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  #1  
Old Jun 23, '11, 3:49 pm
Laura Elizabeth Laura Elizabeth is offline
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Default Asking Jesus into your heart???

Hi! I'm a little bit nervous I'll do this wrong, this being my first time starting a thread on here, but here it goes!
I am volunteering as a councilor/helper at a day camp for kindergarten-6th grade students this week, and it is non-denominational Christian. The big focus has been asking Jesus into our heart. I have not heard of this before, and most of the other helpers are my Catholic friends and family, so none of us are quite sure what we should do here! We are kind of worried, since the kids have been encouraged to ask a helper to pray with them to ask Jesus into their heart, and we don't really know what they're talking about. I mean, it sounds good and normal and all, because Jesus does live in us, but we have never "prayed to ask Him into our hearts" or ever heard about it before, and they are acting as though it is the end-all, most important thing ever!
What do they mean by this? How should I and my Catholic friends respond?

Thanks for your help! I hope I did this right!
  #2  
Old Jun 23, '11, 4:21 pm
Godith Godith is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

To 'ask Jesus into your heart' means to become a Christian, and to make a personal commitment to follow Him. Obviously, the decision to follow Jesus is a very important one in a person's life, which is why they will be giving it such emphasis. I never prayed that prayer myself, because I didn't have the kind of 'conversion experience' where you would do that. I grew into my faith slowly, from when I was a very young child, and since I was baptised as a baby in the Anglican church, I didn't feel the need to. (It's not in the Bible, either, that I've seen. ) I know lots of people that did, though, at one point or another in their lives, and it was often a significant moment for them.

I will leave my Catholic brothers and sisters to say how you should respond to it.
  #3  
Old Jun 23, '11, 4:28 pm
Big Dummy Big Dummy is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

It simply means starting a new relationship with Jesus.

often Revelation 3:20 will be quoted in the pitch, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me." The problem is, in context this text is addressed to lukewarm Christians. Not to someone who has never meet Jesus.

So, basically they want you to ask them to make a committment to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. which is a good start. Where you will likely but heads is how to live out the christian life.
  #4  
Old Jun 23, '11, 4:58 pm
hazcompat hazcompat is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

to help you understand another denomination try here and read chapter 1. (pp 15-23)

http://www.worldinvisible.com/librar...7764/7764c.htm

from the catechism

CCC 2781 When we pray to the Father, we are in communion with him and with his Son, Jesus Christ.33 Then we know and recognize him with an ever new sense of wonder. The first phrase of the Our Father is a blessing of adoration before it is a supplication. For it is the glory of God that we should recognize him as "Father," the true God. We give him thanks for having revealed his name to us, for the gift of believing in it, and for the indwelling of his Presence in us.

The last nine words come as I close to what you will be praying for.

2669 The prayer of the Church venerates and honors the Heart of Jesus just as it invokes his most holy name. It adores the incarnate Word and his Heart which, out of love for men, he allowed to be pierced by our sins. Christian prayer loves to follow the way of the cross in the Savior's steps. The stations from the Praetorium to Golgotha and the tomb trace the way of Jesus, who by his holy Cross has redeemed the world.

"Come, Holy Spirit"

2670 "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord' except by the Holy Spirit."21 Every time we begin to pray to Jesus it is the Holy Spirit who draws us on the way of prayer by his prevenient grace. Since he teaches us to pray by recalling Christ, how could we not pray to the Spirit too? That is why the Church invites us to call upon the Holy Spirit every day, especially at the beginning and the end of every important action.

If the Spirit should not be worshiped, how can he divinize me through Baptism? If he should be worshiped, should he not be the object of adoration?22

2671 The traditional form of petition to the Holy Spirit is to invoke the Father through Christ our Lord to give us the Consoler Spirit.23 Jesus insists on this petition to be made in his name at the very moment when he promises the gift of the Spirit of Truth.24 But the simplest and most direct prayer is also traditional, "Come, Holy Spirit," and every liturgical tradition has developed it in antiphons and hymns.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love.25

Heavenly King, Consoler Spirit, Spirit of Truth, present everywhere and filling all things, treasure of all good and source of all life, come dwell in us, cleanse and save us, you who are All Good.26
These souls are precious to the Lord. Be kind and patient and honest.

