Beyond Words

The famous French mime, Marcel Marceau, passed away Saturday. He entertained people through gestures, facial expressions, and body movement for over 50 years without uttering a word onstage. His philosophy was simple: “Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us without words?”

I believe that this philosophy lies at the heart of Catholic sacramentality (Marceau, by the way, was a French Jew). We celebrate the most moving moments of our lives – those moments when we are most cognizant of the Divine presence – in a manner that reaches beyond words.

Catholic sacramentality relies on movement, gestures, and symbols because we know that, in the presence of God, words alone do not suffice. Likewise, we believe that God speaks to us beyond words – hence the Jesuit notion of “finding God in all things.”

As we approach another week of religious education, let’s remember to speak to our students and allow them to speak in a manner that goes beyond words. A little silence, simple gestures, some signs and symbols…it’s the Catholic language!

About Joe Paprocki 2645 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*