Hello everyone, as you can probably deduce from the title, what I am about to ask you has to do with my relationship with Our Lord. I personally feel, that this is one of the weakest parts of my faith. I just happen to find it hard to have the same relationship with Christ that I see many of you have. I will perfectly honest with you here my friends, but seeing Protestants speak of their relationship, and even some Catholics, has discouraged me somewhat. If you can by any chance reply with some advice that would be extremely helpful.
There are some days that I have to remind myself “Jesus is real, he died for your sins, live for him, since it is Christ that lives in you”. I think when I started praying out of devotion to God and not out of devotion of habit, that I felt like I was actually having a relationship with Christ. Where do you feel you are lacking in this?
Sometimes I feel like I should be going to Mass, receiving the Eucharist, praying to Him out of fear than genuine devotion and faith, which I is completely against the purpose of our Faith. Also, sometimes I feel that the way in which some people talk of their own personal relationship with Christ, making Him out to be as if He was their best friend, repulses me somewhat and dissuades slightly from having a personal relationship with Christ.
God bless you my friend, and thank you for replying.
No problem. Jesus is my best friend. But I’m on good terms with his family, especially his mom and his Father.
In all honesty though, here’s how I feel about it. I once heard a priest say that we shouldn’t think of Mass as “having to go to Mass” but “getting to go to Mass”. I think, if you can think of your religion in terms of love of God, and not in terms of rules and rituals (though, those are certainly important), then that makes it much easier to have a personal relationship with Christ. Unfortunately, some people take that too extreme and get angry when you refer to your beliefs as a religion (in spite of the fact the Bible uses the word religion in the English translations, and never as a negative). This is why I have on my profile that “My religion IS my relationship”. Crack open the Bible. Really get deep into it. I feel like that has helped me quite a bit in growing in my faith. Of course, this is just personal perspective, and personal experience. God bless.
You’re completely right my friend, since my view was slanted, so was the whole picture surrounding my faith. I will try to act upon your words; just to let you know, I’ve grown quite a bit in the faith, that’s why I call myself “Austere”!
Well, you have to work at the relationship just like you work at relationships with your earthly friends. There will be times when the two of you feel very close, and there will be times when you don’t feel as close, just as with others.
Jesus is not only my best friend, he is the love of my life. He is my life, so much so, that I have given my life to him and will never marry or even date on a romantic level. I do have male friends, but they are friends only. I would do anything for Christ, including die for him. He is never really off my mind, but I suppose that is helped by the fact that I teach theology and am a PhD candidate in theology. Still, when I read, it’s a religious book. When I make prints, it’s of religious scenes. When I take photos, it is to show the glory of God (landscape photography is my hobby as well as printmaking). I play the violin, and I love sacred music. Today I was practicing Barber’s Adagio, or Agnus Dei, though I so love almost all classical music.
I am the opposite of you with regard to Mass, confession, the Eucharist, etc. Even if I had to miss them for some reason, even if I were the world’s greatest sinner (I am a sinner, but not the world’s greatest!), I would still trust Christ to receive me with open arms. I love going to Mass, though, and I especially love the Eucharist because I can receive the love of my life in all his life.
Work at the relationship. Start small if you have to. Meditate on one Bible passage a day. Get a spiritual book by a good Catholic author and read just a little each day. Pray three of the hours. Whatever you feel comfortable with. Talk to Christ as you would talk to a friend. I’ll bet you’ll find your relationship growing by leaps and bounds. Like any relationship, a bond with Christ doesn’t usually spring into life in full bloom. We have to nurture it, help it to grow.
A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends, if you do what I command you.
I shall not call you servants any more, because a servant does not know his master’s business.
I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father.
Jesus says we are his friends. It isn’t that we are worthy, but rather that is his desire.
It’s one of the most important works of spiritual literature, but it requires discernment. Surely it would be good if it resonates with you. Not everything resonates with everyone. I don’t like to read Aquinas, for example, but I do acknowledge him as a towering intellect and authority in the Church.
I have never had a stronger “personal relationship with Christ” and mine is based upon a constant attitude of prayer, regular reading of the Gospels and the NT, and reception and adoration of Jesus in the Eucharist, not to mention a consecrated devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who, let’s face it, has the most intimate personal relationship with Jesus of any and all human beings. I often pray to her to ask her to help me love her son the way she does…and she does. This prayer is always answered because we know it is God’s will for us all and Mary said it all in John 2:5 when she said '“Do whatever he tells you.”
I suggest that you go and spend some time just sitting before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration. You don’t have to do anything else but just sit there and look at Him and He will look at you and then you can talk. The rest will surprise you.
Heb 11:1 faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
what happens if one doesn’t have this faith?
As Aquinas said
“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”
[FONT="]How true that statement from Aquinas is.
[/FONT]Following up on that thought from Aquinas, if anyone is having any trouble with “personal relationship with Jesus”, then looking at the definition of faith, if they see things missing in that definition in their own life, then it’s a matter of seeking what’s missing.
*]is confidence missing… Why?
*]is there no hope…Why?
*]is there no sense of assurance in what is not seen…Why?
Faith is a gift from God it is NOT from ourselves. Ask God for faith. “WE” can’t give ourselves faith. We might think we can manipulate the ingredients of faith, confidence, hope, and assurances for ourselves, but what good is THAT to manipulate for our own benefit? Faith itself, comes only from God. The conditions all come from Him. If we feel we don’t have faith spoken of in His Church and in the scriptures, then ask God for it. He won’t deny us faith
**Note that if one doesn’t do what Peter talks about they will fall **
In the end however, when this life is over, that which we couldn’t see here, couldn’t completely understand here, will be seen and understood completely. As a result of seeing and understanding realities as they truly are THEN, then while the 3 theological virtues of faith hope and love(charity) abide, the greatest of these is love
That’s why Paul taught the following
1 Corinthians 13[FONT="]:[/FONT]
8 Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10 but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
a “[FONT="]personal relationship with Jesus” comes from doing things His way not our way. Jesus qualified Love for Him this way. (He put an “if” in there)
You speak truth my friend, and thank you for replying to my post. I do try to abound in those attributes you have listed, although self-control may be the weakest for me unfortunately. Aye, but that can be remedied by prayer and devotion to God and asking Him for help in such matters, as we are only self-sufficient in a number of things. My friend, for one final thing, I was wondering whether or not you’d be able to recommend any books to read that would help me in this trouble of mine. It would be a great help!
God bless you, and may you ever be in Communion with the Church of Rome!
If you have any history books on Church history that you could recommend, that would be excellent; learning of the Church’s history gives me a greater appreciation of Mother Church and therefore Our Lord.