I want to know Jesus
Tip number one: “Embrace Divine Initiative and really want to engage with Him”
When we become aware that He is the first to want to engage with us, something changes in our life of prayer and, consequently, we must pray with that intent, to wish all day long to establish that communication with God, to talk to Him, to adequately prepare ourselves to the mass, and to confess. That the things pertaining to God become sacred to you. These efforts will be enriched with Divine Grace, which came first, by making our hearts lean towards Him. Now, as a fruit that is born from the tree of spiritual life, we’ll be able to start. God will not be a stranger anymore, but indeed someone very close to us. Sometimes, even a particular devotion, perhaps to the patron saint of our parish, can help us at this time.
Second tip: Read the messages sent to your mailbox
What do you mean? Oftentimes, Jesus has tried to communicate with us, but we have not always understood Him or have had the conditions and room for that, or we have simply closed our hearts to His messages. That is why it is important to undertake a “life review,” to look at those difficult pages in our lives and reconcile them through the God’s Merciful Heart. This is not always easy, and takes some time. It seems like that heap of e-mails you have not read yet, but you know they are important. Our conscience has good memory for that. You just have to ask yourself: what wrongs have I done in the last few months? What God would like me to change in my life? A tip in that sense would be to explore new ways to perform “soul-searching.” I may say that it is much more than seeing what has gone wrong; it is also being grateful for all the blessings. But that is for another day.
Third tip: Study!
What should I study? The Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Holy Scriptures. Attend that course in your Parish. There is no other way. For sure, we may know God in our prayer. But who told you God only wants to engage with you this way? Aren’t you hiding a little sloth behind such behavior? Oftentimes, we want advice on what to do, but that is not always possible. Often, we’ll have to sort difficult situations out by ourselves, and quickly. That is why, if I don’t know the Christ of the Gospels, the Christ who left His Church as an actualization of His message for the challenges of today, we will always remain ignorant of those things Jesus expects from us. A basic question: in this last month of September, did you further study the Bible? Embracing the guidelines set by the Church is a good opportunity to cover that path. Here is an evocative passage from the Book of Wisdom: “Wisdom is radiant, its beauty is unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her and found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her” (Wisdom 6,12-13).
Fourth tip: “Apply what you study”
When you start to have to manifest your Christian Life, you will really start to need to understand the “Good Shepherd,” to need the “Bread of Life,” you’ll need to seek God as the “Path,” as “Truth,” in view of hardships and even of people, and you’ll find “the Reconciler”; when you perceive your miseries and need to find answers to your life, you’ll then find the “Savior,” “the Living God”; when you cannot understand the hardships you face in your life, you will start to know “the Crucified Jesus.”
That is why we say Christian Life is a path of discipleship. The apostles received the call, but only when they accompanied Jesus they were actually instructed, and that process continues to this today in His Church. That is why we hold meetings such as the last “Synod on Young People.” I want to conclude by reminding John 15,14-16, one of the most beautiful passages in the Gospels: “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit, a fruit that will last, so that whatever you ask in My name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other!”
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