The VISION: For me, this image of a castle on a hill symbolizes that special feeling we all get at the start of the school year. We’ve had a little break and we’re inspired to start climbing again, reaching for something glorious and beautiful. We are building something, but we are also embarking and searching, trusting that what is needed will be provided by God.
The vision is still clear because we are not yet dealing (suffering) with the actual human beings who will be assigned to our care, whether in parishes or homes, those pesky sinners who tend to muddy the waters with their free wills and variously developed characters.
People can be real pains, right? We want to evangelize them, but some weeks they won’t sit still and listen! They flat out refuse to be inspired. And their parents…oy. At the start of the school year, the vision (see castle) is still clear because it’s still mostly in our heads, unsullied by real life.
Today I’ll share a roundup of free resources and great writing that will help you keep that vision clear and strong, even when it starts to include the foibles of your students and the struggles of your own weaknesses.
“When I am weak, then I am strong.” I’m reading (again) Alice von Hildebrand’s small book about femininity, The Privilege of Being a Woman, which I highly recommend for both men and women. (Obviously, this is not a free resource, but I’ll get to those!) Her call to an understanding of the idea of “weakness” is stirring and, I believe, suffering-proof. In fact, though the focus of the book is not on suffering, per se, I believe her take on the Church’s ideas about spirituality, strength, service, and success will become even more valuable to you over time.
FREE RESOURCES FOR CATECHISTS! I’ve got another article over at RTJs Creative Catechist that rounds up lots of great FREE resources (some online, some in print or on DVD) for any Catholic wanting to learn and teach the Faith more effectively. What’s on my list?Need some training as a catechist but don’t have the time or money? Want to add excitement to your confirmation or RCIA program? Need some deeper insights and more accessible understanding of the most controversial teachings of the Catholic Church? A searchable online Bible or Catechism? Easy crafts? Awesome lesson plans?
At RTJs Creative Catechist, my updated list includes free resources that are astonishing in their potential value to increase your joy and raise your teaching standards–and even more astonishing because they are provided free of charge by amazing apostolates and ministries. God is very, very good to us. The harvest is good, so go out pickin’!!!
AMAZING CATECHISTS: My website, AmazingCatechists.com, features some of the best catechetical minds around, many of them authors and speakers, all writing from the front lines of evangelization and catechesis. The site will have a whole new look sometime in the next few weeks, but feel free to subscribe now so you won’t miss any of the great posts and free resources now showing at the home page!
SUPER CATECHIST Jared Dees has a great roundup of lessons and resources to help catechists kick off the year at his wonderful site, The Religion Teacher. I highly recommend you become a member!
YOUNG ADULTS LEAVING YOUR PARISH IN DROVES? Check out the blog of one of my heroes, Jen Fitz, who blogged today at Sticking the Corners about two fool-proof ways to make sure young adults fill up your parish with their faith, time, and talents. As always, Jen’s is a very smart post.
Enjoy the rest of Labor Day weekend! Blessings in Jesus Christ!