crazy and it’s easy to just take it for granted, um, that we would share in the same life that the Trinity experiences in itself is a really weird, crazy thing. Um, so that, that’s my favorite. There, that’s the Word became flesh.
Emily: There’s a lot of things that like Jesus said that were crazy.
Edmund: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So that’s my favorite. The Word became flesh to make us partakers of the divine nature, meaning like that divine life of God.
Emily: Yeah. I love that because I think that so often, I mean, a lot of us, I think, are before you have your personal encounter with Christ, like you you’re raised to sort of think like that’s God and that’s me and Jesus was perfect.
Cause he didn’t have sin and because he was God, and then I am me, which is definitely not like that. Um, but when you actually read about what our faith teaches about why did God become man? It wasn’t to be this like perfect model just for us to kind of like look at. It was exactly what you were saying and what the Catechism says of like to enter into that same union, not just to look at Jesus as an example, but to live like him and in him and through him. Which is one of the crazy things he said.
Edmund: I forgot to mention St. Athanasius has this quote where he says, “God became man. So that man might become God.” And every time I read that quote, I’m like, well, no, shouldn’t say, man might become like God?
And it’s like, no, he didn’t say that. Like, Obviously, we don’t literally become the actual God, but that’s how, that’s how radical and scandalous that idea is, like God became man, so that man might be entered into communion with God. Like become God in a way. And that’s, it’s crazy. It’s really crazy to think about.
Emily: That’s awesome. Mine was like, almost like the total flip side of it. And, , this is funny because this is a paragraph out of the Catechism. But it’s basically a JPII quote,. They just like quote the full thing as the paragraph. So mine is 561. Oh, wait, let me read it from the book instead of from my notes. CCC 561, “The whole of Christ’s life was a continual teaching: his silences, his miracles, his gestures, his prayer, his love for people, his special affection for the little and the poor, his acceptance of the total sacrifice on the Cross for the redemption of the world and his resurrection are the actualization of his word and the fulfillment of revelation.” So I love that.
It’s, um, almost like the opposite of not him becoming God, but on the human side of it, like his life here shows us like it is the fulfillment of what he’s saying. So he’s the Word, he’s the Logos. And he’s here living that out in this way that like we can experience too. That love and his prayer and that care for the poor are things that we are called to live. And we saw him living those things and we can live it in the same way or not the same way. But, um, like you said as close to that union as possible.
And I just love that because we’re going through all these things about, um, Jesus as God and what that means for the truths of our faith, but actually his life on earth was like one of the greatest teachings.
And he hasn’t like left us either. But, um, I think that’s a future unit.
Edmund: No, that’s so good. I love this idea that Jesus, I’ve heard in like catechist training and stuff, that Jesus is the teacher and the taught. So like he’s both the teacher, the one who teaches with his whole life. And he’s also the content of the teaching.
And I remember, I think it’s Rabbi Noisenour or something who told this story of a student, asking a rabbi, you know, about Jesus and saying, “so what did Jesus remove from the Torah? Like what did Jesus take out?” And the rabbi says, “nothing”, And he says, “okay, well then what did Jesus add?” And the rabbi says, “himself.”
Like Jesus added himself to the Old Testament. Like that’s what was crazy about Jesus’ message is like, it’s him. It’s literally “him” is the teaching. He doesn’t just have a really smart teaching. I mean, he, Jesus does teach us, but it’s him himself that is the teaching. Yeah. It’s really cool.
All right. So you can comment below your favorite paragraph or, um, yeah. And any of the comments below, or let us know your favorite paragraph from this section. Cause we really want to encourage all of us as a community to be like reading and praying through these sections of the Catechism. And we have a shout out, right, Emily?
Emily: Yes. So, , this actually was not someone’s favorite Catechism paragraph, but something that a comment we got from the previous unit from Roy Sibaja on YouTube and he commented on the previous podcast., “This unit reminded me of something that I read on a text by J. R. R. Tolkien. And forgive the pronunciation here Athrabeth Finrod that says, “but do you know that Eldar say of men, they have meant that they look at no thing for itself that if they study it, it is to discover something else, that if they love it, it is only so it seems because it reminds them of some other clever thing. Yet, what is this comparison? Where are these other things? We are both elves and men in Arda and of Arda and such knowledge as men have derived from Arda or so it would appear. Whence then comes this memory that you have with you before you even begin to learn. It is not of other regions and Arda from what you have journeyed. We have also journeyed from afar, but where you and I go together to your ancient homes east away, I should recognize the things there as part of my home. But I should see in your eyes the same wonder and compassion as I see in the eyes of men in Beleriand who were born here.” And then the response is, “you speak strange words,” Finrod,’ said Andreth, “but which I have not heard before yet, my heart is stirred as if I some truth that recognizes it even if it does not understand”.
