CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)

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Joyce Meyer. How to Help People Change. Christians Get Depressed Too. David Murray. Edward T. Christ-Centered Therapy. Neil T. Rodney Hogue. June Hunt. John MacArthur. Fearless in 21 Days. Sarah E. Self-Deliverance Made Simple. Jennifer Clark. Helps for Counselors.

Christian Way of Life: Applying God's Word More Fully (October 2012)

Tim Clinton. Will Medicine Stop the Pain? Laura Hendrickson. Counseling in African-American Communities. Lee N. Parenting the Difficult Child. Linda J. Leslie Montgomery. The Gift of Presence. Joe E. Discipleship Counseling. Why, O God? Larry J. Hope Prevails. Michelle Bengtson. Dealing with Depression. Sarah Collins. Emotionally Free 2nd edition. Grant Mullen M. Handbook to Happiness. Charles R. Love Written in Stone.

Biblical Counseling for Today. Jeffrey Watson. Healing Relationships by Caging the Rage. Robert Bowers Ph. A Practical Guide to Self-Deliverance. John F. Edward E Moody Jr. Stephanie A. Look up and research each word. It becomes fun, like a treasure hunt! Read, study and love the Word of God. Before you begin, I highly recommend getting out a good old fashioned pen and paper to write out your SOAP. I promise you it will have infinitely more power than simply reading through the steps!

Ask Him to reveal himself to YOU on a personal level and to give you clear discernment to recognize His voice! Scripture: To begin you choose a scripture. Let the Holy Spirit guide you if there is a verse He has for you each day! First, read the scripture verse. I would suggest re-reading it, using bible study apps to read it in several translations, look up the meaning of words to really gain understanding of their meaning.

This is your time to really understand the verse.

Helping you grow in God's all-sufficient truth and grace

Observation: What did you observe about the scripture that struck you. This can be one sentence or a whole book. Application: How can you apply the observation so that it affects your life today? What is God revealing to you? How can you make His word alive and applicable through that scripture verse today? Prayer: Write out a prayer to God based on what you just learned and ask him to help you apply this truth in your life. That content is still available in an archived format and you are welcome to check it out! You can read more about that SOAP challenge here.

Father God, we praise you for your Word. We thank you that you love us enough to provide a place where we can go and know that we are hearing directly from you. We thank you that you give us a guidebook for how to do life. We thank you that you never withhold wisdom from us when we need or ask for it. We praise you that your Word is alive, and relevant, and personal, and timely. Lord, please give us an insatiable desire for your Word.

Please cause us to prioritize time spent there — that we put it first on our list and never last. Please give us the divine ability to hear from you as we seek your Word. Please bestow on us in huge measure the ability to read and understand your Word. Finally Lord, help us to be mindful and obedient to apply what we read in scripture. We need to be able, with lively faith, firm conviction and joyful witness, to renew our proclamation with the understanding that as God spoke to us in times past, so does he continue to speak to us today.

The first and most precious of his gifts is the grace bestowed through the Paschal Mystery: his passion, death and glorious Resurrection. Jesus has freed us from the power of sin and saved us from death. The Church receives from her Lord not only the tremendous grace he has won for us, but also the commission to share and to make known his victory. We are summoned to transmit faithfully the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world. In our society which values individual freedom and autonomy, personal achievement and dominance, it is easy to lose sight of our dependence on others as well as the responsibilities that we have towards them.

The Second Vatican Council has reminded us that evangelization is at the very heart of the Church. For decades the Papal Magisterium has guided the Church into a profound awareness of both the problem and how we must confront it. Those who have received the Good News and who have been gathered by it into the community of salvation can and must communicate and spread it. With the announcement, in his homily for the Solemnity of the Apostles Peter and Paul at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls, of the formation of a new Vatican office for the New Evangelization, our Holy Father gave a formal structure to this effort and highlighted the urgency and all-inclusive nature of this mission of the Church.

