Justin: This week our parish invited me to come speak to our RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) class about the Creed. It was a real blessing because it forced me to take a fresh look at our fundamental beliefs and renewed my sense of wonder about the mysteries of our faith. It is far too easy to let the Creed become a series of words that we rattle off with little thought.
Sara: Justin teaching RCIA class this week was actually harder for me then I thought it would be. In my eyes, it was a great sacrifice! In addition to the family time we had to give up for Justin to actually teach the class, Justin also spent a great deal of time (at least in my mind!) of prepping. Since going back to work, I feel like we get very little time as a family – and Justin and I get even less time as a couple. Teaching this class reminded me that Justin and I have to prioritize our time just like we prioritize our money. Helping pass on our Catholic faith by sharing in RCIA class is definitely a great use of our time and talents as a family, and will hopefully help lead some of those folks to heaven. However, I am grateful Justin doesn’t teach each and every week!
Perhaps the funniest part of Justin teaching was a story he told when he got home.
Justin: During one portion of the talk, I was discussing the Trinity and how the Holy Spirit is really the fruit of love between the Father and the Son. I mentioned that we can see a reflection of this in the life of the family. I explained, “When a husband loves his wife, sometimes their love is so real that nine months later, they have to give it a name. We call ours Gus.”
After class was over, a young boy (probably six or seven years old) asked Father, “What did he mean by a love so real that they have to give it a name?”
Father stammered a little and then looked at me. All I could say was, “Don’t look at me, Father, I don’t have to answer that question for a few more years.”
In addition, to being a great time, speaking was a great opportunity of reflection for me. Therefore, I thought I would share four things that I often take for granted but for which I regained a new appreciation.
1. We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. It reminded me that at the heart of our faith is a Father. We are dependent beings, but we are not in competition with our God. Much of the modern mindset rejects this. The modern world says that if only we would set aside these old religious superstitions we would be fully actualized. Yet, the human experience does not reflect this. Rather, it is ok to be dependent because we have a Father on whom we can depend. Indeed, it is in depending on God that we find our fulfillment. In the same way that I take pride in Gus’s smallest action (such as rolling over the other night), God delights in us. So much so, that we bring glory to God when we live a virtuous and flourishing life. In the words of St. Irenaeus, “The Glory of God is man fully alive!”
2. We believe in things visible and invisible. We believe in spiritual realities. We understand the world is made up of more than simply what we can see, taste, and touch. Just because I couldn’t see or feel Gus when he was in the womb, didn’t make him less real. After he was born, we finally saw him!
3. On the third day He rose from the dead. The Resurrection is the central event of our faith. It is the proof of Jesus’s saving power. It is a wondrous event that tests the limits of belief. It is a miracle! And it is a historical fact! Even from across time, the empty tomb still testifies to it.
4. We believe in life everlasting. This changes the way we live. It gives me the courage to meet sacrifices. How many Christians have been able to offer their life to God with the sure knowledge that they would be with him in heaven?