Encountering God in Catechesis

Authored by Catechists' Personal Testimonies in Issue #7.1 of The Catechetical Review

Movement of the Holy Spirit

Have you ever had the experience of walking into your classroom and, after careful observance, prayerfully deciding to pivot away from your planned lesson? This happened to me a few years ago. I had prepared diligently for a lesson on the Sacrament of the Eucharist. I was ready to use my short time with the students to teach them about the Real Presence and the wonderful effects of receiving the Blessed Sacrament. Yet, when I entered the room, I saw looks in their eyes and in their body language a reality that would test even the mightiest of teachers: the crippling look of pervasive boredom. I thought to myself, “This is going to be impossible to arouse interest and captivate them enough to get my points across.” Then, God spoke a simple word to me. It was not a thunderous theophany, nor was it coupled with signs and wonders. Instead, God simply said: “Adoration.” I tried to reason, “But Lord, I have not even spoken a single word to these young people on the topic of the Eucharist. Adoration will just confuse them.” I continued with my excuses, “It will take valuable class time to transition to the perpetual Adoration chapel and back.” Yet, I could not escape this word that God had placed in my heart: Adoration.

I looked around after opening my class with prayer and announcements. The body language of the students had not improved. In fact, it seemed to have worsened by spreading to others (poor body language seems to be contagious and festers once introduced to the class). I smiled and told the class: “We are going to see Jesus today.” After a very brief explanation on the Adoration chapel and the reality contained therein, we departed. I was apprehensive in what I had just begun. Would we cause a noisy scene? Would they show the respect and maturity that I demanded? Did I just waste 30 minutes after accounting for the time to get to the chapel and back? Am I going to confuse them? Despite my misgivings, the Lord was at work in our class. After entering the chapel, the students all fell to their knees in silence—some praying, some observing—as we all took in the experience of being in the presence of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. After seeing this transformation in the students, I gave them more time before returning to class. I think some would have stayed the whole class if I had let them!

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting editor@catechetics.com

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