Using Charisms and Sanctification
On Saturday, I led a training day for Confirmation catechists in Basingstoke as part of the Formation for Mission team in the Diocese of Portsmouth. I introduced the Transformed in Christ Confirmation programme to them, explaining how and why it was created, and suggesting some ways to implement it. To be honest, when we first started to plan the day, I expected around 30 catechists to come along. Little did I know that we would be fully booked with 85 catechists! We have decided to run the day again in 2015 because of its popularity. (I will have some photos and a full report to share very soon…don’t you worry!)
I’ll let you into a secret… I get nervous about things like this… Sherry Weddell tells a story where the first time she spoke in public during university, she sat down at the end and promptly fainted. I have never had an experience like that, but I do find the ‘butterflies’ start getting overactive! In the parish setting, I’m used to speaking to around 40 and am quite relaxed, but 85 seemed considerably more for some reason. Anyway, I asked many saintly people to pray, and I knew the Holy Spirit would do His Thing. On the day itself, I was so peaceful and with a clear mind, and after about twenty minutes was utterly relaxed. God is good!
I would never choose public speaking, but in the spiritual life (don’t you find this?!) if we desire to be saints, God tends to put us in situations outside our comfort zone so that we have to abandon ourselves to Him, again and again. This is interesting from the perspective of charisms… Two of the charisms I am discerning are Leadership and Teaching. I find I use both of them on days like yesterday, and when I do it, I feel full of energy, joy, and alive (subjective signs of a charism) – but the lead-up and preparation can be nerve-wracking! Perhaps I am still developing these charisms, growing in maturity and ability… but, whatever the situation, all I know is, it’s good for sanctification… 😉