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!