1. Christian community is established for both the benefit of the members and to serve outside of the community. Christian community must have both (Acts 2:42-47). Members of Christian community become members of a divine call.
2. The disciples had to make sacrifices that was not compatible to living in community.
3. The disciples moved into the household of Jesus. Living with each other is
4. As individuals and as a group the disciples observed and imitated Jesus and became like him.
5. As individuals and as a group the disciples lived community and prayer life.
6. Disciples had community possessions.
7. Disciples shared in the work of Jesus.
8. The disciples shared in the breaking of bread in the last supper.
9. The disciples witnessed the life and death of Jesus.
10. Jesus entrusted the members of his community to the care of his mother.
11. Jesus entrusted the continuation of his saving work to his community (Jn.20:21), (Mk.16:16), (Matt.28:19-20).
12. To empower the disciples for their mission Jesus fulfilled his promise of his Spirit on Pentecost Sunday.
13. Purpose of Christian community is person and task oriented.
14. The bond and uniting force of community is Jesus. The Eucharistic spirituality unites them.
15. The Christian community exists and grows in the shadow of the cross and it doesn't belong to the world. It cannot afford to be "politically correct." (Jn.16: 2,4)
16. The end of John 16 Jesus promises two things--trouble and peace and victory.
17. Before the ascension the Christian community consisted of a group of disciples surrounding Jesus visible present. After the ascension Jesus is present in a different way, especially in two signs 1) His Word 2) His Sacraments (Matt.18:20)
Our Role as religious is to pursue holiness.
Some Signs that you could be an Authentic Celibate
1. I have close friends. Some of my friends are my peers (around my age, similar education, and social circle).
2. I have a life.
3. I can enjoy time alone.
4. I can set limits.
5. I have a special relationship with God and my prayer time is one of intimacy with this God.
6. I can say "no."
7. I am willing to love those no one else will love.
8. I don't need to satisy my own needs immediately. I can delay gratification.
9. My social circle is a mix of men and women.
10. My prayer life supports my struggle to be chaste (not chased).
11. I know how to be intimate without being active sexually.
12. I have made and kept commitments in my life.
13. I can be honest, down to earth, realistic, joyful and warm. (Though not all the time. We are not perfect.)
14. Most of time I am comfortable with my own body and emotions.
Typical Relations to the Call from God to be Holy and a Special Disciple
1. Who me? You must be kidding?---(Mary--fearful, confused, perplexed)
2. But I'm not worthy--I'm not clean--God will fix that Isaiah
3. I'm not capable--Jeremiah--I'm too young--I know but I will make you capable.
4. I don't know what to say--Ezekiel--I will put my words in your mouth...eat my word...man becomes what he eats...We become the word of God.
5. God, what you are asking is impossible--I know. But, I will make it possible if you let me--Mary.
6. I'm afraid of whare this may lead--Do not be afraid--Found 366 times in scripture for every day of the year even leap year.
The secret to holiness lies in letting God do what he wants. Saints are made by God. We don't make saints. God can only make us holy if we let him. Like Mary we put it into God's hands. This is our contribution. Holy abandonment.
How to recognize a Genuine Call for God
Jn.6:44 "Nobody comes to me unless the Father calls him. God calls by a two fold grace.
I. Grace of fitness
a) A person who feels called has physical, mental, and spiritual health to do what he/she needs to do.
b) Psychological fitness
c) Moral fitness--living according to commandments and moral virtues.
d) Spiritual fitness--faith, hope, charity.
e) Social fitness- Ability to relate with others.
II. Grace of Decision
1. Ability to decide--Are you capable of making your own decisions.
2. Freedom to decide-
a) internal freedom-- Person knows what you are getting into. An idea of what this is about.
b) external freedom--No external cohesion from outside.
3. Impulse to decide
4. The motive--What is moving the candidte to say I want ot make vows. In every case there is often more than one motive.
--Security, reward, education, prestige, parents, expectations of others, aimlessness, love of community, frustration, need to be loved (even habit).
The important thing which is the dominant motive. The dominant motive must be something revolving around God. Not always easy.