Presentation on theme: "Path Through Catholicism Word Worship Witness. Every faith journey begins with God reaching out to us and inviting us to journey together into the unknown."— Presentation transcript:
Every faith journey begins with God reaching out to us and inviting us to journey together into the unknown. Our journey in the months ahead will be divided into three stages:
Word: God reaches out to us (Revelation) I said to the man Who stood at the gate of the year: Give me a light that I may tread safely Into the unknown. And he replied: Go out into the darkness And put your hand in the hand of God. That shall be to you better than light And safer than a known way. Minnie Louise Haskins
Worship: We reach out to God. (Sacraments) Athletes share high fives to celebrate a victory. Friends hug one another to share a special moment. They do this because in such situations, words alone cant express their feelings. This helps us to understand Why Jesus anointed the eyes of the blind To heal them, Touched the tongue of the mute To restore their speech, And placed his hands on children To bless them. This also explains Why Jesus taught his disciples To use similar actions In similar situations
Witness: We journey together. (Commandments) One night, John Ruskin was seated by a window, staring into the distance, watching a lamplighter ignite street lamp after street lamp. Because it was dark, he couldnt see the lamplighter- only the trail of the lights he lit. Turning to his friend, John said, Thats my image of a Christian. You may not have seen him, but you know he passed by from the trail of light he left behind.
Beginning Reflections… One important episode up to this point in my faith journey was… One difficulty I have experienced up to this point in my faith journey is…
Light of Faith How would you have taken Fr. Powells remark? How would you explain Tommys failure to find God? When we are lost, how does God go about finding us?
Three Faith Stages Doubt sees the obstacles- Faith sees the way. Doubt sees the darkest night- Faith sees the day. Doubt dreads to take a step- Faith soars on high. Doubt questions, Who believes? Faith answers, I.
Childhood Stage: Cultural Faith Our childhood faith is conditioned by both our cultural situation and the faith – or lack of faith- of the family into which we were born and raised.
Adolescent Stage: Transitional Faith This stage is both the most critical and most painful. It is the most critical because it involves making the transition from receiving the seed of faith in baptism to confirming: it by personal conviction. CCC168
I dont know whats going wrong. When I was in grade school, and for the first couple of years of middle school/high school I was real religious, and now I just dont seem to care. Have you ever felt this way? Explain
The death of our childhood faith can make us feel sick of heart – even guilty. This is unfortunately because the truth of the matter is that we are only experiencing growing pains, which are a part of every faith journey
Adolescent Stage Questioning… This stage of our faith involves a good deal of questioning. When this questioning is done constructively, it results in faith building. Destructive questioning means we want to disprove a point, so we can do what we want. Constructive questioning means we want to learn the truth, so we can do what is right.
Adult Stage: Convictional Faith This stage of faith is a very important one. At this stage we appropriate the faith to ourselves – we move beyond an unexamined cultural faith to an examined personal faith.
Our faith journey is the greatest adventure we will ever embark upon. It takes us beyond the natural world to the supernatural. It leads us beyond material reality to spiritual reality. Our journey begins when we put our hand in the hand of God and allow ourselves to be led by both the light of reason and the light of faith. (CCC 154-55)
Our journey moves forward to that awesome faith encounter that brings us face to face with the mystery of the Holy Trinity. (CCC 253-56) Father --- Who created us Son --- Who redeemed us Holy Spirit --- Who graces us
Three Faith Levels The Holy Spirit graces and guides us every step of our faith journey; which unfolds gradually and throughout our lives at three levels: Mind Level – Openness to Truth Heart Level – Openness to Love Soul Level – Openness to Grace
Mind Level The hOly Spirit helps us to better grasps the truths of our faith. When a savage ceases to believe in his wooden God, this does not mean there is no God, but only that the true God is not made of wood. Leo Tolstoy
Heart Level The Holy Spirit leads us beyond our childhood world – with its focus on love of self – to an adult world, which looks to a love of other people. An inability to find God is often traceable to a failure to inability to open our hearts to love other people and to receive love from them.
Soul Level If our soul is open, the Holy Spirit will grace us abundantly, prepare us for faith, invite us to faith, and embrace us every step on the faith journey. (CCC 153-54) This journey involves a mystery of: Gift --- Gods Contribution Freedom --- Our Contribution
Faith is a gift from God. It cannot be merited or won. Jesus made this clear. Matthew 16:13-17 Faith involved freedom on our part. Although God graces us and guides us on our faith journey, God does this in a way that respects our free will. In other words, God leaves us free to accept of reject the gift.
Three Faith Realities There are three realities that we must be prepared to embrace on our journey: Loving Trust – Risk Ongoing Trust – Recommitment Suffering Darkness – Growth Times
Loving Trust One example of the kind of loving trust faith requires is marriage. Faith involves loving trust – not that God will be unfaithful, but that we are not sure where our faith commitment to God will lead us. Abraham is a good example of the kind of risk and loving trust a faith commitment to God involves. Genesis 12:1
Ongoing Effort It is a misunderstanding to think that once we get the faith we dont have to worry about it again. We are constantly evolving and changing as persons. We must constantly recommit ourselves to God in harmony with our change and evolvement. This process of recommitment is how faith grows and matures. (CCC 162)
Suffering Darkness Our faith is like the sun. Sometimes it shines brightly and everything is clear and beautiful. Sometimes it seems to go behind clouds and disappear in darkness; you begin to wonder if it is even there. This darkness is usually traceable to three sources: Human Nature Ourselves God
Human Nature: The darkness may simply reflect the mood swings of our human nature. Ourselves: The darkness may be of our own making. We can cause it by neglecting our faith – through sin or lack of spiritual nourishment. God: Darkness in faith may be traceable to God. Just as God can use physical suffering – regardless of the cause – to help us grow in our faith, God can also use spiritual suffering – like darkness – to help our faith grow and mature.
Faith is like a toothbrush. Everyone should have one and use it regularly, but he should not try to use someone elses. J.G. Stipe
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