This compendium of the faith in its many manifestations and applications provides a beacon of light in what, unfortunately, has become in too many instances the gloom of religious ignorance. The call to repropose the Catholic faith, to repropose the Gospel message, to repropose the teaching of Christ, is needed precisely because we encounter so many who initially heard this saving proclamation and for whom the message has become stale.

The vision has faded. The promises seem empty or unconnected to real life. We faced the hermeneutic of discontinuity that permeated so much of the milieu of centers of higher education and was also reflected in aberrational liturgical practice. Entire generations have become disassociated from the support systems that facilitated the transmission of faith. It is as if a tsunami of secular influence has swept across the cultural landscape, taking with it such societal markers as marriage, family, the concept of the common good and objective right and wrong.

Tragically, the sins of a few have encouraged a distrust in some of the very structures of the Church herself. Many do not sense a value in Mass attendance, fail to receive the sacrament of penance and have often lost a sense of mystery or the transcendent as having any real and verifiable meaning. All of the above resulted in a large segment of the faithful being ill-prepared to deal with a culture that, as our Holy Father has pointed out on his many visits around the world, is characterized by secularism, materialism and individualism.

But the circumstances of our day are not all bleak. Just as it is possible to identify the causes or at least occasions for the negative situation today, so it is also possible to identify an increasingly recognized positive response. Many people, especially the young, who have been alienated from the Church are finding that the secular world does not offer adequate responses to the perennial and demanding questions of the human heart. For many teachers and those catechized, this is a particularly enriching moment because this time around, the young adults approach the faith with a great deal more openness out of their own need to know more.

Points of contact for many young adults today are found in campus ministry programs at secular universities and colleges, parish or diocesan programs with a focus on current issues of concern today, as well as family orientated events for those with children who seek both spiritual and social support. While contemporary society downplays, and at times even ridicules traditional family life, it remains a natural reality and the first building block of community. The family presents the natural and ordinary context for the transmission of both faith and values, and the reality we so often turn to for support throughout our lives.

Those who need to hear of Christ, all over again, are with us in our neighborhoods and parishes even if they are distant from us in their hearts and minds. Immigration and widespread migration has created a new neighborhood environment for evangelization that too often is really an exercise in the New Evangelization. The missionaries in the first evangelization covered immense geographic distances to spread the Good News.

Why I'm still a Catholic

We, the missionaries of the New Evangelization, must surmount ideological distances just as immense, oftentimes before we ever journey beyond our own neighborhood or family. It is a mode of thinking, seeing and acting. It is a lens through which we see the opportunities to proclaim the Gospel anew. It is also a recognition that the Holy Spirit continues actively to work in the Church. I believe there are three distinct, but interrelated stages: a the renewal or deepening of our faith both intellectually and affectively; cf Instrumentum laboris n. Following on our efforts to renew our own appreciation of the faith should be a new confidence in the truth of our message.

Unfortunately, we have for too long seen this confidence eroded by an appropriation of so much of the secular value system that has been lifted up in the past decades as a superior and better way of life than the one proposed by Jesus, his Gospel and his Church. In the educational and theological culture reflective of the hermeneutic of discontinuity, too often the vision of the Gospel was clouded and a sure, confident voice gave way to apologies for what we hold and believe.

In the Gospel we read how Jesus taught with authority Mark He taught out of his own self identity. Jesus has authority because of who he is. This divine pedagogy remains the model for us today. Jesus did not leave us orphans. As he returned to his Father, he called those he had chosen and anointed in the Holy Spirit to continue to teach everything that he had made known to them and to proclaim it even to the ends of the earth.

Many of those who today seek some assurance of the value and meaning of life are persuaded by the clear, unambiguous and confident message of Christ presented in his Church. To do this well we need to overcome the syndrome of embarrassment as some have identified the lack of confidence in the truth of the faith and in the wisdom of the Magisterium that characterizes our age. The third element in the New Evangelization has to be the willingness and desire to share the faith. There are numerous people, particularly in the western world, who have already heard of Jesus.

