Privilege, Power,Opportunity

31 Oct

No one can imagine the bountiful gifts that flow from the hands of Christ – gifts of grace, wisdom, strength and hope.

(This is the sixth and final article in a series on our Church and our personal faith as we answer the call to spiritual renewal in the Year of Faith.)

If you want to share your faith, all you have to do is share your own journey in faith. This is what the early disciples did – they told people about Jesus and how he gave them hope, joy and peace.

Here are things you can do to gain confidence in doing what God calls you to do:

  • Offer his salvation to everyone in your life.Reflect deeply on what you received in Baptism – a share in the divine life of God. Accept the Holy Spirit you received in Baptism and in Confirmation. Recognize and pray for the gifts of the Spirit of God – gifts of knowledge, wisdom, discernment and understanding. See the evidence of the Spirit’s presence, the fruit of the Spirit, among them: joy, peace, faithfulness, self-control (See Is 11:1-3, 1 Cor 12:4-11 and Gal 5:19-25).
  • Make Mass and prayer the center of your own life and the life of your family.
  • Join a group of like-minded Catholics to reflect on three things: (1) The gift of faith and the call to discipleship; (2) The real-life situations in your family, parish and secular community – measure these against the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-12).
  • Remain rooted in your parish, its worship and ministries. Be sure that your attitudes and opinions are not divisive. Follow the direction of your pastor and work with your parish staff coordinator.
  • Study the documents of Vatican Council II, especially the “Dogmatic Constitution on the Church,” “Decree on the Apostolate of Lay People,”  the Dogmatic Constitution Divine Revelation,” and “Pastoral Constitution in the Modern World.” Use the new “Catechism of the Catholic Church” as a handy reference in questions of faith. You  may want to ask parish leadership to provide study of these documents.
  • Learn how to tell your story. How has God worked in your life? Your story is shared conversationally, not in a preachy style. You are talking to a friend about your great and best Friend. Your story will include what you were experiencing before you asked the Lord into your life. Perhaps you were totally disoriented, unable to make sense out of life, or in stressful family relationships. What or who led you to ask Jesus into your life?

Your story should also include how you experienced God’s love.  Was there a feeling of great warmth, a sense of everything’s going to be all right? Then explain how your life has changed – a more positive attitude, a better prayer life, peace in the home, a sense of belonging to the Church.

Know that your work is only beginning. You can now become a real friend, a mentor, someone who will “walk with” the newly converted into the warmth of the parish community, into the joy and healing power of the sacraments.

Now, go and do what Jesus did, and what he has asked and urged you to do.

(For more information and help in learning how to share your faith, you may want to read Henry Libersat’s new book, “Catholic and Confident, Simple Steps to Share Your Faith,” by Servant Books, 2012. The book is available at www.franciscanmedia.org and at www.Amazonn.com

(Henry’s personal website is www.HenryLibersat.com . He is an ordained deacon for the Diocese of Orlando and ministers at St. Mary Magdalen Parish, Altamonte Springs, FL. He is a preacher, author, police chaplain and public speaker. His most recent book is “Confident and Catholic, Simple Steps to Share Your Faith,” by Servant Books, 2012. His web site is www.HenryLibersat.com ) .

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: