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How to have a Personal Relationship with Jesus

posted 7 Apr 2016, 20:20 by Bulletin Team   [ updated 8 Oct 2016, 17:00 by SysAdmin Lakes Parish ]

When I was dating my wife, I wanted to spend as much time as I possibly could with her. Why? Because I wanted to know her personally. I wanted to know what she liked and what she didn’t. I wanted to get to know her pet peeves and what her passions were. I wanted to know everything I could about her. But, above all, else I made the choice to love her.

This is what happens when you love someone – you want as close an intimate and personal relationship as you can; appropriate to the kind of relationship it is, of course.

The same goes with Jesus. If you are a Christian, you

have a close, intimate, and personal relationship with him. But, many are unsure about what this is all about. If you are one who is not sure how to do this, it is simple:

· As with any relationship, you choose how close you want to be with someone. It is a choice only you can make. Your parents (once you get old enough to do it yourself) can’t choose faith for you. Nor can the Church as a whole. Many who are Catholic (and other Christians also) have merely an intellectual or emotional connection to God, but not a personal one they have chosen in faith. To intellectually know Jesus (to know about Jesus) or have a movement of the emotions (to feel good about Jesus) isn’t enough. Remember that even the demons know about Jesus and that we will all have times we don’t feel good about Jesus (“take up your cross”).
This is why we must
choose Jesus in faith, which is done through an act of our will. Of course, faith is really a response to grace and thus us being able to say “yes” to Jesus is only possible because God has chosen us first.

· Once you choose Jesus in faith, you have to do it again and again. It isn’t a one-and-done deal. This relationship is lived out primarily in prayer, the Sacraments, growing in virtue (primarily love of God and others), and service to God and others. Jesus is Lord of all and as a servant to our King, we must serve Him and others. This is what He commands of us. He also calls us to grow in virtue.

This concept of having a personal relationship with Jesus sometimes sounds too “Protestant” to some Catholics. That simply isn’t true, it is as Catholic as all

concepts. We have been using the language long before our Protestant brothers and sisters were ever around and the universal Church has never lost touch with this language, even if some individuals or communities have. For example, here are some quotes from some of our most recent Popes and one from the Catechism and one from Vatican II:

 Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome him as a friend, with trust: he is life! If up till now you have kept him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust him, be confident that he is close to you, he is with you and he will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as he would have you do.” -Pope Francis

“Being a Christian means having a living relationship with the person of Jesus; it means putting on Christ, being conformed to him.” -Pope Francis

It is necessary to awaken again in believers a full relationship with Christ, mankind’s only Savior.” Pope Saint John Paul II

“Christian faith is not only a matter of believing that certain things are true, but above all a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” -Pope Benedict XVI

Only in this personal relationship with Christ, only in this encounter with the Risen One do we truly become Christians.” -Pope Benedict XVI

“This mystery (of faith), then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.”

–Catechism of the Catholic Church , 2558

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