Understanding the stages of faith has given me a new awareness of self. Creating my unfolding tapestry of life led me to analyze my life in depth and afterwards to be able to review it at a glance. My experiences have led me from one leap of faith to the next through the urging of God through mentors, enlightenment of knowledge through classes and this program, and strength of faith through God’s constant guidance. My students have benefitted from each and every step I have taken along the way. I am the teacher who tells all; the mistakes, the lack of understanding, and the findings. As my knowledge has grown and understanding deepened what I teach my students and the way I teach them has evolved. I give them the time in class to journal about where they feel called. We talk about ways that they can listen to God without distraction. I am also taking a mindfulness class for teachers. I am teaching them about awareness. I recently wrote a new meditation about vocations. I give them the time and space to reflect on deeper matters than the rules of the church. As I tell their parents often, I will teach what the bishops want taught to inform my students of Catholicism. However, my goal is not knowledge. My goal is to bring those students closer to God. I do this through stories, discussions, applying the life Jesus wants us to live to their own actions with relevancy, assigning creative prayers (they have to engage the class and then directly and audibly speak to God in front of others), giving them the practice of silence, the elements of relaxation, the space to talk with God, and intriguing their imagination so that the Holy Spirit can work with vigor through those moments. Understanding where my students are in their faith development truly helps me to form the best plan of how to lead them, teach them and love them as God wants me to do right now. All I can truly do in my ministries is as C.S. Lewis says,
“Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favourite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in” (Lewis 190).
This should be the aim of every Christian that will move us through our lives to open us to the call of God and the continuous development of our faith.