It is not just what we say but who we are that preaches to the people and is the source of apostolic action. We are being sent on a mission. Jesus said, “I send you.” (John 20:21). Being sent on a mission is not a work we assume on our own. Apostolate is not just a private enterprise, such that I have a good idea and on my own I assume it and I am successful or unsuccessful in it. No! It is a commission from Christ.
Actually, in God’s providence, mine was not a vocation to teach little children catechism; it was not my idealistic desire or wish. My call was the love of our Lord. This may sound simplistic or overly general, but I do want to express it in simple words and concepts: If you love someone, you love those who belong to him and you want them all to know the person whom you love. This is what lead me to teaching religion. My first call and first desire was that more and more people would know Our Lord on a deeply personal level, with an interior knowledge. This is the core of our teaching method, this was the origin of the 5-step Method of Illustrated Explanations.
The origin of this method was a personal commitment to the Lord, or in other words, the realization that He is personally involved in my life, He knows me by my name. he loves me, I am unique and special to Him. It was this same vision and conviction that I wanted to convey to others, to children and adults alike. I was seeking to find a way.
The Spirit of God was generous with very practical inspirations, and soon I was able to develop the Five Steps that carry through every one of our catechetical lessons: 1. Attracting of Attention, 2. Illustrated Explanation, 3. Correlation with Life, 4. Weekly Practice, 5. Review and Conclusion. What is so exciting about the Method is that it really was a gift of God in times when you had to sweat out the truth in such a way that it would be understandable, not heavy, and focus on the essence, reaching those who never heard about God or might not have that many chances to hear about Him again.
Our apostolic life is much more than what we can humanly do. If you want to bring forth lasting fruit, you have to be connected to the source and know that it is through His power that you are doing what you are doing; and the results are also my work and His work combined. This is our joy and our greatest gift – we are doing what we are doing through the power of Him who loves us and who incorporated us into His own life.