And so this is a quote from Tolkien that just aligns really well with, I think, how we’ve been going through the Catechism that you can hear this truth, this living voice. And even if you don’t fully understand, I think this is when we were talking about the Trinity, like your heart can still be, be stirred in this way and recognize it as truth, even if you don’t totally understand.
Edmund: Oh yeah. Like what’s crazy about all of revelation is that Jesus died so you would know this. Like, Jesus came and died and rose from the dead so that you would know this. And so that means even if you don’t fully understand it, God wanted you to hear it. And like, like, I love this, “my heart is stirred as if, by some truth that it recognizes, even if it does not understand.” That’s, that’s such a cool, you know, I think especially in our modern day and age, we sometimes overemphasize intellectual comprehension. But to like totally comprehend the full totality of something. And with God, we can’t fully comprehend him. We can apprehend him, like we can experience, observe, but we can’t fully comprehend him cause he’s infinite. And, , I think this is a really good reminder that even with divine revelation or even with Jesus, like we can’t ever fully comprehend Jesus because he’s a mystery just in the same way that, , your loved one or yourself, you can never like fully comprehend yourself.
You can apprehend things about yourself or see actions. Um, and the same with God. He’s such a mystery. But yet our heart was created to experience those things and to apprehend those things and to wrap their mind around it. Um, so it’s really cool. It’s a really beautiful, , passage here. Obviously JRR Tolkien like a really brilliant Catholic author.
Emily: Awesome guy. Thanks, Roy for sharing that with us.
Edmund: Yeah. Thank you, Roy. Be awesome like Roy and send comments.
Emily: Maybe ones with words a little easier to pronounce.
Edmund: With less, with less fictional names, maybe next time.
Emily: I was going to say, yeah, so we can’t comprehend all of that obviously, but we can learn what the truths of our faith have handed down to us.
And what does the Catechism say about some of these things? And so in this Explanation video, we’re trying to explore that, that mystery of “Why did God become man?”.
Edmund: We start with one of my favorite stories, this, , picturing God, right? The daughter who’s drawing God. And he says, you know, “no one knows what God looks like.”
And she says,”you will in a minute.” Um, and I think for me, most of my life, when I pictured God, I pictured, you know, an old man in the sky or Morgan Freeman or a floating head in space, or, you know, like a very nice looking Jesus holding up a lamb or something. I dunno. What about you, Emily? When you were younger, what was your image of God when you, when you thought of that?
Emily: Definitely like the sky heaven, old man vibes, I think, are how I pictured God and you know, in this video, cause we’ve developed it now, this is unit seven, we’ve developed, um, a couple of different, you know, images, the way we’ve shown God, we’ve done sort of like the Godhead in the original one.
And in a couple of the videos we did the Trinity, the last unit. And this one is interesting because we actually wanted to develop a little bit more of like Jesus in this video and how that would reflect God. And there’s a really cool sequence when we’re talking about those sort of like four reasons for the Incarnation where the Jesus character, which we kind of developed more in animation. I think we talked to the last podcast and we were like workshop for a couple of weeks the Trinity, we like spent time kind of developing a better Jesus for the videos. Um, and he’s, um, positioned in a way where God is sort of like behind him using the, the God figure we’ve used.
And as they’re kind of, Jesus is going through the motions of the actions that are meant to represent the for reasons for the Incarnation, like it’s God and Jesus are sort of like mirrored and doing them, which was really cool to explore their union, like we talked about.
Edmund: Yeah. Yeah. The reasons for the Incarnation is just one of the most important parts of the Catechism.
I remember Barbara Morgan who’s, you know, , amazing catechist and teacher and founded the department where I studied. Um, she said, “these four paragraphs are worth the entire Catechism.” Like if you just got these four paragraphs, they’d be worth everything else in it because they’re so great. And I just wanted to mention, um, a way to kind of memorize those.
So, I would try to memorize them by just using these four words. And I think this is helpful, especially when, when we’re thinking, like, why did God become man? And the four words would be: love reconciliation, holiness and the divine life.
So God became man so that we might know God’s love.
God became man to reconcile us to the Father.
God became man to be our model of holiness so we could see what holiness is like.
And then God became man so that we could share in the divine life.
So that’s a little tip there of how I try to memorize that. Um, because it comes up a lot in conversations with other people. You’d be surprised how often, , even when my kids, my kids will ask questions and I find myself going back to, “well, the reason Jesus became man is so you would know God’s love.”
