In the book “Forming Intentional Disciples” Sherry Weddell shares a list of what should be considered NORMAL for a Catholic who is an intentional disciple. They would have a living relationship with God. They would be an excited Christian activist, be knowledgeable about faith, scriptures, doctrine, history, and the moral teachings of the Church using their gifts (Charism) in fulfillment of their vocation, understand their vocation and mission in life, would be actively discerning and living this vocation in the world, and have fellowship with other committed Catholics. Finally she writes that the local parish would function as a house of formation for lay Catholics to empower members to achieve all of the above.
All of Sherry’s list is normal in the sense that the Church itself views them as normative part of Catholicism. St. John Paul II wrote in his Apostolic Exhortation on the Lay Faithful, “Christifideles Laici,” that the Good News calls us to conversion and life and to cling to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior by helping a person to be open to receive Baptism and Eucharist. That allows a person a new life according to the Holy Spirit.
Now I know that this all may seem somewhat strange to many of us. However, if we are to truly follow Christ Jesus into the Kingdom of Heaven we will need to be in a relationship with him now. All of us know how uncomfortable it is to be in a house of someone we do not know every well. Surely we do not want that to be our experience in eternal life.
Blessings, Father Dooley
QUESTIONS FOR THOUGHT
Is my relationship with God, Christ personal or distant? Do I believe that I can have
an intimate relationship with God? Do I live out my vocation in the world?