Grace is such a packed topic for a blog post; I realized that I would have to narrow things a bit. So, I turned to the Catechism, and found my focus in Paragraph 2004:
“Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and of the ministries within the Church:
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.”
What a wonderful passage! There’s something for everyone here, but the point I want to focus on is our teaching. Sometimes in the busyness of our daily work, we can forget that it is a special grace to teach and exercise our responsibilities in faith formation. It is the same for all those who work with us as staff or volunteers. The graces of state, as the Catechism notes, are special, in that they are intended for the common good of the Church. They are meant to be shared.
When I’m preparing a lesson or talk, I often forget the need to devote some meaningful prayer time to my preparations. Through prayer, I begin to realize that God is partnering with me and that the Holy Spirit will guide my preparations if I only ask and make myself available. It is the same for each and every person who shares in our mission of faith formation.
The next time we get all our catechists together, I’m going to remind them of the graces of state which are available to them each and every time they enter the classroom. I hope it will make the task of faith formation easier and more meaningful for them. I know it does for me.
This article was originally written in 2012, when Paul was the DRE at St. John Catholic Church.
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