Excerpts from two testimonies.
“Let the Children Come to Me” (Mt 19:14)
I have not been a catechist for a very long time; however, I was recently privileged to see how the Word of God calls to little children. The week’s lesson was entitled “The Greatest Gift of All” and the subject was the Holy Eucharist. My student is my seven-year-old son, who is as busy as all seven-year-olds are. Most of what I teach seems to go in one ear and out the other because on any given day, when asked what he learned that day, my son inevitably replies with a very charming smile, “I forget,” and immediately launches into an in-depth explanation of whatever he is building out of Legos. I was worried about presenting this lesson to my son because this was his first formal encounter with the Holy Eucharist in our catechetical lessons. I did not want to understate this truly greatest gift of all, but I was unsure if he would understand the Holy Eucharist—or even pay attention.
Witness to Christ
I have often wondered whether what I am teaching to my students is getting through. As a training instructor for the Secret Service it was easy enough to tell: successful practical exercises, making the correct decisions, shoot or don’t shoot, pass or fail. But, in teaching the faith, there is no surety. Even if the students pass a test, has it deepened their relationship with Christ? However, occasionally God has provided a glimpse at how, through me, he has changed lives.
I am in my second year as a religion teacher at John Paul the Great Catholic High School—still a “rookie” according to some of my associates. I have actually been in the classroom for over 10 years, though, training new recruits for the Secret Service. The difference: the recruits always wanted to be in my class.
Last year I learned a lesson that will stay with me for the rest of my high school teaching career....