Taking the Bad with the Good

So 11 of my 14 students came back for class after Confirmation! I’m pretty happy with that because it is a typical weekly absentee rate. We had a good discussion about their Confirmation (once they got past saying “It was too long!”) and an especially good discussion about their service experiences.

There are so many highs and lows during any given class. On the one hand, 11 students returned. On the other hand, only 4 brought their books. On the one hand, we had a great discussion about their service experience. On the other hand, as we were reviewing later, one group of boys could not name the Ten Commandments. On the one hand, we had a beautiful prayer experience with the lights down and only a candle giving off light. On the other hand, the final seconds of the prayer were marred by an unwelcome gastro-intestinal sound from one of the boys. What a roller coaster!

I’ve learned over the years, to not let the bad moments negate the good. The good moments are just as real as the bad moments. I deal with the bad moments by isolating them from the good moments. It’s like the Gospel story of the weeds and the wheat (Matthew 13:24-30) where the Master says that we must allow them to grow together until the harvest lest we uproot the wheat with the weeds. As catechists, we need to harvest everything, collect the weeds (bad moments) and bundle them for burning, and gather the wheat (good moments) into the Master’s barn!

About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

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