Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 9

Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [1]

Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

Student’s Copy In Theology 1, Searching for God in the World Today,


we saw that “theology” is about reflecting on the ordinary,
TH221 E CELEBRATING GOD’S PRESENCE the everyday life. Theology is a process or a practice of
AS A CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY consciously and methodically reflecting on our experience of
God in the ordinariness of life and social and historical events
of the world; using the methodology of “see-discern-act/pray.”
Topic 1: Theology of Signs and Symbols
Ultimately the goal of theology is for us to have a deeper
ANAMNESIS versus AMNESIA
and intimate relationship with God-in-Jesus.
(We Remember. We Believe. We Celebrate. We
Love.) In that course, we talked about our everyday;
“Revelation-Faith,” the Bible, Jesus of Nazareth, His death
and resurrection as a life given for the sake of the
Objective: At the end of this session the student is able to Kingdom so that all may experience kaginhawaan or
design a ritual-celebration that incorporates salvation.
remembrance, believing, celebrating and loving using
relevant signs and symbols coming from the student’s St. Vincent de Paul is an example of one who tried
ordinary everyday life and experience of love. to follow Jesus in his own ways in his time. Today, we
. are also invited to retell the story of God’s life and love
by following Jesus as students.

In Theology 2, Responding to God’s Call by Becoming


Fully Human, using the same methodology of “see-
From “Responding to God” to discern-act/pray,” the course dealt with what it means to
“Celebrating God’s presence” be truly and fully human from the Christian perspective. This
is our way of responding to the invitation of God-in-Jesus
Welcome to the third theology subject/course in whose Spirit is ever-present and active in the world.
Adamson University’s Theology Curriculum on Faith
Journey towards Social Transformation. We started with the Christian vision of humanity
that challenges us to become truly and fully human and fully
alive as the image of God in our realities of body and soul,

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.
Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [2]
Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

male and female, in our everyday life, experiences, and In this Theology 3, Celebrating God’s Presence as
relationships of love and failure to love, suffering, and a Christian Community, we will realize that we are not
goodness of God, and even in death. alone in our journey of becoming truly and fully human
and fully alive. God-in-Jesus continues to be present to us
To be truly and fully human and fully alive, we as a pilgrim People of God - the church. The church-
focused on the need to practice virtues or good habits (or community of today continues to proclaim in words and
“mabuting gawi”) in everyday life. The practice and deeds the liberating message of Jesus by being relevant in
“perfection” of virtues as good habits or habits of being its mission of evangelization in the context of new
human or habits of the heart are what will help us and shape challenges or “signs of the times”, especially those that
us to become good persons with the help of a community and affect severely the poor and the suffering, in the spirit and
role models. Together with Sacred Scriptures and the example of St. Vincent de Paul.
example of St. Vincent de Paul, and using the rich resource
of the Filipino culture and tradition, we reflected on the From this understanding of the church in solidarity
virtues of hospitality and gratitude (“pagmamagandang with the whole of humanity and the whole of creation, we are
loob”), prudence and temperance (“paglilimi at able to better understand the sacraments as celebrations of
pamumuhay ng sapat”), self-care and integrity God’s active presence of love and life in the world and as a
(“pangangatawan ng loob”), fidelity and mutuality challenge for us (as church-community) to give witness to
(“katapatan sa kapwa”), temperance and risk-taking its story as the sacrament of Christ’s saving unity and
(“pagtataya at hiya”), reconciling/forgiving and fellowship in the world.
compassion/mercy (“pagbabalik-loob at pagmamalasakit”),
and finally, justice, courage and hope ( “bahala na” with
“katarungan”). The opposite of virtue is vice or
Let us “SEE”
“masamang gawi” or “di-magandang gawi”). Vices are
obstacles to becoming truly and fully human, and My most “prized” or “cherished” possession.
therefore they move us further away from our true selves.
All of us have objects or things that we consider
important or valuable. It can be that these objects or
things have a connection with a significant and
Celebrating God’s Presence memorable person, an experience or a moment in our life.

