Monday, May 21, 2007

Aaaack!

My priest asked me to teach the catechism class this Wednesday night. Only, instead of using normal catechism materials that he's working through, he wants me to pull something together for a special add-on. He has people do that when he's got a conflict. That way, he's in charge of the basic stuff, and other people in the parish bring in "extras".

Some of the tonsured readers, from what I understand, have spoken about the Church calendar, or upcoming feasts...things like that. I'm not a tonsured reader and most of my intellectual life is spent re-learning English grammar as I teach it to my kids. I told Fr. that I'm incapable of those topics (liturgics and calendar stuff and the theology behind it all) and what should I talk about?

He was not much help, but in the space of our conversation I said: What about talking about just living life as an Orthodox Christian, you know...the down and dirty when the newness of it all wears off and the honeymoon is over? What about talking about learning to pray with the saints, especially the Theotokos, and sharing what that looks like practically, or at least one model of what that looks like practically...warts and all?

My priest said "Bingo! That's what you should talk about. But I want you to be prepared."

So, I have until Wednesday night. Aaaaaaaaaack! How on earth do I pull together materials, brilliant quotations, etc. about this topic, for a CLASS?????

Much more realistic to my life would be: "OK, catechumens, let's go on a three mile walk and pray the Jesus Prayer. Now, do this again tomorrow. And the day after that, and the day after that." Lather, rinse, repeat. Fail miserably at any discipline, pick yourself up, dust off the prayer rope/books/whatever, and do it again.

The wisest thing anyone ever told me about prayer is: Have a prayer rule. Add just a wee bit on to it each year. That was my old priest who moved to Florida. He was very wise.

So, say a prayer for me that I don't blow this utterly. Visions of millstones dance through my head.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You did a great job when you taught my class earlier this spring, so I can't see that you are going to fail at this. I think it will be one of the more useful catechesis experiences they get.

Meg said...

What you wrote sounds just great to me. The only thing I would add to it is your reaction to your priest's request, followed by, "Then I prayed about it" -- because I know you will. I find that when my priest asks anything really impossible of me, asking for God's help is the only way it can possibly get done.

Mimi said...

You will rock it, I know you. However, be assured of my prayers.

Alana said...

Oh, yes! Many prayers!

DebD said...

I will definitely pray... but I think you will be wonderful.

Michelle Melania said...

I will try to be there! I am supposed to be resting now due to my increased blood pressure, but I think I will be at church on Wednesday.

If I'm not there, I'll be saying a prayer for you right around 7:30 :)