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Our challenge is to stir up again and rekindle in the midst of their daily life and concrete situation, a new awareness and familiarity with Jesus. We are called not just to announce but to adapt our approach so as to attract and to urge an entire generation to find again the uncomplicated, genuine and tangible treasure of friendship with Jesus. The first moment of any evangelization originates not from a program, but in an encounter with a Person, Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

We rely first and always on Jesus. He alone is the cornerstone. As we approach those who have grown cold or distant in their faith, the touchstone is the simplicity of instruction that motivates and speaks to the depth of the human person. We turn to our brothers and sisters who have received baptism, and yet, no longer participate in the life of the Church. The personal witness of the follower of Jesus is itself a proclamation of the Word. Our message today must, therefore, be grounded in the testimony of our life.

These are also moments to invite, not to scold.

Into our world we need to communicate our own joy of being definitively and completely loved and, therefore, capable of loving. Our communication should be in words and in life, in prayer and in deed, in action and in bearing suffering. A decade earlier the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops conducted a survey of catechetical texts and identified ten doctrinal deficiencies that needed correction.

Since theology uses concepts to convey our faith that is rooted in the Gospel, the very tenets of our faith are threatened if people struggle with its conceptual framework. Secularism and rationalism have created an ideology that subjugates faith to reason. Religion becomes a personal matter. Doctrine in matters of faith is reduced to idiosyncratic positions without any possibility of ever claiming universal truth.

While it is important that the New Evangelization be alert to the signs of the time and speak with a voice that reaches people today, it must do so without losing its rootedness in the great living faith tradition of the Church already expressed in theological concepts. As we begin our deliberations and reflections on the New Evangelization, I would suggest that from the Lineamenta, the Instrumentum laboris, and so much of the material provided from Conferences of Bishops from the around the world, a number of theological foundation stones have emerged. I would like to touch on four of them.

Thus the New Evangelization must points to the very origin of our human dignity, self-knowledge and self-realization. The fact that each person is created in the image and likeness of God forms the basis for declaring, for example, the universality of human rights. Here, once again, we see the opportunity to speak with conviction to a doubting community about the truth and integrity of realities such as marriage, family, the natural moral order and an objective right and wrong.

This aspect of the New Evangelization has a very practical meaning for the individual. If it is Christ who reveals to us who God is and, therefore, who we are and how we relate to God, then God is not remote or distantly far off. Within each human being is the basic orientation to the transcendent and the right order of life rooted in the natural created order.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us that the Decalogue is itself a privileged expression of the natural law. The New Evangelization has to rest on the understanding that it is the Christian faith that offers us some understanding when we address the problem of evil, the reality of sin, the fall and the call to new life. Evil and sin are indeed obstacles to the Gospel, but it is precisely the Gospel message that makes sense of the human condition and the possibility of a life that overcomes the inherent limitations of human frailty.

Ultimately the New Evangelization must rest on the recognition that it is in the light of Jesus Christ that we understand fully what it means to be human. Our proclamation of Christ, however, begins with a clear theological explanation of who Christ is, his relationship to the Father, his divinity and humanity, and the reality of his death and Resurrection. At the center of our Christian faith is Christ. But the Christ we proclaim is the Christ of revelation, the Christ understood in his Church, the Christ of tradition and not of personal, sociological, or aberrant theological creation.

On our own, none of us could come to know the mind, heart, love and identity of God. This is a sensitive aspect of our preaching and too often has been neglected in catechesis. Rampant in much of the revival culture of today is the sentiment that salvation is achieved through a relationship with Jesus apart from the Church. But what needs to be emphasized and demonstrated is that Christ meets man wherever he is, in and through the presence of the Church. One image of it is a great family of people united in Christ and with each other through baptism. Saint Paul speaks of the Church as the body of Christ with our Lord as the head and we as the members.

The basis of our efforts in the New Evangelization must be the recognition that in baptism Christ gave each of us the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit, the soul of the Church, that binds us together in a unity that overcomes every kind of division. The Church is not one among many ways to reach God, all of them equally valid. While God does wish all to be saved, it is precisely out of his universal salvific will that God sent Christ to bring us to adoption and eventual eternal glory. In the New Testament, we find the kingdom everywhere. To Jesus, it seems to be a preoccupation. On earth the kingdom is hidden mysteriously and may be encountered anywhere, but only in a spiritual way.

