"However severe God's guidance may seem to us at times, it's always the guidance of a Father who is infinitely good, wise and kind. He leads us to our goal by different paths. And after all, my dear good friend, let's be honest - Isn't it true that we tend to spoil the work of grace in us? So it's to our advantage to experience the withdrawal of grace and abandonment by God. Then we must act as little children do in the dark - clasp the hand of father or mother and go where we are led. - Julie Billiart (1751-1816, Canonized in 1969)
Julie Billiart taught catechism to her friends in the village of Cuvilly, Picardy. When her wealthy family lost their fortune she was forced to work, but still made time for her "students."
In 1774 someone shot at her father and the trauma of that event sent Julie into a mysterious illness that paralyzed her, but she continued to teach the Catholic faith from her bed!
My husband and I talk frequently about how people are being taught our faith. People who have come from a twelve year Catholic school background don't attend church. Parents who marry in the Catholic church, don't set foot in one until it's time to baptize the baby, or the child makes their First Holy Communion or are confirmed. It's really all about the party and the gifts, isn't it?
What is the secret? Julie drew her students to her, so there must have been something about her that made young children want to learn from her. Most kids do want to learn, but it's sustaining that knowledge and putting it into practice where it gets a little sketchy.
As adults, we are responsible for our own faith. It's enjoyable for me to read about my faith. I'm always excited to find a new book or author. I like to talk about it too, especially with other Catholics so that we can share our experiences and learn from them.
Whenever my husband and I talk about this, we never can come up with definitive answers. I think it's even more mysterious to us, because our faith is so much a part of our lives, that we can't figure out why other Catholics don't feel the same way.