The youngest children lead us to the deepest mysteries of our faith. As they fall in love with the mustard seed (Matthew 13:31-32) they help us discover that the kingdom of God is a mystery of growth and transformation. Like the mustard tree, which hosts birds in its branches, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd was born from a tiny “seed”, an unexpected encounter with children and God’s Word. Dr. Sofia Cavalletti was a privileged witness to that encounter, and to the children’s total engagement with the Mystery being revealed, and it changed her life. Beginning in 1954, she and Gianna Gobbi began a “long work” together of tirelessly observing children and seeking to put in their hands the particular announcements from the Bible and the liturgy that seemed to most deeply satisfy their spiritual hungers. Their indicator that the “food” being offered truly matched the need and capacity of the children, was the children’s joy, a peaceful kind of joy that led them to further contemplation, especially through their personal work with the corresponding material, and to prayer.
“He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”