Over at CatholicMom.com, they are hosting a summer series called “Lawn Chair Catechism”, using Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus, by Sherry Weddell (Our Sunday Visitor, 2012).
I haven’t yet gotten the book, but this topic is near and dear to my heart, and is being rekindled a bit by some changes happening in our parish community.
This week’s discussion questions are:
In your own faith:
- How would you describe your lived relationship with God to this point in your life?
- What does the word “discipleship” mean to you? Do you perceive a need in the Church today to help lay Catholics become more fervent followers of Jesus Christ?
In your parish:
- How would you describe your parish’s current efforts at discipleship? A hotbed of discipleship? A weekly gathering of spiritual sleep-walkers? Or perhaps something in between?
I’m just going to tackle the first one: my lived relationship with God.
At this point in my life, my relationship with God is the most important relationship I have. It was not always this way. For most of my 20s and half my 30s, I had no relationship with God at all. But, seven years ago, He began to soften my heart, and I allowed His graces to open my eyes, little by little by little.
These days, I need prayer as my mainstay. If I lose my prayer routine, or I find myself too busy to pray, I begin to feel “off.” You know, not quite sick, but not really feeling all that great either. Unfortunately, I’m also not that tuned-in to why I am feeling “off,” at least not at first. After a little bit (and hopefully that “little bit” is only a few days and not a lot longer), I will suddenly realize I haven’t been setting aside time for prayer. There goes the light bulb over my head. Ah-ha! That’s why I’ve been so cranky, so selfish, so dissatisfied.
For me, what prayer and relationship with my Creator and Father does most is breed contentment. My house has old windows that I have to prop open in order to feel the cool spring breeze. No prayer: I focus on the old windows that need to be propped open, the lack of funds for replacement windows, the hassles and bills that pile up in home ownership. Prayer: I remember that I have a house, and that this house keeps us safe and warm and protected from the elements. And spring is here (finally!), and there are cool breezes. And I don’t have to turn the air conditioning on (yet).
Spending time in prayer with God changes my viewpoint. On my own, my heart-vision is myopic. In relationship with God, I am able to see more clearly…who I am, who others are around me, and the ever-present Grace in all things.
What about you? What is your lived relationship with God? Join in the discussion in the combox or over at CatholicMom.com.