I came across an online adverstisement for “Life Coaches” that emphasized in big letters, “It’s about time you had someone focus entirely on YOU!” The ad goes on to say that, “You will be the center of attention of your life coach because life coaching is all about YOU!”
Talk about narcissism!
We sometimes bring this approach to our spiritual lives. I’ve often reminded students and their parents, especially when preparing for the sacraments, that “this is not about what YOU’RE doing but about what GOD is doing in your life!”
We often think that First Communion, Confirmation, Marriage, and Holy Orders are all about the individual receiving the sacrament. How often do we say about a bride, “This is HER day” or first communicants, “This is THEIR day!” Scripture reminds us that “This is the day the LORD has made! Let us rejoice and be glad!”
The first step to a healthy spirituality is to recognize that it’s all about what God is doing in my life and in the lives of others. My role – our role – is to respond to God’s action.
There’s no such thing as being proactive in spirituality. To be proactive is to initiate action. God has already taken the initiative. It’s up to us to respond.
Our model in all of this is Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who, even though she was chosen to bear the Son of God into the world, responded by magnifying, not herself, but God!
As catechists, we help those we teach to recognize God’s action in the lives of God’s people and to respond as Mary did, by giving praise to God and by bringing Christ to others.