What Is the Spiritual Aim of the Catechist?
There’s a general rule of thumb all teachers hear at least once in their career and that is: never pretend to teach your students. Contrary to popular belief a student can sense a teacher’s false attitude towards him right away. Jesus reminded us that; “my teaching is not mine but his who sent me” (Jn 7:17). The catechist serves as a mediator of sorts between Christ and those whom we teach. Our missionary outreach is literally to hand on what Christ has taught.
If we say we are catechists then we place ourselves in the position to speak nothing other than Christ. Acts of the Apostle reminds us of this where “we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” (4:20). It’s quite clear what are aim should be; to provide a continual and gradual opportunity for a conversion of heart to Christ.
The role of catechist is one of the most significant ministries one can be involved in the Church. Why, because we are consistently dealing with the teeter-tottering effect of the human soul either believing in God or simply seeing Him as a passing fancy. But what if we can’t seem to teach about Christ with joy? What if our spiritual tank is empty and the seeds of despair, discontent or doubt creep in? I’ve seen this happen to many good catechists and the results can be deadly. Our spiritual aim should always be Christ in everything we do.
Addressing Spiritual Dryness
What are some ways we as catechist’s can address the spiritual dryness that may hit us from time to time?
- Establish an active prayer life through the Lectio Divina mediating and contemplating on the Word of God.
- Reestablish our sacramental life centered on the Holy Eucharist (Jn 6:34).
- Engage in praying the Divine Office the prayer of the Church.
- Establish a process of Lectio Divina with the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
- Make it a habit to spend twenty minutes a day in spiritual reading and reflection.
- Marian devotion e.g. Consecration to Mary.
- Frequent reception of the sacrament of penance.
- Weekly participation in Eucharistic Adoration (where available).
- Go on retreat.
- Seek Spiritual Direction
Prayer for Catechists
This Sunday marks the annual celebration of Catechetical Sunday in the United States. Catechists across every Diocese are affirmed for their sacrifice and dedication in handing on the faith with joy. This year’s theme: “Teaching About God’s Gift of Forgiveness” reminds us of Christ sacrificial love as the ultimate sign of forgiveness and reminds us of the need to live out our sacramental life especially in the sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist. The Second Letter to St. Peter provides us with a great biblical meditation that we can pray for all catechists: “His Divine power has granted all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us to be his own glory and excellence by which he was granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape the corruption that is in the world because of passion and become partakers of the divine nature” (1:3-4).