Or so that we could be reconciled, like it comes up so often. Um, it’s good to kind of have that internalized so we can explain it.
Emily: Yeah. Well, I mean, I think that those, like those “why?” Questions such as even one of the, another experience we’ve used to introduce the video in the past. I mean… what a blessing it is to have not just like the truth that God became, man, which is a mystery on its own.
That’s hard enough to comprehend on its own, but then to be able to just like ponder and reflect and enter into a deeper relationship with God, because we have it revealed to us why he did that. I mean, that is, um, when you’re like meditating on, I think like Jesus and reflecting on, you know, what his life means for your life to have the reason for it, not just the mystery of God’s love and creation, but the reasons that he has revealed to it. Um, I think it’s a real gift.
Edmund: Yeah, I would, I would challenge you another really good practices to take one of those reasons and read through the Gospels. So maybe read through the Gospel of Mark, which is a little shorter, but like read through the parts on Jesus and ask yourself, for instance, one of the reasons is to be our model of holiness., well read through all of it, “H ow has Jesus being a model of holiness right here?” “How has Jesus modelinghow I could be holy?” Or another one would be to show God’s love. So like reading through it and really meditate, “How has Jesus in this action revealing God’s love?” And you’ll be surprised in prayer the things that will be revealed in stuff that you didn’t think was a part of it, right? Like Jesus changing water into wine. Jesus raising someone from the dead. How is God revealing his love through Jesus in his action right here?
Emily: Yeah. I really love that going through the Gospels with it because you’ll get, you know, what Jesus did, what he said and how people responded, which really shows, I think a lot of the impact of those things.
Edmund: Yeah. Alright. So moving on to the last video, the Connection video: “What does it mean to have a relationship with God?” And this starts with a test, right? Getting on a plane to go to heaven and you have this: two planes going to two different directions and you find yourself there. And then the woman at the ticket counter is like, Y”ou can go to heaven. You just have to give me a reason why I should let you on.” So I love this test.
Emily: I think it’s so funny too, because I think if you’re, if the way you pictured God, especially growing up as like this old man in the sky, then like, then how do you, how do you get into heaven? How do you go be with him?
And so like taking a test, to being quizzed, to get on an airplane and go there is kind of the perfect fun analogy for that.
Edmund: It’s super fun too. Cause if you haven’t heard this kind of thought experiment before it really reveals what you currently think about your relationship with God or what you think about God.
I mean, I used to ask this to teens all the time, or even parents in confirmation sessions. You know, “what would you say?” And it’s really fascinating. I mean, obviously there’s a lot of different ways you could articulate a right answer, but there are wrong answers, you know? And in the video we try to cover some of those.
A lot of us wrongly think that it’s because of our actions. Oh, I just did a lot of good things or I didn’t do bad things, but ultimately that’s not, that’s not the full picture on why we should be allowed to get to heaven.
Emily: Yeah. And in the video you get to the point where you’re just like explaining it so clearly: it’s Jesus.
Edmund: It’s just him. It’s just him. And I think that’s really liberating. I mean, for me, especially, you know, I would go to Confession. There was a priest one time that said, “you know, you can’t do it.” Cause I kept saying, “oh, I can’t avoid this sin.” And he said, “well, you can’t do it. “And I was like, you’re a bad priest. You should give me a better advise.” And he’s like, “No, no, no, you can’t do it. Jesus can do it. Like you need to be relying on Jesus instead of just trying to get yourself to heaven.”
Emily: In your experience as a catechist, when you tell people that Jesus is the answer, like how do they react? Cause I think that, like, I don’t know. When you start there, you just say it like kind of directly, it can be a little, yeah. Okay. Like I say, in one of the unit, one videos, like, yeah, yeah. We’ve all heard that before.
Edmund: Exactly. Yeah, exactly. It is one of those things where it’s like, okay, easy to say, “Jesus is the answer for everything.”
But like, what does that actually mean? And, you know, I think often my answer would be well, that’s what all of it is about. Like, so let’s now read through all of it. And like, this is practically, like, we go to confession because Jesus wants to forgive you himself. You know? Like, like it’s what it’s all about. So at least if I can get you to go, okay, we’ve all heard that before, like let’s at least start there and see it with new eyes instead of it just being this like, okay, Jesus, like, do I just write it on the wall? Do I put on my t-shirt? Like, how do I, like, how is Jesus the answer?
Let’s start with that. Let’s go into the doctrine and just keep reminding ourselves that this is all about us in Jesus.
