Do you feel the Holy Spirit working? Do you sense that deeper calling, that desire for renewal, that burning within your heart? Yes, it is the same burning that the disciples on the road to Emmaus felt as their Lord and Savior journeyed with them.
Our Hearts Were Burning Within Us was written twenty years ago as a prophetic and challenging document calling parishes and dioceses to re-examine the faith formation they are providing to children and adults so that the right priority and emphasis was being lived out. When we see adult faith formation taking a primary role in catechesis, we see adults being transformed by the Gospel to become missionary disciples who go forth to transform the world. In many ways, this document has yet to be fully implemented and embraced, but as it continues to be, parishes and dioceses will see wonderful fruits of disciples ready to run back to the Church, to embrace the call of Christ to evangelize.
If you are anything like me, for much of your journey and even today, we fail to recognize the many times that Christ is present with us in our midst. We have a sense (a burning) of his presence but we aren’t quite ready to fully give ourselves (our work, our ministry, our concerns, etc.) over to him. Just as the disciples wondered, “could it really be true, could he really have risen from the dead?” so do we wonder, “can he really free me from my sin, will he really transform the lives and hearts of those I minister to?” Our work in adult faith formation, as it is in our own lives, is to help form “women and men of prayer whose faith is alive and vital, grounded in a deep commitment to the person and message of Jesus” (2).