This week, I’m doing one of my favorite things: teaching and supporting our parish’s Confirmation Boot Camp. Over the years that I’ve been involved with this, I’ve found my own faith deepening. In the time that I’ve studied and prepared, in the time that I’ve taught and interacted, in the time that I’ve given and received, I’ve found myself inspired.
The future of our Church is pretty awesome.
A few years ago, I felt really convicted that we needed to incorporate the rosary each day. We used it as a way to punctuate our sessions: we opened the day with the beginning prayers and a decade and then at the end of each session we prayed a decade.
There was one day when I closed the session and told the kids they could have their fifteen minute break.
“We haven’t prayed our rosary!” the loudest, most boisterous, most energetic boy in the class said. He was the kid I least expected to object to having a break without praying the rosary.
And he made me pause for a moment to consider just what it is I do during the thirty hour sprint of catechesis each year.
I don’t know what seeds I plant as a catechist. I suspect, but I don’t really know. Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it.
I don’t know what impact I make when I’m in front of a group of kids, trying to get out of the Holy Spirit’s way and not get too much wrong.
But I know this: it’s important work. And it’s making a difference.
I don’t always see or feel or experience the difference. I don’t always get the satisfaction I crave.
In that moment, when this boy (who won my heart with all the questions he asked, because I’m a question-asker too) demanded the rosary, I saw a glimpse of some of the foundation we could be laying.
It’s hard work, most of the time, to be a catechist. I have to reevaluate my time and what it takes from my family and what I have to give. I have to remain humble enough to accept instruction of my own, to get out of the way when there’s someone/something better, to point more than I tell.
And it’s one of my very favorite things in the world. It’s right up there with reading.
As we go through our boot camp, I find myself seeing glimpses of Jesus and Mary. I hear them in the questions the kids ask, in the concerns they share, in the hesitation they have about being challenged and challenging back.
While I’m teaching and letting go—because much of my teaching, especially in this arena, is about getting out of God’s way—I often find myself surprised. How do I know this? How do I believe this? How do I have such confidence?
There’s a rosary in my pocket and a prayer on my heart. I hope you’ll join me in praying for the future of our Church, beginning with the Confirmation candidates in your own parish.