Creating a Faith Experience
I've been reading and reading so many neat articles and ideas on how to observe and celebrate this Year of Faith, looking for ways to embrace what's out there while fully making it my own faith experience.
I'm excited. The goodness is there. And it's beautiful.
One of the things God's Shepherd asks us to do is find the beauty and joy in our faith so that we can fall in love with the Gospel message.
A Consuming Love
Something that often draws people together as they begin a relationship is the beauty they see. It might be beauty in the facial features or beauty in the eyes or beauty in the example one sets or beauty that is found in the soul.
We all wish to be loved, accepted, admired, and loved again. We all want people to see the beauty which God the Creator has placed inside each of us.
People will disappoint us. Christ never will.
His is an all consuming Love.
"The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for..." The Catechism of the Catholic Church (#27)
He even loves, and always will love, those who find themselves in the bottom grim of Hell because...
He did not put them there. He wanted them forever with Him. He desired only the best for them. Even the thief dying on the cross next to Him was, at the hour of his death, welcomed into Heaven because, at the hour of his death, he accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior.
Yes, I am a Catholic writing this...a Catholic who does not believed that her brothers and sisters in Christ hold the copyright on this pat slogan.
Catholics can and should accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Catholics can and should be proud to have a walking, breathing, living, lovig relationship with their Lord and Savior.
Catholics can and should be brave enough to open their Bibles and preach the Good News. Afterall, we wrote this massive missive.
And Catholics should be in love enough with this God-Man to turn the mirror of His image to a doubting world and show them how stoically handsome He is.
Door of Faith
And so He knocks.
This is the year to open your Door of Faith to that Someone.
"The 'door of faith' is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church."
So many are timid to enter that Door of Faith. They are nervous to answer the knock. Some are sceptical and rightly so. To cross the threshold into any unknown is scary. But this Door of Faith need not be scary. Perhaps the lens of a mirror can help us to see beyond this door and to understand what we have been asked to know and believe in, sight unseen.
Finding Faith in a Mirror
For a universal church, the Catholic church is this mirror.
Catholic is, in fact, all of us who love Christ and those of us who seek to know Him better. So whether you profess yourself as Catholic or not, now is the time, this is the year to look at that Man in the Mirror and see what He desires for you.
If you'll just take a glance in the mirror, I'm sure you will find something of beauty, something that appeals to you, something you desire.
...Someone you can talk to.
Keys to Faith
To enter any door, we need keys. They do not hinder us, they help us. In this case, Christ left the keys in the hands of Peter, our first Pope.
"And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." ~ Matthew 16:18
Let's begin this Year of Faith with keys that unlock this Door of Faith. We need to begin with an acceptance for this mission, a call to accept this faith by name. To do this we must fall in love. We begin by looking at the beauty and love that is found in the image of Christ. Then we need to look anew at documents that meant so much and caused so much, namely Scripture, the Catechism and Vatican II documents. Our year must be steeped in prayer as well.
Are you ready to answer?