In last week’s article, we recognized that the gentle but persistent knocking at the door of our hearts is Christ himself. He is calling, inviting us to renew our hearts and minds in this Year of Faith. How will we respond? To begin, we should take a moment to see where we are and think about where we’d like to be in our spiritual lives. The challenge in the midst of a busy world is to be able to focus on what’s important. If we stop to think about how we spend our time, will we find that we are using it for good, for things that are lasting?
If we really want to grow or change, it is not enough to just want it to happen; we must make a conscious decision and put a plan in place. Here are a few ideas that may help:
1. Set aside some time to participate in a study such as The Bible Timeline by Jeff Cavins. (biblestudyforcatholics.com) Available in 8 sessions or the full 24-week version, this course offers an interesting and comprehensive overview of the Bible that retraces the history of our faith and gives a uniquely Catholic perspective on the Scriptures.
2. Another exciting way to (literally) retrace our faith would be to plan a pilgrimage to Rome or the Holy Land!
3. To help us appreciate and deepen our understanding of our Catholic heritage, an excellent resource is Catholicism by Fr. Robert Barron. It’s available in a book or set of talks on DVD. (catholicismseries.com)
4. Take some time to read and study the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is available in book form, electronically (here’s one easy way – http://flocknote.com/catechism) or for your portable device, such as iPhone (iPieta has a wealth of info). You may also want to check out Youcat, a catechism written especially for young people.
5. Reach out in compassion and love to those in need. Of the countless ministries that exist, choose one that appeals to you and put your faith into action!
These are just a few ideas, and I am sure that there will be many more initiatives, both in parishes and at the diocesan level, to help us understand what we profess as Catholics and to inspire us to make our faith come alive. Whatever we do, let us entrust ourselves to the care of our Heavenly Mother, knowing that she will faithfully lead us to her Son, Jesus.
– Kelley Holy