Posted by: Thomas Richard | January 29, 2011

The Holy Vocation of Catechist

What is the difference between a lukewarm Catholic Christian and the average pagan?  The lukewarm Catholic, sadly, is hardly distinguishable from the average pagan – on the street, in the voting booth, in court, behind closed bedroom doors, or in the workplace.  There is a difference: the lukewarm Catholic Christian – whether culpably or innocently – was entrusted with holy and divine grace that he squandered and wasted and perhaps even lost, as soon as it was given him.

We hardly know what we have!  Such radiant treasures have been placed in our care – seven sacraments like seven facets of a perfect diamond, flashing brilliantly in the full sun; we cannot look directly into it, into Him!  Seven sources of holy grace, each offering us communion with Him, each an intimate embrace, each touching Him, each the loving touch of God in return.

We do not know what we have.  We are like so many of the crowds, pressing upon Jesus, yet never touching Him:

Lk 8:42 … As he went, the crowds almost crushed him.
43  And a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years, who (had spent her whole livelihood on doctors and) was unable to be cured by anyone,
44  came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. Immediately her bleeding stopped.
45  Jesus then asked, “Who touched me?” While all were denying it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are pushing and pressing in upon you.”
46  But Jesus said, “Someone has touched me; for I know that power has gone out from me.”


We need true catechists, passing on the living and dynamic Faith of the Churchmaking, as Jesus commanded, disciples.  A true catechist is responding to a holy vocation.  Do we pray for vocations to the priesthood and religious life?  Yes, we do and rightly so.  But are we praying for catechists?  And are we praying for true responders to the sacred vocation of marriage: husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, catechists who are making disciples in the Domestic Church of the Catholic home? From the General Catechetical Directory #80:

“The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ”. (CT 5) All evangelizing activity is understood as promoting communion with Jesus Christ.


All the “problems” of the Church today have one solution, ultimately.  The simplest of solutions: Jesus.  We need to meet Him, to hear Him, to touch and be touched by Jesus Christ.  We don’t need to “study” the Bible – we need to hear His Word. We don’t need to “get” the sacraments – we need to receive deep in the deepest places of our souls, His holy grace given us in the sacraments.  We don’t need to learn more prayers, we need to pray and to meet Him in holy prayer-communion; we need to live a life of prayer.  We don’t have attendance or budget problems – our crisis is the wrong kind of poverty of spirit.

He is so close to every one of us!  But He was close to the crowds too, as they pressed upon Him.  One touched Him.  One touched Him.  One touched Him.



  1. Dear Thomas,

    Thank you for focusing on our great treasure of Grace, in being baptized Catholics. Thank you also for warning us: if we squander our treasure, we can become so “lukewarm” that we are no different from pagans who never met Christ. The Light of Christ in us at Baptism is meant to be kept burning brightly for a dark world. We are called from Baptism to bring Christ to others.

    How very important it is for each of us, in whatever situation we may be, to stir up the embers of faith within us! By God’s Mercy, it is never too late to begin anew. We need to hear His invitation to “Come and learn” (Mt 11:28-30). We need to touch Him. Thank you for the beautiful quote to inspire us both to be, and to make, disciples in our sacred vocation as catechists:

    ““The definitive aim of catechesis is to put people not only in touch, but also in communion and intimacy, with Jesus Christ”.

    Be it at home, school, work, or recreation, there are countless opportunities for us to share Christ. Once we have been touched by His Love, we want to share the Good News of His Love with others. As He has loved us, so are we called to love one another. May we unite ourselves to Him every day intimately in prayer. May each Mass and Holy Communion, each sacrament be received with increased fervor, so that our life grows in Grace — that our lives reflect Him more, and we are enabled to “put people not only in touch but in communion and intimacy with Jesus Christ.”

    Let us pray for one another and build one another up as we strive to be His disciples, His catechists — wherever we may be.

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