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Tag Archives: discipleship

YOU ARE HAPPY IN BEING CHOSEN BY GOD TO ENKINDLE HIS LOVE IN THE HEARTS OF OTHERS

Natural or acquired talent may count very little

“Jesus Christ chose poor, ignorant people for his Apostles, people who from a human point of view were very ill-fitted for the work.

Not that we must be uneducated and of low birth so as to work for souls, but to teach us how little natural or acquired talent counts and that it is never the cause of success. Christ chose fishermen to show us that it is not easy work; we have to be ready for great difficulties and fatigue.

We have to be ready for great difficulties and fatigue

What a wonderful thought it is that Jesus Christ, who was able to convert the whole world by himself, should have chosen to do it through his disciples. He spent his whole life training them. Jesus took for himself what was difficult: an ignominious death, and left the renown to his disciples. What love Christ showed in allowing others to help him in work he could have done alone.

Humility and obedience are essential

A man called to convert others has need of great virtue, especially humility and obedience. We must not miss our opportunities but so turn things that we appear to be following advice rather than giving it and seem to be the instrument rather than the worker. This will humble us and make the work easier…

Being the potter’s clay

You are happy in being chosen by God to enkindle his love in the hearts of others. To do this it is necessary to have deep humility and an entire distrust of self, besides zeal. We must act without haste and wait with peace and confidence until it pleases God to accomplish in these souls that which his grace alone is capable of doing and of which he alone must reap the glory.”

– St Claude de la Columbiere, 17th century

 

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TRUE DISCIPLESHIP IS A SCARY VENTURE – IN THE TIME OF THE APOSTLES AS WELL AS TODAY

Following and imitating Jesus Christ in today’s surroundings

Whose fear is it, anyway?

“True discipleship is a scary venture; it was so in the time of the Apostles, and it remains so today. Discipleship, which is another way of saying that one embraces the baptismal call to follow in the footprints of Jesus Christ, requires resisting the mongering that our culture so often encourages.

The messages so frequently displayed in advertisements and on television promote a culture of fear that seeks to convince women and men today that they are inadequate, unlovable, and imperfect without buying this or that product, without paying for this or that service. The advertising agencies around the globe realise that human beings make too many of their choices out of fear and capitalise on that dynamic.

When individuals wish to take control and seize authority, it is to the weapon of fear that they turn, planting the seeds of insecurity and doubt into the hearts and minds of the population.

Working to overcome fearĀ 

Jesus, as truly human, understood the experience of fear. Weeping in the garden on the night he was betrayed, the Lord expresses solidarity with those who face physical harm and emotional stress.

But Jesus, as truly divine, also understood that following the Father’s Will means working to overcome the inhibitive fear that too often prevents us from doing what is right and speaking the truth when necessary. Hence, Jesus’s first words to his followers – then and now – are always ‘Do not be afraid,’ because when we surrender to fear we are unable to live the Gospel.”

– This is an excerpt from “Do Not Be Afraid!” by Daniel P. Horan, published in Messenger of Saint Anthony, issue June 2015. For subscriptions please contact: Messenger of St Anthony, Basilica del Santo, via Orto Botanico 11, 1-35123 Padua, Italy

 

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“I GET DRAWN INTO ARGUMENTS ABOUT THE FAITH AND, DUE TO LACK OF PRACTICE, I DON’T THINK I DO VERY WELL.”

“QUESTION:

In my sixth form I often get into arguments about the faith with atheists and find that sometimes I don’t do very well. Is it better just to keep quiet and pray?

ANSWER:

Taking exaggerated positions in debate is part of the process of maturing for intelligent young people and there is no reason why you should not try to answer attacks on the faith.

DISCIPLES OF CHRIST

As disciples of Christ, we are not trying to win an argument for the sake of personal pride, but to win souls for Christ, an act of charity by which we seek the good of the other person. Don’t be despondent if you come away from a discussion feeling that you have ‘let the side down’.

WINNING SOULS FOR CHRIST: AN ACT OF CHARITY

Use this opportunity to look up more information on the internet or in good books. Perhaps consult a priest or another person who can help. Take advantage of the motivation to be better informed in the future, and always keep the principal goal in mind, that of bringing the truth to others in a way that will most help them to be open to Christ. Young people are the best apostles to other young people and you will know how best to talk to your peers.

BRINGING THE TRUTH TO OTHERS IN A WAY THAT WILL HELP THEM TO BE OPEN TO CHRIST

When we debate with others, our Christian courtesy should be evident, but this does not exclude a spirited defence of the faith. Atheists will sometimes poke fun at your beliefs. It is legitimate to use amusing examples in reply, always retaining respect and good humour.

CHRISTIAN COURTESY

The experience of the cut and thrust of debate is valuable in your own formation as an apostle. As you gain experience in the kinds of argument that your atheist friends use, you will become more confident in answering them.

GAINING EXPERIENCE AND CONFIDENCE AS A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST

Gradually you will find that because your love of the faith is a part of your life, rather than a passing enthusiasm for a popular fad [atheism] you will become an apologist, not concerned with beating others down but with bringing them to the truth. Always keep in your heart the words of St Paul: ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel.'”
– This article by Fr Tim Finigan entitled “Catholic Dilemmas” [text in brackets and capital headings added afterwards] was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue October 18 2013. For subscriptions please visit http://www.caatholicherald.co.uk (external link).

 
 

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