This is the second article in a series exploring the Beatitudes as they relate to being a catechist.
“Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:4)
Happy are the catechists who can take time to be with God, for they will find the joy of knowing God’s love.
A few weeks ago, I attended a catechist training at my parish. We went over safety procedures and were shown how to use the new computers and TVs in the classrooms. Afterward, we had a brief reflection on this year’s theme for Catechetical Sunday, “Living as Missionary Disciples.”
We broke up into four groups and reflected on how we might live as missionary disciples, focused on how we as catechists “make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
As we talked, we realized that we all face many challenges in living as missionary disciples. One of my friends talked about how busy she was. She was always doing something for the parish. If she wasn’t volunteering as a catechist, she was volunteering for the food pantry. When she wasn’t volunteering for the food pantry, she was volunteering for the arts and environment ministry. And when she wasn’t volunteering for that, she was volunteering for something else, whether it was being a chaperone for a youth ministry event or serving as a lector.
“It’s just never enough,” she said desperately. Everyone around the table nodded in agreement. They all looked exhausted.
“Martha, when do you take time for yourself?” I asked.
She looked confused.
“You’re always doing something for God,” I explained. “When do you take time just to be with God?”
Her shoulders dropped with a heavy sigh. “I don’t,” she answered.
We spent the rest of the evening talking about how we might make time to stop doing and start being. Our list included praying the Rosary and attending Eucharistic Adoration. I shared how I like to pray the Examen at the end of my day. Another catechist mentioned how she uses the 3-Minute Retreat to make time for God amid her busyness.
Being a catechist is hard work. Balancing the demands of our ministry—the lesson planning, the catechist meetings, and the class sessions—with all the other things we do is a challenge. I often ask myself, Why do I do this?, especially after a difficult class. When I focus on the doing, I notice that I can never do enough, and I end up disappointed with my perceived failures. In the end, I become a sourpuss, and that’s not going to draw anyone to Christ.
But when I make the time to be alone with God, my attitude shifts. I no longer lament my busyness or mourn over my shortcomings. Instead, I find the joy and comfort of knowing that God loves me just as I am. And when I know that, I can share God’s love with the young people in my class.
How do you spend time alone with God? Where do you find God in the midst of your busyness?
Read the first article in the series: Beatitudes and the Catechist: Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit.
The Beatitudes for Families presents the Beatitudes with original artwork on sturdy 8.5” x 11” cards. On one side are the words of Christ as found in Matthew 5:3–10. On the other side is an adapted version of the Beatitudes written for families. Also available in Spanish.