Maybe life is not as fulfilling as it could be. Maybe you know people who experience such peace in their faith, and you wonder how. Perhaps you have just experienced a rough stretch in your life, and are seeking some comfort and support. Perhaps it is just the simple feeling that there must be something more than what you are experiencing today.
The good news is that there is a relationship that can bring happiness and fulfillment. Jesus longs to be known. And he loves you more than you can know or imagine. And all it takes to begin the journey is a willingness to be open. To simply pause a bit. To read a little. To take a moment to think more intentionally about your life and where it is going.
To get started, try to find a silent space. Maybe inside a church, but also perhaps in nature. Maybe it is strolling through a city park, or riding a bicycle. However, find a little time simply to ask Jesus to come into your life. Ask him to forgive your sins. Seek out his presence in the ordinary and the extraordinary moments of your life.
Here are some concrete suggestions to get started.
- Find a bible and read. But not just any bible. Find a Catholic bible (look for the word Catholic on the cover and the New American Bible translation). Find one that has good introductions, footnotes and other resources. It helps to make the reading of the Bible easier, especially if you are not familiar. Don’t forget to start with a prayer. It helps open your heart to receive the word of God. The Catholic Bible is also available online.
- Find a Catholic Church to sit in and pray. Or go to Mass. There is a very helpful website that provides all types of helpful information. Masstimes.org is a website that lists Mass times (searchable by entering the name of the town or the ZIP code), confession times, adoration times and more. Not only that, but it provides directions to find it.
- Seek out good adult education classes in the Catholic faith. There is nothing like a good teacher of faith. And there is nothing like a good mentor. Faith is both about what you know, but it is also about what you experience. In other words, we need to get to know about Jesus, but also to get to know Jesus.
- Get involved. One of the most involved parishioners in a parish I was pastor of was a non-Catholic. He found the activities of the parish fulfilling, and he loved learning more about the faith. (And yes, he did become a Catholic!) Being involved in a parish helps you to be around other people interested in faith.
- Use the resources on this website. While there are not as many resources as we would like at first, this is a growing collection. Currently, there are daily homilies (when the priest discusses the readings and faith at Mass), there are two daily reflections, The Dominican Moment and The Lasallian Moment, that provide a quote from a saint and reflection questions to consider, and there are short videos on a topic related to the faith. If you subscribe or register for this site, you will also get a look at what is coming up by receiving our newsletters and emails. It also lets you comment on the articles and posts.
- Seek out a priest or adult faith formation person. There is nothing like a face-to-face conversation. Priests, parish staff and others are good resources to learn more about the faith.
And do not be afraid to ask. There are helpful resources for discipleship and evangelization. It is all about getting to know Jesus and feeling the love and support of the Church, the community he created.