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.
Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [3]
Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

We carry these objects or things in our bodies, purse or ________________________________________________


bag, or they are placed in a particular place in our house ___________________________
or bedroom. Think of just one (1) important or significant
________________________________________________
or memorable item or object that you cherished. Then
___________________________
write your answers on the spaces provided in the
worksheet.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Do you think it is possible for other people to also see
-------------------------------------------- your most prized/cherished possession as their
prized/cherished possession? Why or Why not?
Name: _____________________ Class Time:
____________________ Date: ____________ ________________________________________________
___________________________
My most prized or cherished possession that reminds me
of a person, an experience or a life-moment is: ________________________________________________
_______________________________________ ___________________________

1. Why do you consider it as your most Group Sharing:


prized/cherished possession? What is its connection (You have 20 minutes for the sharing.)
to your life?

________________________________________________
Class Plenum: (Reporters are called to give a summary of
___________________________
their group sharing.)
________________________________________________
(Sample Processing: Teacher may or may not use
___________________________
these.)

2. How do you show or express that these items or


objects are important to you? What do you usually do Synthesis: (by the Teacher)
or how do you usually treat these objects/items?

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.
Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [4]
Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

moments of successes or failures, struggles, joys and


hopes, grief and anxieties, etc.

Such remembering of those “special moments in


Let us “Discern” time” is usually facilitated by signs and symbols
around us: ordinary objects that bring us to such
moment or experience by pointing to it and somehow
1. We Remember
making it present once again to us. These signs or
Many of the items or objects we shared to our symbols transform ordinary time, ordinary space, and
group are not really important or valuable in themselves. ordinary meaning into sacred time, sacred space, and
Most of them are ordinary, everyday objects or items, sacred meaning (Mircea Eliade). At this point an example
almost easily accessible and readily available to almost might be in order: (The teacher may also share a story
anyone. Yet, we cannot deny and neither can we ignore from his/her own experience, instead of the one given
the fact that for people they are meaningful and below.)
important, something that is considered prized or
You are in a restaurant or mall and suddenly
cherished possessions. What makes these objects/items
you hear a familiar song being played in the
important or meaningful is that they are somewhat link
background. The song is your favourite (what is
either to a person, event or experience that we have in
it for you?) Suddenly you tell yourself “it is our
the past that we find meaningful and significant;
theme song”. By “our” you are actually
though not exclusively pleasant. It can be that the
referring to a “special someone”. At this point
object/item is linked to a parent, a present or past lover,
the song or music is a sign (it points to a
a friend, a good and inspiring teacher, or maybe even an
particular event, person or experience) until you
enemy. It can also be that the object is linked to happy
start “to lose awareness or consciousness” of
memories from the past and which continue to give us
your present time, space and meaning and the
strength or courage. Even after that “One Moment in
people with you and somewhat begin to be
Time” is over we continue to hold on to such experience,
“transported back” to that moment in time
and it continues to influence our life. They may be
where you are with that special someone,
enjoying his/her company, laughter, jokes and

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.
Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [5]
Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

sharing of life’s tidbits, of experiences. Now the remember the past, particularly the saddest or painful
music has become a symbol (it makes you ones. Amnesia is also a disposition in life of not seeking
present to the experience or making the the value or worth of things, people or events that
experience present to you again). You happen to us. We just live the day with no meaning or
continue to linger with the song until you are significance, and nothing affects us or disturbs us. In
“re-awakened” by a strong tap on your shoulder anamnesis however, we decide to give meanings to
or your elbow being shaken by a friend, asking things and people that affect us. They become part of
what is happening to you because they seem to our memory not simply of the past but the memory say
have lost you in the group. And you simply something about our present life and it points to some
smile; you are inspired and renewed by that more meanings about the future.
short, flash experience of sacred time, sacred
space, and sacred meaning, and say “I’m fine.
I’m okay. What is that again?” The smile now 2. We Believe
replaced by a big, wide grin.
Such objects or items that you consider “cherished
Who knows how long such a grin will remain in your or prized possessions” are treated as such by you because
face and lips. Who knows how long you will remain they are linked to experiences that you consider sacred,
inspired and renewed. But such is the power of i.e. important, meaningful and mysterious in (your) life.
remembering or anamnesis – something or someone is Joseph Martos calls such experiences “key-experiences of
remembered by reliving it or him/her. Anamnesis not life”. The following are key experiences we all share in
only evokes the experience of the past but also continue life: birth (newness or renewal of life); adulthood, love,
to affect, influence, and inspire the future. In life we do friendship, community; human frailty, weakness, sin,
a lot of remembering. That is part of being human. WE and forgiveness and reconciliation; sickness, near-death
REMEMBER. experience, care and compassion for others; commitment
The opposite of anamnesis is amnesia or and fidelity to family; courage, risk-taking and fidelity
forgetfulness or the refusal to remember. There are many and loyalty to one’s (role in) society; and death, justice
reasons for amnesia – it can be medical or physiological and hope. They are called “key-experiences” because
condition, or an unconscious or unaware tendency not to they open up to us deeper meanings in life and

