The first moment involved a new catechist. He’s been very nervous about teaching as this is out of his wheelhouse. I met with him before class, reviewed the lesson with him, gave him a pep talk and prayed with him, specifically invoking the presence of the Holy Spirit. Afterwards, he came to me unable to speak but very clearly shaken by something that had occurred in the classroom. I gave him a few minutes to compose himself while I handled some other business. When he collected himself, he shared an experience that gave me goosebumps.
When he started class, he almost let his nerves overwhelm him. But he prayed for strength and suddenly, for the first time ever, felt confident enough to push the nerves aside and proceeded to teach an excellent lesson (confirmed by two other adults present in the room). After the students were dismissed and he went back up to the classroom to clean up, his strength left him and he was unable to breathe or stand. He sat with his head in his hands while he collected himself. He was convinced he was filled with the Holy Spirit during that class, and that everything he learned in his 13 years of Catholic school education culminated in that experience because for the first time he knew God was real. This was beyond head knowledge. He felt like everything suddenly made sense. And he was visibly moved by the experience.
For me, it was the first time in my career I was blessed to witness that realization for someone. I never thought in my lifetime I would ever seen the fruit of seeds that I knew I had planted. It was amazing.
The second experience was shared by a parent who is attending the adult faith formation classes offered at the church at the same time we hold religious education classes for the youth. She said because of these classes her husband is now a recovering alcoholic and is much more comfortable with his faith so much so that he is pursuing RCIA.
The third experience was shared by a high school catechist who had forgotten to close class with a prayer and dismissed her students early. As she stopped to pray about it, she heard the students coming back up the stairs. They had gone down the wrong staircase (the creepy one according to one of the girls) and were coming back. This catechist brought them back in the room to pray and shared with them that God had answered her prayer and sent them back to her so they could end class properly.
I drove home that Wednesday night in tears, crying out my gratitude to God for His generous blessings.
In my silent reflection today, God reminded me that even in the stress and chaos, He has things under control. His blessings may come when we least expect them, and maybe when we feel we least deserve them. But in His mercy and because He loves us so much, He continues to show us in ways we understand.
Deborah (no RE-Gretz)