In reading a wonderful book by Rachel Fulton (Now writing under her married name Rachel Fulton Brown), I read this paragraph relevant to Lampstand, where she is writing about the Real Presence in the Eucharist in the conversion of the Saxons, and the key Lampstand related point I have noted in bold:
“To understand why, it will be necessary to consider not only the Frankish program for the conversion of the Saxons but also the contemporary reform of the Frankish liturgy and the corollary effort to instruct the laity (the “people of God”) in its significance. Above all, however, it will be necessary to consider in some depth the process of conversion itself. As we shall see, for Augustine and his readers among the Frankish clergy like Paschasius, who were concerned with the instruction of the “people,” conversion was to be understood as a process not only of instruction but of translation. In this context, Paschasius’s representation of the body and blood as historically present was an attempt to translate the written history of the Incarnation into a spoken history of the Word-made-flesh. The gap that made this translation necessary had as much to do with differences between Saxon and Frankish perceptions of history as it did with any arguable differences between “oral” and “literate” tradition. The Frankish clergy were conscious of this gap, and they were also convinced that they knew how best to overcome it: as they saw it, real translation could be effected only in a moment of sympathy, the potential convert or catechumen becoming capable of understanding and learning from the missionary only from the moment that the missionary adapted his speech to the understanding of the catechumen. Whether or not it was usual (or possible) to realize this moment in practice, the effort to do so was paradigmatic for Paschasius’s attempt to make sense of the Eucharist for Warin’s Saxon novices, and it was fundamental to his conception of the efficacy of the sacrament as a moment of translation at which God became flesh in order to adapt his divinity to the understanding and experience of human beings, making of them through the Eucharist one flesh with his own (in Christo naturaliter unum corpus)’ (p. 16)
Rachel Fulton. (2002). From Judgment to Passion: Devotion to Christ & the Virgin Mary, 800-1200. Columbia University Press: New York.
In response to “the missionary adapted his speech to the understanding of the catechumen. Whether or not it was usual (or possible) to realize this moment in practice”, yes, this is the basis of the Lampstand mission and we believe effective transformative ministry to criminals is only possible when developed and presented by a transformed criminal.
We see the failure of the traditional approach at our rehabilitation failure page at https://catholiceye.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/evaluation-of-reentry-programs-3/ where we find that some programs actually made the problem worse.
Why so much failure? Because they generally operate from the wrong idea—that crime is caused by social conditions—while it is individual choice which drives criminality; well described throughout Catholic teaching on sin.
David H. Lukenbill, President, The Lampstand Foundation
Post Office Box 254794 Sacramento, CA 95865-4794
With Peter to Christ through Mary