This reflection is from Anna Donnelly, a Cohort 9 Seton Teaching Fellow. Anna served in our founding Catholic school, Romero Academy at Resurrection, where she taught Catechism and literacy blocks. We are blessed to share that Anna will be joining her community members as one of the founding teachers at our second school in Cincinnati, Ohio: Romero Academy at Annunciation. In this meditative reflection on grace and the movement of God in our lives, Anna shares the trust she has in the Lord and the mystical ways in which He works through us.
I served for a year as a missionary and educator. I lived in a beautiful community of faith. Next year I’ll be joining our schools to serve full-time as a grade level teacher. My time with Seton Teaching Fellows has been one of hardship and grace, challenge and peace, faith and uncertainty—and I was worthy of none of it.
That’s right, I’m not worthy. I’m not worthy of this mission or this life or these people or this love. But it’s not my job to be worthy. I can never do that on my own. It’s God who makes me worthy. It’s my job to let Him work, to trust Him and surrender to Him and say: “OK. I don’t think I’m worthy of this—of anything; but clearly You’ve called me to it for a reason. I don’t know if I can do this, but I know that You can. You do the work, Lord.”
And God works through us.
I, by myself, am not enough. I am not smart enough or kind enough or virtuous enough for this mission, or even for this Christian life. Nonetheless, it is an incredible surprise that there is so much joy and freedom that comes from this spiritual poverty of mine! St John Henry Newman says, “God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. . . Therefore, I will trust Him. Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.” Whether it’s a year of missionary service, living in community, or a calling to teach: God has given me a purpose, and will use me for this purpose if I only just allow Him to work through me. He does not need me to be enough all on my own—in fact He usually prefers it when I am aware that I am not enough! Christ is made perfect in our weakness, and he does so that He can give me His grace, and that I may be an instrument of the Lord.
God has created us good and, whether we realize it or not, will use our gifts for His purposes if we only trust in Him.
This is the radical abandonment to which he calls us, and that can seem terrifying; but at the same time, our Lord is the bringer of peace. If I am thinking about my own poverty and am led to despair over my failures, to dwell on how I am not good enough, to see how I don’t have enough, or think that I am not enough in any capacity and should turn away, then I always remember: that is not from the God of the Living. Our God is a God of peace! Those are lies! God has created us good and, whether we realize it or not, will use our gifts for His purposes if we only trust in Him.
Would you like an example? We need look no further than Mary, our Mother. She is a perfect example of humility and littleness, and yet what did she say? “My soul magnifies the Lord,” and “all generations will call me blessed.” She knows who she is in the eyes of God. No more, no less. This is true humility. Let us always strive to imitate her, and remember to always give our daily “yes” in both the little and the big things, in both sorrow and in joy.
This mission is, paradoxically, both a big and little thing. In reality, to serve for a year is so small an event in the course of our lives and the schema of salvation. Yet God magnifies this service by imprinting faith and love on the hearts of the smallest children, the least among us. Seton Teaching Fellows has been an opportunity for me to trust in the Lord. This bigness and smallness is a chance for the Lord to be magnified through the tiniest actions, and in doing so, to bring the greatest love to the souls of the students and families we serve.
Do you have a burning desire to offer up your littleness and unworthiness to Christ? Curious what it takes to be a Seton Teaching Fellow? Schedule a quick and easy time to chat with our recruitment team today, or explore our Linktree to see more content from STF!