Come Holy Spirit is your best prayer.

peace
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  #5  
Old Jun 23, '11, 5:14 pm
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Monica4316 Monica4316 is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Basically it's an expression of wanting to start a relationship with Jesus, and of course if we ask Him to come into our hearts, He does come... like how in the Catholic Church, we can say the Spiritual Communion prayer

Quote:
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.
the difference is that in the evangelical or non denominational Protestant churches, they believe that this moment - when a person asks Jesus to come into their heart - is also when they receive salvation. That's the confusing point.. because of course Catholics don't believe that. Here is an article about how Catholics view salvation http://www.catholic.com/library/salvation.asp

So maybe it would be good to explain to the kids that this is just them expressing their desire to know Jesus from now on. Or, to know Him more closely. There are many people who've never said this exact prayer yet believe in Him and love Him, and have invited Him into their hearts but without using these words. (like many Catholics).

God bless
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  #6  
Old Jun 23, '11, 5:15 pm
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Robert in SD Robert in SD is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth View Post
I am volunteering as a councilor/helper at a day camp for kindergarten-6th grade students this week, and it is non-denominational Christian. The big focus has been asking Jesus into our heart. I have not heard of this before, and most of the other helpers are my Catholic friends and family, so none of us are quite sure what we should do here! We are kind of worried, since the kids have been encouraged to ask a helper to pray with them to ask Jesus into their heart, and we don't really know what they're talking about. I mean, it sounds good and normal and all, because Jesus does live in us, but we have never "prayed to ask Him into our hearts" or ever heard about it before, and they are acting as though it is the end-all, most important thing ever!
What do they mean by this? How should I and my Catholic friends respond?

Thanks for your help! I hope I did this right!
This is the language of non-denominational christianity, inviting your children to become followers of Christ. Although they mean well, they are starting from the false assumption that your children are not known by, and do not already know Jesus Christ.

I'm assuming that if you are raising your children as Catholic Christians they are already followers of Christ and have been made new members of His Body through the sacrament of baptism. You may want to explain, in a very non-confrontational way, to your non-Catholic co-workers that your Catholic faith teaches that Christ has already been invited into your children's hearts at baptism, that they are already alive in Christ, and Christ is in them, but that you have no objection to praying together and giving thanks for Jesus' presence in your life, and the lives of your children.

You can also explain to your kids that this is just another way that people are encouraging them to be "friends and followers" of Jesus - who has been with them since their baptism. From the Catholic perspective, "[re]inviting Jesus into your Heart" can be as simple as asking Jesus, their friend and Savior, to always be with them. That's very Catholic indeed, right? "Jesus, be always with me" is my constant prayer.

Maybe St. Patrick was doing the same thing when he recited this portion of his "Breastplate" prayer?

Quote:
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort,
Christ in the chariot seat,
Christ in the ship with me,
Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Or, perhaps St. Francis was doing something similar with this prayer?

Quote:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.


O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
Or perhaps the morning prayer of St. Therese was her response to such an invitation?

Quote:
O my God! I offer Thee all my actions of this day for the intentions and for the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I desire to sanctify every beat of my heart, my every thought, my simplest works, by uniting them to Its infinite merits; and I wish to make reparation for my sins by casting them into the furnace of Its Merciful Love.

O my God! I ask of Thee for myself and for those whom I hold dear, the grace to fulfill perfectly Thy Holy Will, to accept for love of Thee the joys and sorrows of this passing life, so that we may one day be united together in heaven for all Eternity. Amen.
Our Catholic faith is so rich with beautiful prayers and examples of holiness. We should not be afraid to thank Jesus for being close to us, and to our Church, that makes such saints.