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.
Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [6]
Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

influence the meaning we give to all our other Can you imagine what will happen the moment
experiences. Tad Guzie calls such experiences “lived- we forget what it means to be truly and fully human?
experiences” which for him are “the rhythm that makes What happens when those items that you consider
life human”. It is what human life is all about. It is by cherished or prized possessions no longer mean anything
focussing on such experiences that we discover to you because you can no longer recall or remember the
gradually the meaning and depth of our true and full people, story, event, experience associated or link with
humanity. those items/objects? What will happen when we can no
longer recall or remember those experiences that make us
We treasure our “lived experiences” or “key truly and fully human; and when sign and symbols no
experiences” because deep down within us we know longer point to or make present experiences that inspire
that this is what it means for us to be truly and fully and renew us to live as one? What happens if all
human: to live a life of love, friendship and community; a humanity suffers from a kind of massive “Humanity-
life of forgiveness and reconciliation, care and Amnesia”, or massive “Humanity-Alzheimer’s Disease”?
compassion, commitment and fidelity, courage and risk-
taking, fidelity and loyalty, justice and hope. To focus on The National Institute of Aging of the US reports
them and to treasure anything (signs and symbols) that that symptoms of Alzheimer may include increase
allow us to get in touch with these realities is for us to memory loss and confusion; problem with one’s own
believe that after all life is not in vain. Together we can identity and role, and that of others; problem recognizing
disagree with the writer of the book of Sirac/Qoheleth even family and friends; inability to learn new things;
when s/he writes “Vanity of vanities; and everything in confusion with time or place, changes in mood and
life is vanity.”(Ecc.1:2) and proclaim that life has a personality, among others. Life would be in chaos.
deeper and richer meaning unfolding itself in our Everyone is confused; no meaningful past, no
experiences. That is what we believe. That is why WE meaningful present and no meaningful future. We
BELIEVE. simply do not know what to do. We simply will not
know how to live; and much more to live as truly and
fully human beings!
3. We Celebrate
The good news is that we humans have a way of
ensuring that we do not forget especially those

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.
Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [7]
Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

experiences that are valuable or important to us. We not overwhelming that we cannot “handle” it alone and somehow
only engage in remembering. We engage in re-telling. we want to share it to the whole world.
We share with others in the community. In other words,
Birth is one example of such experience. Do I
we celebrate. The simplest way of sharing is through
simply engage in simple story-telling during my birthday?
simple story-telling. Through the simple story-telling
Do I simply tell the story of what happen when I was
process we allow people to enter and be part of our
born? Do I simply do the story-telling every year; year in
experience and we in turn allow our experience, our
and year out? The same is true for example with
story, to enter their own experience, their own life. As a
anniversaries; or lifetime commitment of love for a
result the experience or story “grows”. It acquires greater
person; or even death and mourning. Do we simply tell
depth, more meaning and significance.
the story year in and year out? I think you will agree that
That’s what happen for example when you had something more is required?
your first date with your “crush” and everything turns
It is here that the value of ritual-celebration
out well. You cannot wait to be back home so that you
comes into the picture. Different signs and symbols can
can call and tell your best friend the most beautiful and
be combined together to form an elaborate and intricate
exhilarating “story or experience” of your life. The date
ritual for the purpose of celebration. Rituals are
lasted only for a few minutes or for two hours but the
“repetitious patterns of behavior involving the use of signs and
story telling goes on until the early morning hours of the
symbols which evoke the feeling of the particular event which
following day, around six to seven hours and without
initially called the community into being with such power that
sleep.
it effects our presence at such event and at the same time makes
But sometimes mere story-telling is not enough. us also present once again to those events.”
It is better if the sharing takes place with as many people
A good example of a ritual-celebration is a
as possible with whom you share some affinity or
birthday party. There you encounter different signs and
connection. And even much better if the whole
symbols: balloons, cake, drinks, food, people, gifts,
community is involve. This is true especially if the
greetings, singing, etc. They all form an elaborate and
experience falls under what we have mentioned before as
intricate ritual for the purpose of celebrating birth or the
“key-experiences” or “lived-experiences.” In some
beginning of a new life. Of course the more we
instances, the experience is so charged with meaning and so

