The Origin of: Mystagogia
Welcome to the first entry of a very long series which I would love to call “The Origin Of”. Together we’ll explore some origins and history of our traditions, rites, and common devotions as Catholics. This particular subject is very close to my heart. I grew up Catholic, but I first learned to love The Church and our Lord when I was 8 years old. God gave me an angel, a guide, and by that time I called her “teacher”. She instructed me in meanings, and gave me an explanation to why we acted the way we did. She was patient, cheerful, and very smart on how to explain a very curious 8-year-old.
As I grow older, I realize that is that kind of instructions that made me fall completely in love with our Church and our faith. It also helps me be aware of what I do in mass, while praying the rosary, confession, and our many devotions.
By writing this, I don’t pretend to be your (only) source of knowledge. I just want to share with you what I know, what I have investigated; I want you to feel the need of getting to really know our Church, and through it, get to know who Jesus really is. Not who you think He is, but who He IS. I want to share with you the reasons I love our Tradition. I pray you learn to love our Tradition, Rites and everything, and live every single one of them with true happiness, even when a smile is not at hand.
So let’s get started.
During early times of Christianity newly Baptized Christians went through a period of ‘Mystagogia’, a time in which they were introduced to deeper knowledge of the faith. Small details of Rites and devotions (like the water in the baptism, the wine and bread, the rosary, the adoration of the cross) where explained. During this time, all these wonderful newly baptized Christians used to wear white (more symbols).
But why was this so important? Well, we really can’t love what we do not know. The Catholic Church, and Its Founder, Our Lord, have always used symbols and material things to explain, represent, and reveal spiritual things. Things (facts) we cannot see, touch, or even imagine. And even when all spiritual things are invisible to our eyes, they are here.
Jesus made many miracles (still does!) on this earth. Notice my dear reader, miracles are symbols (don’t get me wrong, they have massive importance); a way of illustrating to us, his children, that He is in fact, GOD.
To give a basic example, water has always been a associated with “pure”, “purifying”, “cleaning”. In the baptism, the Original Sin is removed, our soul cleaned. So, water is symbol of the action of the Holy Spirit.
So as you see, we are going to be talking about the origin of these symbols, how they came to be and why.
When we stand, when we kneel, when we speak, when we listen, when we pray, when we remain in silence…..everything has a reason. Everything is to bring us closer to God.