Lord, help us so to love you that we may see your hand working all things unto good. Quiet our fears, dispel our doubts, silence our murmurings. Put away from our minds all sad and gloomy thoughts and inspire us to trust always in your strength and your love.
And I pray with the whole Church for the Pope’s intentions this month:
That opportunities for education and employment may increase for all young people.
That catechists may give witness by living in a way consistent with the faith they proclaim.
What will survive of us is love. It may seem odd to begin such a reflection with a quote from a confirmed atheist, the English poet Philip Larkin but there is something striking about the precision and universality of this line that has remained with me, as a catechist, for many years.
The role of the catechist begins, of course, at Baptism as we receive our commission to go and bear witness, and continues throughout life as we endeavour to teach, to guide, to explain and, indeed, to provoke young (and not so young) minds into thought and reflection. We catechists are in a privileged and unusual position in that as we teach the student, so too do we continue to learn; as we preach, so too do we remind ourselves of our obligations and responsibilities.
So when we teach we must remember doctrine, we must discuss tradition, we must engender a respect for Scripture, but above all we must love. We must love because that is what we have been taught to do. The Gospels overflow with love. The Sermon on the Mount inspires us to love. The 'New Commandment' compels us to love.
Therefore our earthly legacy is love. We will be remembered primarily not for what we have taught but how we make people feel. What will survive of us is love.
- Shane Heslin, extracted from Living Prayer