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.
Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [8]
Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

understand the signs and symbols and their meaning in


the celebration, the more we can understand and
appreciate the meaning of what is celebrated. 4. We love (We live)

George Worgul defines celebration “as moments of Although everything we do can be considered
focusing our minds and our hearts, our total being to the human activity, simply because they are done by humans,
reality or experience of our humanity.” They are moments there are some actions that can be considered more
of invitation to get hold of ourselves and experience in a fully and distinctively human. These are the actions that
kind of “moment of truth” the depth and reality of raise the whole of our life or existence on the level of the
human life in the company and presence of others. The genuinely human; they are actions/habits that make us
communal celebrations enable us to have a communal truly and fully human if and when we live by them. Examples
interpretation of the experience, adding depths and of these are the key or lived experiences we mentioned
richness to our understanding of the particular event or before.
experience. In the process humanity is transformed; the In Theology 2 they were called virtues or virtuous
individual and the community are provided with a actions, good habits, habits of being human, habits of the
deeper understanding and appreciation of the meaning heart. In this lesson they were seen deeply embedded or
involved in the particular event or experience. Most often, attached to certain events or experiences (key-
even after the celebration is over, the celebration- experiences or lived-experiences) as their deepest and
experience continues to affect us. most profound meaning. They make us want to
We want our (key-) experience to reveal more, to remember, to believe, to celebrate. They are what are
unfold more meaning and depth in relation to our life, truly and fully human in life inviting us and challenging us
our humanity. After all, meaning grows, deepens, to live the very same meaning and depth we so earnestly seek
unfolds, develop. Humans do not want to forget. But and wish to understand.
Humans do not simply want to remember. Humans need The best way to show what we consider really
and want to celebrate. That is why WE CELEBRATE. valuable and meaningful so much so that we want or
When we celebrate, we remember by believing in need to remember, believe, celebrate is by making them
things that matter most to us as persons and as a our way of life, our communal lifestyle, living
community.

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.
Theology 3: Celebrating Christ’s Presence as a Christian Community [9]
Topic 1: Anamnesis versus Amnesia

according to them. We live according to what we rejoice over wrong doing but rejoices
remember, believe, celebrate. But what is the core of with the truth. It bears all things,
every true human value or virtue? Donald De Marco believes all things, hopes all things,
believes that it is LOVE. James Keenan calls it Charity, endure all things.
the mother of all virtues. As such, virtues are concerned
Love never fails.”
more with the interior life than the external act; virtues
are more concerned with the heart than with the head. We have to live according to what we remember, believes,
Love brings together in a carefully balance way all the celebrate. That means WE MUST LOVE.
moral/human values. In the Letter to the Corinthians,
Paul writes: (1Cor 13:1-8)

“If I speak in human and angelic Let us “ACT”/ PRAY


tongues but do not have love, I am a
resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.

And if I have the gift of prophecy and A. Group Ritual Presentation


comprehend all mysteries and all B. Group Presentation
knowledge; if I have all faith so as to C. Feedbacks.
move mountains but do not have love, I D. Prayer
am nothing.

If I give away everything I own, and if I Prepared for IRED by:


handed my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing. Gabriel M. de los Santos

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not


jealous, is not pompous, it is not
inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek
its own interest, it is not quick-tempered, 3389.
it does not brood over injury, it does not

Property of the Institute of Religious Education


Unauthorized reproduction and selling is not allowed.
First Semester 2014-2015.