Before I do any planning or take action in my catechetical ministry, I try to pray for the particular graces I need to do the work Christ has entrusted to me.
I begin by imagining that my life is like a house with many rooms. Much like in my own home, there’s the room I work really hard on to get “just right” when company is on the way—the room in which I am proud to sit and visit. Then there are the rooms I run through doing quick clean-ups in case guests catch a glance of them as they walk by. And there is the room where all the junk goes. That pile of newspapers forgotten beside the sofa gets tossed in there. The stray Legos waiting like landmines to be stepped on by guests end up there too. Of all the rooms in the house, that one stays locked.
I do this with both my physical home and my spiritual home. The trick I play on myself is in looking at my life and all of its rooms from a ground-floor perspective. I forget that not only is Christ looking at and loving me from the top-down but that, from his perspective, there is no roof. Despite all of the time and effort I put into hiding the clutter, locking the door, and guarding the room from prying eyes (including my own!), it’s been plainly visible to God all along.
Christ does not need me to open these doors, and he isn’t waiting for a tour. What he does want more than anything is to sit in the midst of it all with me, to look over the discarded socks, toys, and newspapers, and help me to choose one, just one secret cast-off to work on really getting rid of. He knows this is the grace that I truly need, and he’s merciful, loving, and patient enough to start small with me.
As our autumn programs are set to begin, this is a great time to invite Christ into the locked rooms of our hearts, to sift through the mess we don’t want our students, their parents, our pastors, or bosses to see, and to pray for the grace to put whatever we find in its proper place.
In prayerfully conversing with the Lord, can you identify one bit of clutter still hanging around from last year? Are there anxieties, resentments, bad habits, or bits of ego that may be hindering your ministry? What particular grace would help free you from those? The good news is that when it comes to our Lord and his grace, there are no locked rooms.