My new office at Bayard, on the campus of Assumption College in Worcester, MA, is steps away from the college chapel. Above its altar you’ll find these words captured from St. Paul… “until Christ be formed in you” (Gal. 4:19). These words may serve as a prayer for ourselves, and for the privileged work we share with Christ on behalf of the Church. If we are to reach others for Christ, we, too, must be well-formed in him, so that others may share in the Christian life.
How might we be well-formed in Christ? It always starts with the heart.
Allow me to share the wisdom of Fr. Emmanuel d’Alzon. He was the founder of the Augustinians of the Assumption, from which Catechist’s parent company, Bayard Inc., finds its roots. Fr. d’Alzon’s outlook is a boon to catechists both young and old…
“It is in expanding our hearts that we do great things. Disciples of Christ need to enlarge their hearts more than ever…. by losing ourselves in the immensity of God…
… The world needs to be penetrated with the Christian idea, otherwise it will fall apart. And the world will not receive this idea, but from individuals who will be taken up by it.”
When we lose ourselves in the immensity of God, when we immerse ourselves in the limitless ocean of God’s love and mercy, we discover the big God who is with us and for us. God loves us freely, totally, and personally, without measure and without end. Christ, indeed, will be best formed in us, and in those we catechize, when we work from this understanding of the enormity of God’s love for us.
The world longs for this all-consuming love of God, and you, dear reader, are commissioned with the joy of sharing it.
Remember that the immensity of the work we must accomplish this year is no match for the immensity of God. Let that truth be formed in us. Let it expand our hearts so that, whatever our catechetical duties, we might “do great things!”
PAT GOHN, MA, is the editor of Living Faith, a quarterly booklet of daily Catholic devotions. For subscription information, visit d LivingFaith.com.
This article was first published in Catechist magazine, September 2016. It has been reformated and modified to fit this format.
Copyright 2016, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc., January 2016.
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