Must I Go To Mystagogy?
For the Catholic faithful, Easter is not celebrated for just one day, but continues to be celebrated for 50 days until the feast of Pentecost. In the Early Church, after Easter vigil, the neophytes or newly baptized would enter into a period of learning and immersion into the sacraments. This period is called mystagogy, which means to "go deeper into the mysteries."
Not only is Mystagogy a time of reflection and further immersion into the sacraments of the Church for the neophyte, it is also a time that can be used by the veteran Catholic to re-affirm his or her faith. To slow down after all the liturgical happenings of Holy Week and spend time in prayer and in the Word and in the frequent reception of the Eucharist, daily if possible.
Most RCIA programs will have Mystagogy to help the new believers to become better acquainted with the Church and the faith. It is so important that we encourage these folks to continue on in their conversion by attending mystagogy sessions if possible. What marks Catholicism as distinct from much of Protestantism is that we believe that conversion is an on-going process and that one needs to continue their pursuit of holiness and relationship with God. Once we have completed RCIA, we have not "arrived." Just like Saint Paul, we must continue to "press on to make it my own….” (Phil 3.) The individual who goes through RCIA to just "get into the Church" but stops there, will find Catholicism much like other religions and sadly may even laspe from the practice of the faith. But for those who are docile to the grace available to them in the sacraments and continue to press on, they will find a continuous unfolding and never-ending treasure of joy and discovery. Mystagogy helps the new believer and "not-so-new" believer go deeper and press on further to know the Lord. Like the two disciples on their way to Emmaus after the crucifixion, they found that immersion in the Word and participating in the "Breaking of the Bread" opened their eyes and revealed the Lord to them. May Mystagogy bring us to the place the Lord wants us to be, where we will joyfully and eagerly recognize Him in the Eucharist (breaking of bread) finding our nourishment for the journey here.
Let us pray for all the new converts that by God's grace their faith will deepen in this time of Mystagogy and like Saint Paul, "press on to make it their own."