My adult daughter and I attended Cursillo recently. What an experience it was! I would encourage others to go if given the opportunity. I took away a few important lessons from my weekend.

On the weekend, I met a dear woman who loves to make calendars. She remarked to me that whenever she is making her calendar for the next year she always puts down her spiritual commitments first. She said, "If it is true that you put your time and energy into what is truly important in your life, then if we claim to put Christ first we should put time with him first in our lives too." I love this idea. I am quick to put in the birthdays, doctor's appointments and other pressing things into my calendar, but have I ever planned ahead to schedule time with the Lord?

Right then and there I decided that I would look for opportunities to spend time with the Lord and mark them on my 2012 calendar. I went out and bought a new calendar today, just so I could act on that thought.

The second thing I took away from our weekend, is the need to continue to study. Whether that means setting aside time for Cursillo (which means a short course on Christianity), taking classes at the local seminary or reading spiritual books/articles we must continue to grow in our faith.

In Confession, the priest recommended a book for me to read. That will be part of my current commitment to study my faith. It is so easy to get into a routine and think that we are fulfilling our obligations in a spiritual sense. I learned this weekend, that I need to constantly challenge myself to something more, something higher. If I am not growing in my faith, I'm moving backwards. Even worse, I risk falling into complacency.

How can we as catechists challenge ourselves to spend more time with Christ and to increase our knowledge of our faith? I would suggest a few things:

Change one thing. Don't worry about making some huge commitment; just change one thing about the way you connect to Christ.

Try going to daily Mass.

Say a Rosary on Sundays (add more days in the week as you are able.)

Sign up for one class or take your foundational catechist training online.

Make plans to go on a retreat or Cursillo this year. Information for all kinds of spiritual retreats and Cursillo is available online. Just like you would make plans for a family vacation in advance (because it is important) make plans to spend that time with Christ. Even if you can find a one-day retreat it will benefit your journey in your faith. We only get out of anything what we put into it and our students will benefit from our renewed energy in our faith.