Catechists, theologians reminded: ‘God can’t stay in your mind, encounter Him!’

Catechists, theologians reminded: ‘God can’t stay in your mind, encounter Him!’

Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera gave a crash course on Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate on the second day of the 5th Joint National Annual Family Media Advocacy – Doctors for Life Conference, June 30, 2018. NIRVA DELACRUZ

By Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz

June 30, 2018

BAGUIO City

Giving a crash course on Pope Francis’ latest apostolic exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate earlier today at the 5th Joint National Annual Family Media Advocacy – Doctors for Life Conference, a bishop reminded the faithful, particularly catechists and religion teachers that knowledge of the faith should go hand in hand with an encounter with Jesus.

“…God cannot stay in just your mind.. He is full of surprises. Anytime, God will touch your heart, God will visit you,” Lipa Archbishop Gilbert Garcera told hundreds of doctors, media practitioners and volunteers for diocesan family and life offices.

He specifically mentioned how gnosticism draws people away from a sacramental life.

‘An intellect without God’

“You don’t even pray, you don’t even receive sacraments. An intellect without God… A God without Christ, a Church without people. There is no Christ in his life…Catechists beware, you might be teaching truth but not encounter with Jesus,” added the archbishop.

Explaining the modern manifestation of gnosticism, as described in Gaudete et Exsultate, the prelate said there is a growing temptation to place more emphasis on knowing the faith than on growing in a relationship with Jesus.

“What he knows [is] knowledge will lead to salvation… No, no, no. And because you know [a lot], you are proud. Your grade is excellent, in theology, 95. You know [a lot] but you don’t have a heart for Christ,” added Garcera, who heads the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family and Life.

Gnosticism, an enemy of holiness

According to the bishop, gnosticism, as described in the apostolic exhortation, is a “set of ideas information which are meant to console to enlighten but which ultimately keep one imprisoned in one’s own thought.”

Gathering delegates from all over the Philippines, particularly, Quezon, Metro Manila, Zambales, and Davao, among others, the annual event also featured sessions on fertility, digital and online trends, communicating the pro-life message, understanding annulment and divorce, among others.