Emily: Yeah. And just because you’ve heard it before doesn’t mean that like, you still don’t fall into that trap of the teachings being rules.
Like, so I think, I do think that there is something really, this has been my own experience, even like working on this project, like working with you of going back and like, okay, let me see these things pointing, like with Jesus as the answer, as something that’s unified as like the deposit of faith and not just like the rule that’s being given to me sitting here in class and it really does totally change everything
It sounds oversimplified, but it totally changes your perspective.
Edmund: Yeah. And I kind of already, I think I jumped the gun earlier when I talked about this, but you know, my experience was, you know, I was raised cradle Catholic. I knew a lot about the faith.
My dad taught RCIA. I was an altar server. Um, I had friends in my CCD class or my Sunday school class who didn’t know a lot. And I would just like whisper, like the complicated answers to stump our catechist. You know, it’d be like, “say transubstantiation.” My catechist would be like, “What is that?”
And so I was like, I was like that nerd. And, but it wasn’t until I was around people who talked about the faith… Like maybe they didn’t know as much as I did, but they talked about the faith as if Jesus was in their closet, in their dorm room. Like they just talked as if they knew Jesus. And I realized in that moment or in these moments, wow, I’m not familiar with him. Like I know a lot about him. But I don’t know what he’s saying to me.
I remember, um, one time sitting in a cafeteria and some random person walked up to me. You know, when you go to a Catholic university, it’s really hard to eat alone because everyone’s trying to like, oh, you must be, you need a friend. I’m going to be nice to you and come, like, I just want to sit alone. I’m not sad.
And so this guy came over and he’s like, “what’s Jesus been saying to you in prayer?” And I was like, “What? I don’t even know. I didn’t even know that was a thing. What are you talking about?” And that was a totally different, it started this whole transformation of this intellectual faith into, I want a daily live, a relationship with Jesus. Um, so that was really huge for me. And I hope this unit helps get that across that that that’s possible and helps people really desire that.
Emily: And at the end, you kind of invite people at the end of the video to do like a particular sort of just like prayer to embrace that relationship with Jesus.
Edmund: Yeah. That was really intimidating to be honest, because like, man, how do you say, like, how do you lead people in a prayer that is, you know, should be very, like, it’s very intimate, intense thing, you know? To like welcome Jesus into your life. And like you said, you know, a lot of people might’ve heard, like “just welcome Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and savior.”
But I think you could follow along in that video and listen to that prayer or just, you know, on your own like speak honestly to him and say like, “I want that relationship.” And that’s how it started for me was just going back to prayer and going, “I don’t know how this works, but I do want this. I do really want this, Lord and whatever that means, like I’m here for it.”
I think that’s, you know, there’s this this kind of pithy saying that “rules without relationship leads to rebellion.” And in the video we talk about, you know, if you just entered into a marriage without knowing the person you’re marrying, you just were reading on a piece of paper, all the rules of marriage, you’d be like, “man, this is kinda, this is kind of like constricting. I don’t know if I want to get into this.”
But then you meet the person. “Oh, okay. This relationship with this person makes the rules worth it.” So rules without that relationship leads to just rebellion. Like why would I follow any of this? And I think that’s why it’s important to really, you know, go alone to a quiet place and speak directly to Jesus and say, “Look, I don’t know how this works, but I really want this. I really want you to show me what this is like.”
Emily: Yeah. And to get to know him better, you know, like you said earlier, turning back to the Gospels, turning to Scripture, turning the Catechism- “What has the tradition of our faith said about like what Jesus revealed about himself?” And that’s another great way to do that. Even in that, even in that silence.
So we believe here in the project, wrapping up another podcast episode. We’re so grateful for everyone who’s tuned in and joined us because especially for this unit about Jesus, because Jesus is really at the heart of this project too In our like intro brand video, this is the Catechism, but what does that really about?
And like the word “Jesus” just comes on the screen. It’s just been a really great blessing to work on it in this unit. Because we know that the Catechism is, you know, not that textbook set of rules without relationship. That’s not what it’s intended to be. It is the faithful echo of a God who desires to reveal himself to us.
And so, in this project, we’re transforming that into a living voice that people can hear through videos, social media, this. All the exciting things to help bring that, that truth of the Catechism to the modern world and point people back to.
Edmund: Yeah, I’m really excited. You can also find, um, guides for each unit. We want to make sure we keep mentioning that you can find guides on the website, correct, Emily?
Edmund: And so you can check that out and unpack these videos with other people. So until next time, really excited for this unit and excited for the next.
Emily: Thanks so much.