A "Personal Realtionship"?


Lately I’ve been hearing more and more Catholics talk about having a “personal relationship” with Jesus. I’ve even heard priests talk about it.

Now, on the surface this doesn’t sound like a bad thing, and I could be very wrong here, but it doesn’t sound like Catholic teaching to me. I thought and believed that as Catholics we were to love all of God’s Kingdom, Jesus, then Mary, the angels, saints, and martyrs and that when we prayed, we ask Jesus to help “us”, not me or I. If I were to have a personal relationship with Christ, wouldn’t I be ignoring the rest of God’s Kingdom and would I not be called selfish for keeping Him to myself?:confused:

Maybe I’m misinterpreting what is meant by a personal relationship, I don’t know. Maybe somebody can enlighten me on what that actually means…


Yes, you are misinterpreting. :wink:

A personal relationship doesn’t mean an exclusive relationship. Many Protestants have given the phrase the connotation of a “me and Jesus” type of thing, but that’s not what it is at all. I have a personal relationship with my wife, and a personal relationship with my parents. That doesn’t mean that they don’t also have personal relationships with other people.

We are persons. All of our relationships are therefore personal to some degree.

What good is our faith if we don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus? That’s the whole point! And how much more “personal” can we get than receiving Christ in the Eucharist?

The Catechism speaks of this as well. We are all called to a personal relationship with the Lord (CCC 299, CCC 2558). You cannot escape this (and you shouldn’t want to!). :slight_smile:


Catholic author Frank J. Sheed wrote a book about having a personal relationship with Jesus: To Know Christ Jesus


Thanks for that Joe!:thumbsup:

I should have went straight to the Catechism first. I will look it up when I have the chance.

It just seemed to me that until recently, I never heard Catholics talk about a personal relationship with Jesus before, but I have heard Protestants talk alot about it. So I just want to make sure that this wasn’t a liberal theology and it was true Church teaching…

I must admit, that it might take some time to develop this personal relationship, because so many of our prayers deal in the plural with words like “us” and “our” and “we”, that I kind of think we get alittle selfish if we think “me” or “I”. It is a new mindset for me…


I think there are times where it is appropriate to use either first person singular or first person plural.

Think of any family. Each child has a personal relationship with his or her parents. But that doesn’t mean that each child is cut off from the other children. They are still a family, a community. It’s not an either/or, but a both/and scenario.


I listen to CDs regularly of talks by Father Larry Richards (www.thereasonforourhope.org). He emphasizes developing a relationship and getting to know Jesus - spending time with him in prayer and adoration. Father Larry also is very commited to devotion of our Blessed Mother. You may find his talks helpful. Can be ordered from his website at a nominal cost.


We should have a personal relationship with God, the angels, and the saints… as they are all persons. :slight_smile:

In all cases this is to be both intimate and reverent and respectful relationship. :slight_smile:


We were talking about something very similar to this at Scripture Study (studying next Sunday the 27th’s readings) last night. The point there was that in the Old Testament the understanding was that there was a set amount of everything including the Holy Spirit and that to have an excess of anything was to deprive someone else (Numbers 11, James). In James this was true in reference to physical possessions. The Truth in Numbers and Mark 9, is that the Spirit, Jesus, and God the Father are not limited. God is not bound by space or time - He can fully be everywhere. So to have a personal relationship with Christ is not to take too much of his time, waste his time, or deprive another person of his presence. He is not limited. He can be everywhere with everyone at all times fulfilling all needs.

As opposed to Jesus running around trying to fill everyone’s needs and wants but not being able to (or Him turning away because you did something wrong in being fully honest with Him), I think a much more accurate picture is Jesus standing by your side quietly asking you to share your thoughts, feelings and experiences in their entirety with Him - to know you fully.


I also know from personal experience that the more you open yourself to Jesus the more you will pray for others. You feel His presence and touch in your life and want it for all. So instead of becoming more selfish you actually become more selfless by being yourself.


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