Following Christ

Steps to Take as You Follow Christ

Ask—From what do I need Jesus to save me?

Seek—God’s forgiveness for your sins. Ask God to transform you

into the image of his Son, so that you may be an instrument of

God’s grace to others.

Knock—Meditate on 1 Corinthians 6:9–11. St. Paul presents a

list of those unfit for the kingdom of God. What about each sin

alluded to in the list might point to someone worshipping something

or someone other than God? Is there a particular sin that

you struggle with in the list? How is your life different in Christ?

Transform Your Life—Make a good examination of conscience

and plan to go to confession on a regular occasion, perhaps once

a month. Try to make your confession sincere, letting go of your

attempts to control your own life, and a real surrender to the

grace of Jesus Christ. Vow to Christ to trust in his mercy to truly

transform your life.

 
 
 

"michael dubruiel"

God’s Will

When our earthly life ceases, we will be welcomed into God’s

kingdom to the degree that we made him the Lord of our lives.

For many of us, that will mean some time along the purgative

way, learning to release all of our demands upon God. God has

found his rightful place in our hearts when we realize that whatever

he wills is best for us.

 
 
 

"michael dubruiel"

Which Road? A Meditation

Those of us who carry the cross of Christ, who see ourselves

as pilgrims headed for that City of God, are bound to see things

very differently. We give glory to God in all things, and seek

God’s blessing upon all of our undertakings. We will not content

ourselves with some self-serving “spiritual quest” that has more

to do with love of self than love of God. We understand that

physical beauty is transitional at best. What matters most is to

become the person God created us to be; which is to be more like

Christ. So we refuse to let ourselves get caught up in some endless

cycle of trying to become someone we are not.

When Jesus told the apostles that he must suffer at the hands

of the rulers and be crucified, Peter told him that it would never

happen. Jesus said to Peter, “Get behind me Satan!” He understood

that God’s way is not our way—and yet, ultimately it is the

only way to eternal life.

The choice is yours: Which road will you choose? And who

will be your companion for the journey? Are you going to believe

those who pressure you to conform to the self-indulgent values

of the City of Man? Or will you take the higher road, bound for

the City of God?

 
 
 
 

"michael dubruiel"

Praying the Stations of the Cross

All about The Power of the Cross (available for free download) and the Way of the Cross (available as an app as well as in paper copies).

 

 

 

"michael dubruiel"

What is a disciple?

Jesus tells a story about two dead men: one affluent, the other a

beggar. After living a life of luxury, the rich man finds himself suffering

in acute pain; he asks Abraham to send Lazarus (the poor

beggar) to get him a drink. Even in the afterlife, the rich man

thinks that Lazarus should be waiting on him!

 

Abraham points out the barrier that prevented Lazarus from

doing the rich man’s bidding in the afterlife. Of course, no such

barrier exists among the living. The justice of Lazarus’s reward in

the afterlife also points to the fact that it is no one’s lot to be a beggar

in this life; the surplus of some, as Pope John Paul II has often

preached, belongs to those in need. While he was alive, the rich

man had it within his means to relieve the suffering of Lazarus, but

he did nothing. In the mind of the rich man, Lazarus was exactly

what God wanted him to be—a beggar. In the next life, the tables

were turned: Lazarus was rewarded, and the rich man suffered.

It is a simple message, one that we have heard many times.

It also has a touch of irony: In the story, the rich man begs Abraham

to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn the rich man’s

brothers. Abraham predicts that they still wouldn’t believe.

Notice the reaction of the crowd when Jesus raises Lazarus from

the dead: “So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to

death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going

away and believing in Jesus,” (John 12:10–11).

 

Jesus sent his disciples out to heal, to liberate, and to invite

others into the kingdom of God. As a follower of Christ, what

am I doing for those Jesus sends to me?

 

 

 

"michael dubruiel"

God’s Time – and Our Time

The Greeks had two words for time, chronos for chronological

time (clock and calendar time) and kairos for the “right” or

“opportune” time. Jesus often made the distinction to his disciples,

who thought more in terms of chronological time than of

God’s time. When Peter first declared his intent to the Lord, it

was not yet time; the kairos moment—God’s time—did not

come until Peter had witnessed to the truth of the gospel in

Rome.

 

When the Jews celebrate Passover, the celebration begins

with a question: “Why is this night different?” In this way they

enter into God’s time—when God intervened, did something to

change the very course of history. On the night before he died,

Jesus took bread and wine and declared it his body and blood.

“Do this in memory of me.” Once again it was kairos time, God’s

time, just as it is every time we interrupt the daily grind of

chronological time to enter God’s time in the Mass.

 

Everything happens when God wants it to happen. Following

Christ is a matter of surrendering to God’s time, of leaving

behind our own plans in order to be led by Christ. Our goals and

plans are always secondary to what God intends for us.

 

"michael dubruiel"

How to Pray

Since the time of early Christianity, there have been forms

of prayer that use breathing as a cadence for prayer. The Jesus

Prayer and the Rosary, along with various forms of contemplative

prayer, are all variations of this type of prayer. The real prayer

behind all of these methods is the prayer of surrender: “Into

your hands I commend my spirit.” This was the prayer that Jesus

prayed to the Father from the cross.

 

Though confession alone does not remove the temporal penalty

of sin, healing still is possible by God’s grace. Prayer, reading the

Scripture, giving alms, doing good works all are acts that have

had indulgences attached to them by the Church. By obtaining

an indulgence, the Christian receives healing from the temporal

penalty of even the gravest sins, reducing or eliminating altogether

the time of purification needed in purgatory (CCC 1471).

 

Ideally, the Christian is motivated to perform these spiritual

exercises not from fear of punishment but out of love for God.

As we read in the preceding passage, St. Paul tells the Ephesians

to offer themselves as a spiritual sacrifice with Christ, who has

paid the debt of our sins. Seeing Christ on the cross and meditating

on his love for us should help us to understand how much

God loves

 

 

 

"michael dubruiel"

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