We talk a great deal about catechesis and evangelization here at Leaders that Follow. In fact, I even wrote a book about it. When most of us think about faith formation or catechesis, we think about it in the context of sacramental preparation—going to a pre-baptismal talk or sending our children to catechism in preparation for their first holy communion and confirmation. Parishes exert great efforts to reach the youth, to bring the life-changing message of Jesus Christ to them.
When you look at the state of our modern world it is easy to fall into despair. It can seem impossible to find hope when you see everything around you falling deeper into darkness. Things are not always as we’d hope. Honestly, they never will be, at least not in this world. But the good thing is that you were not made for this world, but for something greater. And this is why you should not lose hope.
It can be difficult to prioritize your life when God claims primacy, but your family also feels they should be at the top of the list. How do you manage to fit both your family and your family into your already busy life?
I’m sure you know that being a Christian does not by any means free you from the difficulties of this world. Sure, you understand that you are “not of this world”, but you are human and thus are subject to the effects of our fallen nature. One of the those effects is discouragement. As a Christian you can and will become discouraged at times, but there are ways to deal with it.
If you are like me then you take your faith seriously. You love Jesus and want to shout it to the world. You are driven by that love, but also by your call to evangelize, to “make disciples of all nations”. It's a big task and it can often seem daunting, especially in our society that is very quickly turning further and further away from God.
These days it is common to hear people say they believe in God, but they don't need to go to Church. They pray. They read the Bible. They listen to TV preachers. For them that's enough. I am the first to admit that all of these things are great. However, Church is not a nice thing to do when you have time on the weekend, it is an essential part of living out your Christian faith.
I'm not big on jewelry, but one thing you might notice about me is that I always wear a crucifix around my neck. It is not a cross, but a crucifix. There is a reason for that. In fact, I want to share three reasons why I wear a crucifix.
My wife is getting ready to leave for the next four days on a women's retreat and it really got me thinking. You need a retreat. I'm not referring to a vacation to the tropics, though that would probably do you much good also. You need to step out of your daily life and enter into a special time of prayer and intimacy with God.
One rainy afternoon I had nothing to do, therefore, I picked up a copy of one of my favorite books—Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly. When I need spiritual motivation or if I have a question regarding Catholicism I turn to that book. I was enjoying the chapter on fasting until he said something that did not make sense to me.
Change can be a great thing, but often it is not easy to inspire others to jump on the bandwagon. In my experience I have learned that the best way to communicate the change is not by explanation, but by example.
Knowledge is power and books are full of it. There have been many books that have helped mold me and inspire me. There are others that have ended up to be a complete waste of my life that I will never get back. To save you the trouble of learning which books to read, I've compiled this short list of my top ten favorite, most life-changing books—in no particular order.
Faith is first and foremost. But what is faith? Faith is believing. As Catholics we often take that to mean that our faith is a belief in a list of doctrines or teachings. Although these doctrines are important, in fact, essential to our faith, there is more. Our faith is a belief in God. The doctrines help us to form and understand things about Him and what He wants for us. But our faith lies in Him.