Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
As we began the new academic year, I found myself doing some YDisciple training for some of the leaders who could not attend the normal trainings. So, several times I watched videos about the purpose of YDisciple, and some of the basic things taught to youth in this program. The director of YDisciple gives a talk about the seven habits of disciples – i.e., the seven things people should be doing regularly in order to follow Jesus as Lord. As I watched these training videos several times, I realized how useful these habits are for anybody striving to live the full Catholic life, not just for youth. Here are the seven habits of a disciple:
– A holy hour once a week. Perhaps it seems impossible to you – the idea of spending an hour in silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament. Truth be told, it’s the same for all of us, if we are not in the habit of making that hour. But, once we get accustomed to it, it really goes quite quickly. And, God is very much honored by such time. And, we are very much transformed by such time. Each campus of Divine Mercy Parish has access outside of Mass times; so it’s very easy to make a visit.
– Accountable friendships. This means relationships with people close to us who can call us to holiness. Maybe we are husband-and-wife, and we know another husband-and-wife who want to live fully the Catholic Faith with us. We could form a Faith-sharing group where we talk about how we are living our faith as a couple, as a family. (You don’t need a pastor’s approval to start such a family faith-sharing group. But I am always ready to help.) Or maybe you are a single man or woman, and you know of somebody close to you who can run with you the race. We all need friendships with people who will encourage us to avoid lukewarmness, and constantly to strive for more in the spiritual life.
– The Bible. The Holy Spirit inspired the Bible, so that human minds could delve into the beauty captured within its pages…Ultimately and especially, the beauty of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who shows us what it is to be fully alive in God. Are we taking time each day, or at least several times a week, to meditate on the Gospel from the Mass for the day?
– Invest in your parish. Pretty early on in the Ydisciple program, youth are encouraged to give some money to the Parish. For some youth, this can be a much easier thing to accomplish then getting a regular prayer time everyday. So, it’s a goal that’s pretty achievable, which is why it’s brought up early in the program. But, being engaged in the Parish is not simply a matter of giving money. It’s also giving of our talent. So, we’re encouraged to find a place where the parish needs our talents. There is a place for each of us.
– Tell others about Jesus. This habit does not mean that a person has to preach on the street corners. But, it does suggest that in one way or another we actually desire to help other people come closer to Jesus Christ. Maybe it’s just relational evangelism, simply getting to know people, and hoping that our way of life has an effect on them. But, perhaps the Lord opens a door for us, so that we can actually tell somebody about how Jesus can make a difference in life, how the Faith makes all the difference in life for us. Can we talk personally about why the Mass is so important to us?
– Mass every weekend, and then if possible on occasion during the week. The Mass is Jesus’ greatest gift to us. How painful it is for Him, if we do not hold Mass in high esteem! The Mass is His sacrifice on Calvary brought into space and time today, so that we can encounter this Great Sacrifice over and over again, and benefit from It’s graces!
– Regular confession. Jesus established this sacrament, so that we would have a very objective source of relief from our sins. In the confessional, the grace of Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary is applied to each soul. What a relief for our souls! Regular confession gives us frequent graces to overcome our most common sins. Regular confession also keeps us humble.
So there are the seven habits of a disciple of Jesus Christ, enumerated in the YDisciple program. Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,