Peace,
Robert
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  #7  
Old Jun 23, '11, 5:20 pm
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Robert in SD Robert in SD is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Godith View Post
To 'ask Jesus into your heart' means to become a Christian, and to make a personal commitment to follow Him. Obviously, the decision to follow Jesus is a very important one in a person's life, which is why they will be giving it such emphasis. I never prayed that prayer myself, because I didn't have the kind of 'conversion experience' where you would do that. I grew into my faith slowly, from when I was a very young child, and since I was baptised as a baby in the Anglican church, I didn't feel the need to. (It's not in the Bible, either, that I've seen. ) I know lots of people that did, though, at one point or another in their lives, and it was often a significant moment for them.

I will leave my Catholic brothers and sisters to say how you should respond to it.
The slightly patronizing part of the process is the assumption, by those well-meaning non-denominational christians, that children being raised in the Catholic faith have not already started a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In such cases, however, one has to assume that these people have nothing but the best of intentions, although somewhat misguided with respect to Catholic christianity.

Peace,
Robert
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Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God. (1 Pet 2:16)

And all the people went up after him, playing on pipes, and rejoicing.... (1 Kgs 1:40)
  #8  
Old Jun 23, '11, 7:06 pm
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hn160 hn160 is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

To ask Christ into your heart is decision theology of the Evangelicals, certainly not Lutheran. We can not choose Christ, He chose us. There is no better way to receive Christ than in hearing His Word read and preached, in the bread and wine where we eat His Very Body and drink His Very Blood and in Holy Baptism.
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  #9  
Old Jun 23, '11, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

You may need to rethink your participation in this activity. You are assisting in the spread of an incomplete Gospel of Christ. I suggest praying very deeply about this. We can share many things with our brothers and sisters in Christ, but actively working with and spreading an incomplete and erroneous Gospel might be crossing the line.
  #10  
Old Jun 23, '11, 9:23 pm
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Anna Scott Anna Scott is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura Elizabeth View Post
. . . .since the kids have been encouraged to ask a helper to pray with them to ask Jesus into their heart, and we don't really know what they're talking about. . . .
Laura Elizabeth,

Asking Jesus into your heart is basically what is known as the "sinner's prayer" and is considered the moment of salvation and the moment one is "born again." A sinner's prayer usually involves acknowledging Jesus as your personal Savior, acknowledging you are a sinner, repentance of sin, asking forgiveness of sins, asking Jesus to come into your heart, and an expression of gratitude.

According to Wikipedia, Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, Ninth Stage. (Chapter 18), published in 1678, was an early version of the sinner's prayer:
Quote:
God be merciful to me a sinner, and make me to know and believe in Jesus Christ; for I see, that if his righteousness had not been, or I have not faith in that righteousness, I am utterly cast away. Lord, I have heard that thou art a merciful God, and hast ordained that thy Son Jesus Christ should be the Saviour of the world; and moreover, that thou art willing to bestow him upon such a poor sinner as I am-and I am a sinner indeed. Lord, take therefore this opportunity, and magnify thy grace in the salvation of my soul, through thy Son Jesus Christ. Amen. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinner%27s_prayer, Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.
D.L. Moody, and Billy Graham were some leaders in making the sinner's prayer--asking Jesus into your heart--popular in Protestant Christianity.

In a non-denominational group, you will find a mixture of ideas about "asking Jesus into your heart" (sinner's prayer/being born again.) Those who believe such a prayer brings immediate and everlasting salvation will usually deny the validity of infant Baptism--claiming the sinner's prayer is for those who have reached an age of understanding---though I find no basis in Scripture for such a belief.

Even though the elements of the sinner's prayer are found throughout the Divine Liturgy, some Protestants do not believe Catholics/Anglicans/Eastern Orthodox are actually saved (not a belief I share.) In much of Protestantism, the Sacramental nature of Baptism and the Lord's Supper are denied--believing no graces are imparted. The remaining Sacraments were dismissed altogether---all of which is contrary to Holy Scripture.