Thus we learn that Christ has established his kingdom on earth, though not yet in the fullness of its glory. It is here, but it is still growing. Marring this created beauty is sin and the egoism that has marked every successive generation. However, into this world God sent his Son to offer us new life.

He established a Church to continue his living and saving presence. Our salvation is intimately related to our participation in the great sacrament that is the Church through which we hope both to manifest the kingdom coming to be now and to realize our part in it in glory. The evangelizers for the New Evangelization need also a connectedness with the Church, her Gospel and her pastoral presence.

The authentication of what we proclaim and the verification of the truth of our message that these are the words of everlasting life depend on our communion with the Church and our solidarity with its pastors. The Gospel recounts how Mary set off in haste in a long and difficult journey from Nazareth to a hill country in the village of Judea.

There was no time to be lost because her mission was so important. Our message should be one that inspires others joyfully to follow us along the path to the kingdom of God. Joy must characterize the evangelizer. Ours is a message of great joy, Christ is risen, Christ is with us. Whatever our circumstances, our witness should radiate with the fruits of the Holy Spirit including love, peace and joy Galatians We recognize that more than a century of articulated Catholic social teaching has shaped and continues to influence much of the development of social justice in large parts of the world.

Catholic social justice did not develop in a vacuum. In the decades prior to the encyclical Rerum Novarum, the stage was set on which the struggle for social justice and human rights would take place. With the promulgation of Rerum Novarum in , the Church sought to confront the terrible exploitation and poverty of workers at the end of the nineteenth century.

Only faith can provide the conviction that our works of justice endure as part of the plan of God to bring about the kingdom of God. Today when we look at issues that offer an invitation to many who are disaffected from the Church, we can take great encouragement from the desire of so many young people today to be involved in service ministry. Nor are we the first to address how this task must be carried out.

A sign of the New Evangelization underway are the ecclesial movements and new communities that bring such blessing to the Church today. These expressions of the movement of the Holy Spirit add to the spiritual wealth of the long present charisms of the religious orders and congregations that work so faithfully to bear witness to the coming of the kingdom through their commitment to living the evangelical counsels of perfection. All point to the work of the Holy Spirit engaging the Church today with those who have drifted away.

One task of our efforts to engage the Church in the work of the New Evangelization might be to call upon all the new movements and new communities to integrate their energy and practices more fully into the life of the whole Church, especially as manifested in the local, particular Church under the apostolic care of the bishop. Given the importance of public policy that is reflective of human freedom, human dignity and the natural moral order, the next generation of those involved in political life should also be a focus of our practical observations.

It would seem that out of the deliberations on the current situation that the Church faces today, should come the affirmation of her essential call to evangelization, the recognition of so many agents and instruments of renewal and a presentation of practical guidance and encouragement.

This Synod should be a call to all of the Church to see life and reality through the lens of the New Evangelization in a way that highlights that much is already underway and that many of the faithful are already familiar with aspects of it, even if not always identified by the name New Evangelization. Our task is to find ways to nurture, encourage and hasten the growth.

The artworks, of great historical and artistic value, come from the catacombs and represent symbolic images of primitive Christianity; their choice was made by the Pius Christian Museum, where the works are kept. The most memorable among these works is, above all, a series of Christian sarcophagi of the first centuries, decorated with figurative reliefs, which entered into the Sacred Museum of the Library through their acquisition by the sculptor Giuseppe Angelini in the flourishing antiquarian market for Christian antiques which was then active in the city of Rome, following the rediscoveries in the catacombs, which were explored between the s and s.

CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012) CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)
CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012) CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)
CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012) CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)
CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012) CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)
CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012) CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)
CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012) CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)
CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012) CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)
CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012) CHRISTIAN WAY OF LIFE Applying God’s Word More Fully (October 2012)

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