Catholics and Jesus personal?

I was just wondering if catholic are encouraged to have and seek a personal relationship with Jesus as savior and god?. If so when and were is this generally taught in catholic belief/theology. Are catholic encouraged to pray to jesus personally and ask forgiveness of sins without a priest present?.


Catholics are encouraged to have a personal relationship with Jesus as savior and God from birth. It’s encouraged through word, through Mass, through prayer and through the Sacraments. Yes, we are encouraged to pray to Jesus personally and to ask him for forgiveness of sins, in addition to the time we do so with a Priest present. The big difference is that Catholics do not subscribe to the rugged individualism born of modern America, where we see it as just “Jesus and me”. We see our relationship with Jesus not only as personal but through His Body. We do not behead him – in other words, we do not take him away from His Body which would not be possible even if we wanted to. We realize that we are a communion with Him in His Body. We can have a closer personal relationship with Him when we encounter Him through His Church and through His members. This happens notably during Reconciliation. Jesus consistently used tangible things to bring people to Him in Scripture. And one of the first things he did after he rose from the dead was breath on the Apostles, giving them the power to forgive sins. This was no accident as it was of extreme importance to allow His people to be reconciled more fully to Himself after sinning.

Along with CarrieSpooner’s excellent reply, I can only say, how much more personal a relationship can one have than to eat Jesus’ flesh and drink his blood, as he commanded us to do? This is what he asked of us, not that we have any particular feelings towards him. That, and faithfulness and bringing him to others in how we live, and in what we do and are bring us close to him, as well.

Jesus himself set up the ministerial priesthood and gave the Apostles and their successors the right and authority forgive sins: Jn. 20[23] “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” The Church teaches that we only need to confess our mortal sins–those that are spiritually deadly–that disconnect us from God’s grace. Our venial sins–those that aren’t serious, can be forgiven us in ordinary prayer or by partaking of the Eucharist. Even mortal sins can be forgiven without a priest in dire circumstances if we make a perfect act of contrition–that is if we are truly sorry for our sins and confess them to God with that attitude.

Jesus gave us confession to benefit us. Considering how easy it is to fool ourselves into thinking that sin isn’t sin, it’s a great help to tell them out loud to the priest and hear the wonderful words of absolution, knowing that we have truly “come clean” about our sins and can be certain we have been forgiven since we had to face up to our sins instead of making excuses for ourselves. :slight_smile:


Catholics are definitely encouraged to this. This is what Pope Francis said in his exhortation that he released this week:

“I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very
moment, to a renewed personal encounter with
Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting
him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this
unfailingly each day. No one should think that
this invitation is not meant for him or her, since
“no one is excluded from the joy brought by the
Lord”. The Lord does not disappoint those who
take this risk; whenever we take a step towards
Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there,
waiting for us with open arms”

I think Carrie responded to your question.

I would add however, that while I do appreciate your sincere question, I want to point out that it so illustrates a complete ignorance that many , if not most, Protestants have about the Catholic Church. Probably since the Reformation, Protestants have attempted to portray the Church as a purely ritualistic system devoid of any intimate knowledge of the Savior. Although I dont think either Luther either Calvin would have completely accepted this characterization, most modern non Catholics seem to.

While it is somewhat understandable that most Evangelicals and other non Catholic Christians have the belief that Catholics have a very works oriented, impersonal, almost Deistic theology, since many Catholics do NOT know their faith very well. However, many mainline Protestants have a very similar understanding of Christianity as well! It appears to me that they believe their salvation comes from helping the poor and working for civil rights. And I am sure I am just as wrong about them as you are about the Catholic Church.

I often wonder why so many Protestants almost seem to WANT to believe the Catholic Church teaches something other than a living relationship with Jesus Christ. I fully appreciate the love of Christ that most Evangelicals have, but I wonder how it is that with this desire for Christ they would so resist the opportunity to actually be in His Real Presence! In the Mass , in the Eucharist or Communion, Catholics have the most real and personal relationship with Jesus Christ that is possible. HE is there with us at the alter, in a most physical and real alter call of all! And yet most non Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, excluded, want to simply portray such theology as a form of bread and wine idolatry! Assume for a second that the interpretation of the bible and the Early Church Fathers about the Lords Supper as the REAL PRESENCE OF CHRIST is true. With the zeal for Jesus Christ that most Evangelicals and Protestants have, wouldnt you be racing to be with Christ at the Eucharist?! Of course you would. Yet, while much of American Protestantism insists on literal interpretation of the bible they somehow need to reject literalism when it comes the Real Presence of Christ in the Lords Supper. From a Catholic perspective, it seems like a perverse need to avoid Him. I know thats not the case, but that is what it looks like. Just like it must appear to you that Catholics are not taught or do not have a real personal relationship with Christ.

As Catholics, we adore the Eucharist because the Church teaches and we believe in a need for a real , living , faith in Christ that means not just believing He is God but that we need to make him LORD in EVERY aspect of our lives. This is the message and practice of the Saints! Faith in Christ is emptying ourselves to fill with the Holy Spirit and the life of Jesus Christ! So, as we celebrate the Mass we are celebrating our communion with one another in the Body of Christ and, our communion with His Real Presence, and we stand at the door of Heaven because we are in the actual presence of our Savior who spans the void between Heaven and earth.

You cannot have that understanding of the Mass if you do not believe in a real living relationship with Jesus! Unfortunately, many Catholics do not understand this! But that is not because the Church teaches something else other than the Living Christ who is to occupy every cell of our being.