Probably the closest thing to a sinner's prayer, found in the New Testament, would be in the following passages:

Luke 18:13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me, a sinner!'

Matthew 7:7: "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 20:29: And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30 And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!"

Romans 10: For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 or "'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame." 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

You have quite a challenge ahead in working with a non-denominational group of children.

May God guide and bless you in this ministry,
Anna
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  #11  
Old Jun 23, '11, 9:44 pm
PbloPicasso PbloPicasso is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hn160 View Post
To ask Christ into your heart is decision theology of the Evangelicals, certainly not Lutheran. We can not choose Christ, He chose us. There is no better way to receive Christ than in hearing His Word read and preached, in the bread and wine where we eat His Very Body and drink His Very Blood and in Holy Baptism.
Christ chooses us, but we respond to him in kind. We ask Christ to be with us, but He is already with us. We respond to Christ's invitation into His Sacred Heart by obeying the Father's will, that we participate in the life of the Church, His Church. The way we do that is by being baptized. We die to ourselves and live for Him. The sacraments are the life of the Church, but the most important and center of the Church is the Holy Eucharist. We eat Christ's body and drink His blood, John Ch 6. Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you shall not have life within you.

The simple prayer of asking Jesus in your heart is a sweet gesture. However, it is not sufficient for becoming Christian. We are called to baptism as the initiation of our Christian life. We become Christians as our parents baptize us or we step forward to be baptized. I'm one that doubts the salvation of those who are not baptized when they have heard the truth so obviously put out in scripture. One would have to exercise purposeful ignorance to not realize this bible revealed fact. The only ones I'd say that may not be culpable for it are those that may fall into the "slow" category. No insult is intended, but I've read the scriptures for 35+ years and still can't figure out how anyone can circumvent the obvious. Even when I was a fundamentalist, we thought that all non-Christians are those that do not believe baptism is necessary for salvation. I was bible only for all that time and can't figure out how someone could justify not believing it.
  #12  
Old Jun 23, '11, 9:51 pm
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Quote:
Originally Posted by PbloPicasso View Post
Christ chooses us, but we respond to him in kind. We ask Christ to be with us, but He is already with us. We respond to Christ's invitation into His Sacred Heart by obeying the Father's will, that we participate in the life of the Church, His Church. The way we do that is by being baptized. We die to ourselves and live for Him. The sacraments are the life of the Church, but the most important and center of the Church is the Holy Eucharist. We eat Christ's body and drink His blood, John Ch 6. Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you shall not have life within you.

The simple prayer of asking Jesus in your heart is a sweet gesture. However, it is not sufficient for becoming Christian. We are called to baptism as the initiation of our Christian life. We become Christians as our parents baptize us or we step forward to be baptized. I'm one that doubts the salvation of those who are not baptized when they have heard the truth so obviously put out in scripture. One would have to exercise purposeful ignorance to not realize this bible revealed fact. The only ones I'd say that may not be culpable for it are those that may fall into the "slow" category. No insult is intended, but I've read the scriptures for 35+ years and still can't figure out how anyone can circumvent the obvious. Even when I was a fundamentalist, we thought that all non-Christians are those that do not believe baptism is necessary for salvation. I was bible only for all that time and can't figure out how someone could justify not believing it.
I think that we are saying the same thing. The danger is that it can become God did His part but now I must do my part and not take the free Grace that comes from God in His Word and Sacraments.
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Old Jun 23, '11, 10:03 pm
PbloPicasso PbloPicasso is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Quote:
Originally Posted by hn160 View Post
I think that we are saying the same thing. The danger is that it can become God did His part but now I must do my part and not take the free Grace that comes from God in His Word and Sacraments.
No, I agree with you. We do accept God's Grace in the process. I understand - I think - where you are headed with this idea.

Ephesians 2 8-10 for it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith, it is the gift of God, and not by works so that no man can boast,..." Paraphrased at this point because I'm tired. One of my favorite passages. I've read so many different translations on this and memorized them that now they run together now.

