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The Spiritual Life: Unprofitable Servants and the Mystery of God’s Ways
God is always at work in the hearts of his children. When catechists become aware of the mystery of the Triune God at work in the hearts of the children we serve, we naturally respond with humility and a desire for greater obedience to God, the Master Catechist. Sofia Cavalletti and Gianna Gobbi, cofounders of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd knew how to bow before the mystery of God at work in children, as is evident from this quote they wrote in a letter to catechists in Canada: "It happens that in being with children we will sense the presence of a force, mysterious and silent, which does not belong to us, and we will treasure it as an inestimable privilege to be granted at times to “see” it working within the child. As Elijah did on Mount Horeb when he heard the “tiny, whispering sound,” at moments like this we too will want to “cover our face” in beholding the presence of God" (1Kgs 19:13).[i] If we fail to acknowledge the reality of this always-present mystery, we are tempted to rely on our own education, training, experience, or skills as catechists to produce something we can measure. Rather than bow in humble obedience before God’s mysterious ways, we may become frustrated at not being able to share all we know. An inordinate focus on our own successes or failures as catechists impedes our growth in humility, an essential virtue in our work.