I hear that Oprah Winfrey is boasting that nearly 3/4 of a million people are signed up for a free online course that she is offering on “spirituality.”
It’s titled A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (based on a book of the same name by Eckhart Tolle). It invites participants to “connect with others who are seeking to become more aware of themselves-and the world around them.”
750,000 participants is nothing to sneeze at and I am not making light of what Oprah is offering. I think she genuinely and sincerely wants to help people. I put quotations marks around the word “spirituality” because I’m not exactly sure how she defines that and my guess is that it is not necessarily how we would define spirituality in the Catholic Tradition.
I suggest that we pay attention to Oprah’s online course, look into it, and see exactly how the Catholic Tradition can and does offer us opportunities to “awaken to our life’s purpose.”
If any folks, especially catechists, are participating in Oprah’s course, I invite you to share your thoughts, insights, comments, reflections, and questions here. I am not about to hold Oprah’s efforts up to ridicule. My goal is to explore what it is in her message and method that is attracting so many people and to see how we as Catholics, and especially as catechists, can develop more effective strategies for inviting people to consider the spiritual path given to us by Jesus and his Church.