So while pondering whether Catholics are taught about a real living relationship with Christ, you may also want to consider how it could be that you too could experience not only a living relationship with Him but His actual physical Real Presence every day if you desired. Yes, Christ is there spiritually whenever two are gathered in his name. But, consider that He actually taught that we could be in His actual Presence whenever we wanted. For any believer who desires a real relationship with Jesus, how could that believer not also desire His Real Presence as well? Simply because ones own tradition does not teach Christs Real Presence in the Lords Supper, should that be the reason for denying this Grace to the believer , especially when was His Real Presence was understood by the Early Church from the very beginning? And furthermore, Catholicism is not alone in a belief in the Real Presence. Some of Protestantism, and all of Orthodoxy still holds to some degree of this truth. Consider what His Real Presence in your life may mean as it does for millions of Catholics, Orthodox, even other Protestants.

God bless!!

My two cents, the rabid individualism of Protestantism has resulted in over 30,000 denominations having disagreements over scriptural interpretation over such large matters as: baptism, divorce and gay marriage in a church.

Catholics may have their own opinions but they are heretics to hold to them, without praying to soften their hearts to God’s truth and are aware of this. This is how we manage to have our diverse and individual approach to prayer and liturgy, through our oneness.

The Eucharist…can’t get more personal than that.

Wow, I can’t believe this is something that actually is in question.

As a Christian, I find it incredibly insulting that another Christian would doubt that I as an individual had a personal relationship with Christ, or that the Catholic Church as a whole would not teach and encourage such a relationship with our Savior.

Priests hear confession because that is what Jesus told His disciples to do. God breathes on man only twice first in Genesis and second is in John chapter 20 verse 22 and in verse 23 right after he breathes on them giving them the Holy Spirit, He gives them the power to forgive or not to forgive sins the fact that God breathes on man only twice shows how important the Sacrament of Reconciliation is and Catholics still do what Jesus establishes in these verses. We confess our sins and then the Priests give us sound advice on combatting sins especially if they are particularly heinous the Priest gives plan of action on how to over come the sin or get people the help they need. Talk to a priest everyone of them will tell you they have had times when Jesus via the Holy Spirit takes right over while they are hearing a confession and things have come out of their mouth that were not their own thoughts.

Welcome to the club, I didn’t realize this until he posted on here the other day.

I agree… It really does upset me when I am accused of not having a so called personal relationship with Christ.

From the Catechism:

2558 “Great is the mystery of the faith!” The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles’ Creed (Part One) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy (Part Two), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Part Three). This mystery, 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.

Here is a link to a section of the Catechism that talks about personal prayer. It is too lengthy to post here, but it breaks down several kinds of personal prayer to the Lord- vocal prayer, meditative prayer, and contemplative prayer. These are all prayers that we Catholics do on our “own time” so to speak, and all prayer lends itself to a “personal relationship with the Lord”. Regarding asking the Lord for forgiveness outside of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, most people I know say an act of contrition every day. The Holy Mass, which to Catholics is the highest form of worship and prayer, begins with the entire congregation bowing their heads in silence and asking the Lord to forgive our sins. And, from a Catholic perspective, nothing is more personal than receiving the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Jesus Himself established the Sacrament of Reconciliation when He gave the Church the authority to “bind and loose” (Mt 18:18) Other Scriptural support showing that Jesus established this Sacrament is: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week,” Jesus showed himself to his apostles. “He breathed on them, and said to them: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained”’ (Jn 20:19, 22-23).

Just out of curiosity, why do so many Protestants celebrate Christmas on December 25th because that date is not in the Bible directly. I know why Catholics believe it is December 25th but I don’t understand how a Protestant would get that date.

Don’t you think without an established authority, men turn Jesus and His teaching into what is pleasing to them?

I heard a Priest on a video respond pretty well to this question. He said a woman came up to him and actually asked him, “Do you know Jesus?” To a Priest! He replied, “Why, yes. I eat His flesh and drink His blood every day.” He said she went running for the hills :D.

We’re Christians. RE: the date of Easter, we’re western Christians.


I believe you are Christians and Easter you can figure out because the Bible says it took place during Passover although you either have to follow Catholic Liturgical Calendar or the Jewish Calendar to get Easter now but Christmas is not so explicitly spelled right out and it doesn’t move around like Easter does. I also cannot figure out why so many Protestants don’t celebrate Pentecost because both Jews and Catholics celebrate it although for different reasons.

December 25th is historically, traditionally, the day for Christmas on the Church calendar. We have no problem following the Church calendar. As I recall, there are some who say it probably wasn’t in December, at least in part because shepherds probably would not have been out in the fields at that time

As for Pentecost, I don’t understand it, either, that some western Christian communions don’t celebrate it. Or Advent, or Lent, or All Saints Day, or…


For clarification, Anglicans and Lutherans ARE excluded. They don’t have valid Eucharist, + they don’t agree with transubstantiation, NO real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. And they can’t have that anyway, since they do not have valid orders thus no valid priesthood.

great quote,ty

Thanks for post and invitation, if the Catholics are correct on the literal presence of jesus flesh and blood than your post makes great sense. My understanding of it and the rest of the bible does disagree with that position.

that is great news thanks for links. Great response.

i do because its the accepted date in our society. I know its the wrong date. I call monday monday, even though its named after some roman god i believe.

I agree, to me the authority is gods written word not man, i feel my biggest objection to catholic doctrine as a whole is it seems the authority is on man.

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