Methods of accepting Jesus speak of personal relationship with the Savior. We are joined to the Church in Heaven (Church Triumphant) and in Purgatory (Church Suffering) through our baptism (cf 1 Peter 3:20-21, Eph 4:5). Being aware of our connection to the rest of the Church is important, but we should not neglect our own personal relationship with our Lord either.
As with most things Catholic, it’s not either/or…it’s both/and.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church weighs in on the subject of personal relationship with Jesus: Because God creates through wisdom, his creation is ordered: “You have arranged all things by measure and number and weight.” The universe, created in and by the eternal Word, the “image of the invisible God”, is destined for and addressed to man, himself created in the “image of God” and called to a personal relationship with God (#299).
You see, we must neither confine our relationship with Jesus to Holy Mass nor the quiet of our rooms, for Jesus Christ is both King and Brother. While different spiritualities appeal to different people, we must both unite ourselves with the whole Church and present ourselves to Jesus Christ as individuals. To loose one is to diminish the other.
Submitting to the Lordship of Jesus should be more than just a one-time event; instead it is a daily act of love and gratitude for our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross. Our response to His love must never be merely a fond memory of the day we gave our lives to Christ.
Having said all that, we shouldn’t loose sight of the need to truly give ourselves over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. The Evangelical’s surrender-event is a good model; daily conversion of the heart has to start somewhere…we just must never let it remain there.
When evangelists ask me if I’d accepted Jesus as personal savior?
I answered, “Yes, everyday.”