You are correct. But if we do not respond to God's free gift, we may not be saved simply because we never live the "Life of Christ". Way to complex to get into here for my intended purpose without writing a book. Now that I understand Lutheran theology better, I understand your point. It's a both and, not a either or. Or and only issue. If that makes sense.

Generally speaking, we attended a non-denominational church once and found their teachings full of flaws, contradictory to the bible and therefore we went on a further search that ultimately lead us to the Catholic Church. They also tend to believe in "One saved always saved" and that we need to do nothing to be saved. That in itself is so full of contradictions to the bible that it was disturbing to our 11 year old son at the time.
  #14  
Old Jun 24, '11, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Quote:
Originally Posted by PbloPicasso View Post
Christ chooses us, but we respond to him in kind. We ask Christ to be with us, but He is already with us. We respond to Christ's invitation into His Sacred Heart by obeying the Father's will, that we participate in the life of the Church, His Church. The way we do that is by being baptized. We die to ourselves and live for Him. The sacraments are the life of the Church, but the most important and center of the Church is the Holy Eucharist. We eat Christ's body and drink His blood, John Ch 6. Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you shall not have life within you. . . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by hn160 View Post
I think that we are saying the same thing. The danger is that it can become God did His part but now I must do my part and not take the free Grace that comes from God in His Word and Sacraments.
Quote:
Originally Posted by PbloPicasso View Post
. . . .But if we do not respond to God's free gift, we may not be saved simply because we never live the "Life of Christ". . .
I think our OP is really facing a challenge in working with a non-denominational group of Children---if they want to "ask Jesus into their hearts" they have probably already been exposed to a view of salvation that excludes the Sacraments. I don't see anything wrong with such a prayer--it can be a starting point with Christ; but the prayer alone does not bring one into the New Covenant with the Holy Trinity or into the Sacramental nature of salvation. This puts our OP, who is Catholic, in a very difficult position.

Peace,
Anna
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  #15  
Old Jun 24, '11, 4:08 pm
Laura Elizabeth Laura Elizabeth is offline
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Default Re: Asking Jesus into your heart???

Thank you all very much for your posts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monica4316 View Post
the difference is that in the evangelical or non denominational Protestant churches, they believe that this moment - when a person asks Jesus to come into their heart - is also when they receive salvation. That's the confusing point.. because of course Catholics don't believe that. Here is an article about how Catholics view salvation http://www.catholic.com/library/salvation.asp

So maybe it would be good to explain to the kids that this is just them expressing their desire to know Jesus from now on. Or, to know Him more closely. There are many people who've never said this exact prayer yet believe in Him and love Him, and have invited Him into their hearts but without using these words. (like many Catholics).

God bless
That really was what I had kind of been thinking, but wasn't really sure about. You're definitely right in saying it's confusing!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert in SD View Post
This is the language of non-denominational christianity, inviting your children to become followers of Christ. Although they mean well, they are starting from the false assumption that your children are not known by, and do not already know Jesus Christ.

I'm assuming that if you are raising your children as Catholic Christians they are already followers of Christ and have been made new members of His Body through the sacrament of baptism. You may want to explain, in a very non-confrontational way, to your non-Catholic co-workers that your Catholic faith teaches that Christ has already been invited into your children's hearts at baptism, that they are already alive in Christ, and Christ is in them, but that you have no objection to praying together and giving thanks for Jesus' presence in your life, and the lives of your children.

You can also explain to your kids that this is just another way that people are encouraging them to be "friends and followers" of Jesus - who has been with them since their baptism. From the Catholic perspective, "[re]inviting Jesus into your Heart" can be as simple as asking Jesus, their friend and Savior, to always be with them. That's very Catholic indeed, right? "Jesus, be always with me" is my constant prayer.
Sounds good to me! But, by the way, I'm a teen, so I have no kids.


Thanks again, everybody. I'll have to be re-reading these posts and thinking and praying about them for a while.
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