Sometimes the reminders of God’s fruitfulness come out of the blue, like the lady who showed up on the doorstep over a year ago, who said the only way she could explain how she got there was that God guided her. She did not know who Jesus was but she felt she wanted to become a Catholic. This Easter, she will be baptised. This is definitely an extraordinary instance of God’s fruitfulness. Mostly, though, God uses ‘ordinary’ ways of drawing people to himself, ways which usually involve other people.
The Catholicism course has been an example of one of these ‘ordinary’, but yet extraordinary, ways of God drawing people to himself. There has been a wonderful grace about this course, an infectious joy and enthusiasm which mean people do not want it to end, and people discovering – some for the first time – the joys of being a Catholic. We have one person who will be received into the Church and another who will be confirmed as a result of this course. We have other cradle Catholics who are more determined to live seriously their Catholic faith. And this kind of joy and enthusiasm does spread. The people who have received a lot are among the first to be signed up to the School of Prayer we have starting after Easter. They are becoming more involved in Church life and telling their friends. Fruitfulness means ever increasing circles of people, more and more connections, and friends of friends drawn into the communion of the Church. It is beautiful to witness it.
It is true to say that working for the Church is often hard, for a variety of different reasons. But this fruitfulness is the main thing that makes it beyond worthwhile. This makes it the job I would do for free if it was practical. What other reason can there be to do a job like this?