This weekend marks the end of the formal catechetical preparation for the current group of Confirmation high school students that I am responsible for preparing to receive the sacrament from our Bishop in August.
The process itself during the last few years has been a work in progress as I have been slowly moving towards incorporating a variety of components into the process–weekly small discipleship groups, Works of Mercy Service Apprenticeships, a Capstone Project in which a discipleship assessment and Plan of Life are developed by the candidate for post-Confirmation living, Sponsor-Candidate Activities, and ten Family Catechesis sessions–presented in English AND Spanish as the majority of the parents of the youth in our community are Spanish speaking. But all the components I have been incorporating are with an eye towards cultivating attitudes of lifelong learning and discipleship vs a “I’ve done the requirements, so I’m now done” mentality that so many of the current education models (both religious and secular) has produced in the last several generations (and still will until we change how we do things, but that is a post for a different day).
My focus throughout my time with the candidates has been to encourage them to cultivate the habits of discipleship necessary to experience a life of purpose, peace and abundance vs just checking boxes to get done. However, despite my best efforts, I still had a candidate ask me, “Does any of this matter?” last weekend. After I realized the candidate was serious, I responded with the same seriousness as I replied, “It all matters.”
It all matters because every thought, word and action is either moving us toward holiness, or away from it. There is no such thing as holding still, or maintaining our place on the journey. We are either making progress, or we are regressing.
I know that sometimes that knowledge can be discouraging, because there are days (plenty of them for me!) when the last thing I feel like doing is trying to grow in holiness. When I make sure I spend time in prayer and meditation despite oversleeping, or rearrange my schedule so I can get to Mass when I am on vacation, or struggle to remember my daily resolution and not answer with a snarky response when asked about some task that I promised to do, but forgot.
But if there is one thing I have learned on the journey, it’s that it’s not necessarily about how I feel, but it’s about whether I show up and try my best. Now my best on some days is not as good as my best on other days, but what’s important is that I don’t stop trying, because it all matters.
So just try your best while focusing on developing habits that will help you continue to stay on track when your will might waver. For good habits faithfully performed in every detail make for victory. And I don’t know about you, but I ain’t in this thing to lose. I’m ALL IN for the crown of glory, and I hope you are too.
In the interim, know of my prayers for you and hope to see you on the Way tomorrow.