LENTEN JOURNEY -A JOURNEY TOWARDS HOLINESS
If you are a saint, people around you will be holy. If you are holy, people around you will be good. If you are good, people around you will be nice and if you are nice, people around you will be ungodly. So if you want to build a family of holy people, you know what to be.
• Everyone is called to holiness, clergy and laity alike.
• Holiness is a gift but it’s given to everyone who seeks it so pray for it.
• Holiness sanctifies and that sanctification rubs off on others around us. The Holy Spirit is our guide to holiness. You cannot be pure or holy without the Holy Spirit.
• Holiness is our response to God’s love, our practical actions to live out the call from God.
Supporting scriptural references: 1st Thessalonians 4: 3-8, Ist Corinthians 6:20, Galatians 5:19
3 means of holiness
– To spend time with the one you love is to pray. If you care about someone, you would want to spend time with them, share a meal with him/her, meet their family, and avoid doing things that hurt the person. So should our relationship with God be – spend time with God in prayer, share a meal with Him (Eucharist), get to meet His family (study and know the saints), avoid things that hurt Him (build virtue and drop vices, have regular confessions, and make sacrifices for God).
– Have a prayer book but don’t rely on the prayer book alone. They are meant to guide, to give you that initial help to have an open flow with God, so use the books but also pray in your own words.
– Go for regular confessions
– Receive the Eucharist often.
– ‘The church is an old woman with many wrinkles and furrows but she’s my mother and no one strikes my mother.’ – Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J.
– Know your faith, reference the CATECHISM OF THE Catholic Church OR CCC for answers.
– Learn about the trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the seat of the Pope.
– A true seeker must shun no book, scorn no creed, scorn no means of knowledge and not cling fanatically to a single view or creed.
– Read your bible.
– Pray without ceasing, live a sacramental life and receive continuous formation.
• The greatest tragedy is to lose on both sides – to lose in the world and loose in heaven.
• ‘The hottest place in hell is reserved for those who in times of moral crisis preserved their neutrality.’ – Dante Alighieri
• ‘Are you afraid that God will take away everything that makes you happy if you decide to serve Him? Well, he wouldn’t. He is the giver of good gifts, he gives you everything actually.’ – Pope Benedict XVI
• Are you ready to die for what you believe or stand for what you don’t believe?
LIVING THE GREAT COMMISSION
Matthew 28: 18 – 20.
Keywords in this passage are: Go, Make Disciples, Baptize, Teach
– We should NOT be satisfied with learning just for ourselves but go outside to tell others about him, through our actions mostly and our words too.
– You are the salt of the earth. Salt adds taste, preserves, prevents bacterial growth, likewise we Christians. We are called to preserve the true teachings of Christ in a world that is continually seeking to distort it, we are called to spice up the world with our Christian virtues and holiness.
– What are your gifts? What are you good at? Discover your charismatic gifts and fan them into flames.
– Your charismatic gifts are great; they make you outstanding but cannot make you holy. Your sanctifying gifts are what make you holy. Charismatic gifts can be transformed when put at the service of God.
– Go out; complacency is not an option.
– It is better to be out evangelizing and get injured than to stay in and fall sick of one’s stuffy atmosphere.
– Discipleship means learning at the feet of the master – apprenticeship. Learn about Jesus. Read the scriptures, attend kerygma courses like Alpha, Life in the Spirit Seminar, The Evening Chapel classes, Young and Catholic – Programs that help make you disciples.
– Pope St John Paul talked much about the New Evangelization – targeted at Catholics who are sacramentalized but not evangelized, countries that were built on Christian foundation but have lost the Christian outlook, those who have gone astray – get involved.
– The church needs radically converted, thoroughly catechized, sacramentally enriched and evangelically passionate Christians to be launched into the world. What have you done so far with all you have been learning?
New Evangelization How? Here are the steps:
1. Radical Conversion
3. Commitment to Christian life
4. Become involved in parish life.
– Again, God makes a case for baptism , one of the sacraments.
Sacraments are very essential to our Christian life. Do we even believe in the power of the sacraments?
– Evangelize in simple words and loving actions.
– Find new ways to reach out to people in their circle. Drop the religious arrogance and meet them at their level but never compromising the teachings of Christ.
– Evangelisation is not protestant or Pentecostal. Mission is at the heart of the church.
– The church probably needs a good blend of Opus Dei Spirituality and Charismatic spirituality to have effective evangelization.
– Social media is a very important tool for evangelization. Use it aggressively.
– Use everything at your disposal to bring people to God but always under the authority of the church.
Other important points worthy of note
Christianity is not a lofty idea, not an ethical choice – it is an encounter with a person, an event. It does not, should not leave you untouched.
– Metanoia – a radical change of heart, something must give; it cannot be business as usual anymore after making a choice for Christ.
– Truth without charity is self-righteousness.
– Charity without truth is sentiments and emotions only.
– The ordinary activity of the devil is temptation, to lure, deceive, to distort truth.
– The extra-ordinary activities of the devil which we should be wary of include: infestation (could be a devilish infestation of an object, a painting, a gift from a friend etc), obsessive thoughts, afflictions, oppression, and finally possession.
– How the devil comes into our lives: through fear.
BE NOT AFRAID