The "Path" of CONVERSION
PATH OF CONVERSION
Guided by the Holy Spirit to a new way of living
YES! It is difficult to change!
This important conversion is
if we are to come to know more deeply and make ours a genuine form of life in keeping with Christ's teachings and examples ~~ so that we will come to know what Pope John Paul II calls spirituality!
SPIRITUALITY is experiencing everyday THAT CHRIST IS IN OUR LIFE
OUR LIVES ARE CHANGED BECAUSE THEY ARE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT!!
The people of the American Continent are being asked to transform their lives by inviting the Holy Spirit into their lives. It is this Person of the Blessed Trinity Who will help us to become a more spiritual people.
This way of
life is one which is accepted in faith,
hope and expressed in
must become part of our everyday lives!
We will also see that as our faith increases, we are better able to hope and express our love. This is a true CONVERSION!
For it is through personally experiencing that Christ is in our lives and our lives have been filled with the Holy Spirit (spirituality) , that we find ourselves living everyday with the "Living" Jesus Christ.
|He reminds us that one of the most important elements of developing this spirituality is|
|Prayer, which is our "communication line" to God, leads us "little by little" and "step by step" to|
to recognize God in everything and at every moment ~~ to recognize Him in every person and desire to do His will at all times!
He tells us that personal prayer and community prayer are the responsibility of all of us.
HOW really IMPORTANT IS PRAYER?
Let us take a look at what Jesus
has to tell us ~~
We must have this "communication line" to our Father in Heaven as "... without Him, we can do nothing!" Jesus, Himself tells us in John Chapter 15, verses 4- "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you the branches: he that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit:
for without Me you can do nothing!"
Here GOD is telling us that we are nothing without Him!
He is the vine and we are the branches. If you break off the branch it dies and bears no leaves or fruit. However, if the branch stays attached to the vine, it is productive. The branch is being nourished by the vine which is its source of food.
God is the
vine! He is our source
of faith, hope,
love and spirituality.
How many times have we said to ourselves, 'I just don't have time to pray' or 'God knows what I need before I ask.'
It is true that God the Father
knows our needs before we ask
Such a moment was when He went to Gethsemane before he was to be handed over to the people to be crucified. He went to an isolated place to pray for strength over His impending death. In His humanity he even prayed, saying: "My Father, if this chalice may not pass away, but I must drink it, Thy will be done."
He prayed, He taught His Apostles pray and He asks us to pray also.
Jesus instructed His disciples, "But thou when thou shalt pray, enter into thy chamber, and having shut the door, pray to thy Father in secret: and thy Father who seeth in secret will repay thee." (Matthew chapter 6, verse 6)
It is prayer that helps us to nourish our faith and to strengthen or make it firm against the many attacks which we may experience everyday.
Remember, the foundation of our faith is the belief in God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as being One God!
We also believe that God the Father sent His only begotten Son into the world to be the expiation for our sins and that all people are worthy of redemption!
Our Holy Father instructs us that contemplation, which is a deep thinking process, is the direct result of praying from our hearts and is not reserved for a privileged few, but is requested of all of us by our Father in Heaven.
He urges us to think deeply about the basic truths of our faith. He especially wishes that we contemplate deeply about the two principal mysteries of our faith ~~ Namely the mystery of the Blessed Trinity and the mystery of Jesus Christ ~~ the Son of God becoming Incarnated and His redemptive role.
Bishops and priests, by their very vocation, are expected to spend time
each day meditating upon these mysteries of God.
The baptized faithful have a calling also. Theirs is to pursue "holiness" of life according to their state and vocation which would include spending some time in contemplative prayer.
He further reminds us that men and women who have the "special" calling from God to devote their lives to prayer and contemplation, in an environment of a religious community. should never be discounted!
Our Holy Father instructs us that through prayer ~~ we become more conscious of the demands of the Gospel and our duties toward others AND at the same time we are strengthened with the grace necessary to keep on doing good.
Prayer keeps us in contact with God Who is the source and well-spring of all grace and holiness.
The Sacraments ~~
A mode of life in keeping with the truths of the Gospel is also a sacramental life.
It is because "...the Sacraments are the root and endless source of God's grace."
This grace is essential in helping us to
|"stay on the path"|
that leads to Heaven and our eternal inheritance!
Participating in the reception of the sacraments is the Christian way to holiness. However, we must remember not to become lukewarm or receive them "out of habit."
Spiritual direction ~~
Our Holy Father highly recommends that we who are sincerely trying to follow Christ's teachings, seek out and ask other people who are expert in the field of spiritual direction to advise us in our spiritual development. He also reminds the priests that this is a very important part of their priestly ministry to do this.
By inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives,
praying from the heart ~~
while all the time being guided by the truth of the Holy Spirit,
we will come to a new way of life in America!