What’s Faith Got to Do With It?
It can be so difficult to see how our faith and our everyday life fit together; often Church feels like something we do on Sundays. But really God is calling us to be in deep relationship with Him! And the same way any of our relationships work, our relationship with God takes time and effort…but with a most joyful and fruitful result. Over the next six weeks, we’ll present six dimensions of faith formation that can help us develop this most important relationship: Knowledge of Faith, Liturgical Life, Moral Formation, Prayer, Communal Life, and Missionary Spirit.
1. Knowledge of Faith
Faith formation starts with getting to know Jesus and deepening our relationship with him. Just as with our
significant other, our friends, our co-workers, this involves a process – stages of development. One of the first steps is getting to know about the other person. We spend time together, ask questions, listen, etc. The goal we are hoping
to accomplish in this is to form an intimate, trusting, loving relationship.
So too with Jesus, part of the process of getting to know him is learning about him and spending time with him. Through Scripture and Tradition, we can learn more of the Jesus story. In the creed we recite, and the doctrines we hold to be true, we can learn about Jesus, his teachings, and what he wants for us, for the world, and for the Kingdom of God.
What are some practical ways we can get to know Jesus better?
- Participate in a Bible or book study
- Follow Pope Francis on social media
- Pay attention to the creed – and ask questions if you don’t know what something means!
- Read scripture at home, especially the gospels – privately or as a family
- Read books, watch movies, listen to podcasts, etc. relating to our faith
- Take advantage of websites, such as FORMED.org and the wealth of knowledge they contain
- Talk about Jesus at home, in your family, or in a small group within the community – what have they learned about him?In what other ways do you learn about Jesus and our faith? Share them with us by phone or email or tweet or post using the hashtag #formedinfaith
2. Liturgical Life
Last week we talked about the goal of faith formation as forming a relationship with Jesus Christ. When we deepen our relationships – with spouses, family, or friends – we begin to find ways to express our affection to one another. We often hear the old adage, “Actions speak louder than words;” our actions, gestures, physical contact express outwardly what we are experiencing or feeling internally.
This same reality holds true in our relationship with God. We seek out ways to express our love – and we find it in sacramental language and actions! Through the sacramental life of the Church, we are drawn more deeply into the Paschal Mystery of Christ (his suffering, death and resurrection) that makes us able to be in right relationship with our Lord.
What are some practical ways we can deepen this part of our faith life?
- Attend Sunday mass – and be present to what is happening. Pay special attention to the readings, and to the words we say each and every week. We can take them for granted, just saying them by rote instead of really hearing them!
- Encourage those receiving their sacraments – share a word or letter of support and encouragement or pray for them as they prepare
- Get ready to fully participate in the Gospel message by studying the upcoming Sunday readings (watch
- Opening the Word that gets sent out every Wednesday by email!)
- Read books, watch movies, listen to podcasts, etc. relating to our liturgical life (check out our parish Lighthouse stand)
- Receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation regularly
- Try and experience various forms of prayer of our Church; for example, Liturgy of the Hours, 40 Hours (coming up in October), etc.
- Consider becoming an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion
- Receive Holy Communion, where Jesus is most fully present to us
- Invite a friend or family member to mass and talk about your experience
- Tune in to Holy Spirit Radio 1570 am when in the car
In what other ways do you celebrate and/or learn about our liturgical life?Share your ideas with us by phone or email or tweet or post using the hashtag #formedinfaithUp next…Moral Formation