A Welcome Letter To New Catholics

Nothing is more beautiful than the Easter Vigil.  Its liturgical depth and poetic beautify enamor me every year I am able to participate in it.  When the flame of the Easter Candle is ignited, the Church itself is renewed not only by the faithful, but by nature itself.  These two aspects, the regeneration of the world and the Catholic community inside of it, are manifested also in two ways: the season of spring and the welcoming of our newest brothers and sisters into the Church.  This letter, then, is to you, the newly baptized converts and the newly confirmed reverts to the Catholic Church.

First, I would like to congratulate you for accomplishing the first leg of your journey.  To make it this far, you had to to humble yourselves and sacrifice your time to study the fullness of truth. Such and undertaking requires stamina, both intlectual and physical, which will come in handy as you come to know Jesus more and more intimately.  Know that you are loved not only by Him, but by all of us who make up His body of which you are now an integral part of.

I would also like to commend you for your bravery.  The devil has taken aim on Jesus’ Church because people like you and I are a threat to him.  Your lifestyle is a testament to Christ’s love that needs to be seen by the world if we have any hope of saving it from the hands of the evil one.  I say this not to scare you, but to encourage you, my newest family member, to be strong in the face of temptation.  This accompaniment was given to Jesus in His angels when He was tempted by satan.  It is the same that we offer you during your times of need.

You are now a part of the Church that Jesus Christ founded upon the rock of Peter over 2,000 years ago.  In other words, you are now playing for the winning team.  As a fellow soldier in this spiritual battle, I extend to you my hand in sacramental love and my prayers for your continual spiritual protection.

Welcome!

~TJ Burdick

TeachCatholic.com

Discerning the Will of God

Since the beginning of time, the will of God has been contemplated by the greatest of kings to the lowliest of peasants. We ask the same questions today as they did in the past, “Am I on the right track to holiness?” “What must I do to please my God?” “How do I know that what I am doing is what God wants me to do?”

These are questions that we cannot answer alone; we need Jesus to help us find them. Thus, we search for ways to seek Him out so that we can better understand the mysteries of His Will. We do this so as to receive His wisdom via the most prized Gift He can give to us: His grace- an understanding of His immense love. This grace is the key to discerning God’s Will in our lives.

As Catholics, we have an insurmountable amount of ways in which God allows us accumulate such graces. Here are just a few of the most popular:

The Mass: At Mass, we listen to Christ through Sacred scripture and experience Him physically through Eucharistic Communion.

Adoration: While in an Adoration Chapel, we pay homage to our Lord by being with Him physically and consulting with Him about His will for our lives.

The Sacraments: Through the spiritual gifts of Baptism, Communion, Reconciliation, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the Sick, we come closer to Christ in our vocations as well as in our daily lives. We experience His teachings closer than ever before.

Prayer: While contemplating His spiritual presence within us, we meditate on His will for us in silence. We reflect on His mysterious love and become enamored by it, especially when we are willing to listen to His words as opposed to filling the conversation with our own.  (A well prayed Rosary is one of the best ways to really focus on His words instead of our own.)

In all of these activities, there is one common theme that all of these activities share: the presence of God. When we place ourselves inside His presence, we are more tuned in to His spiritual wavelengths and thus have better reception of the plans He shares with us. The more we are in His presence, the more we can learn from Him. The more we learn from Him, the more we understand His will.

In a couple of weeks, new students will be filling up our desks to learn from us. May we recognize God’s presence in them so that we can receive the graces necessary to teach with the faith and zeal that characterizes us as Christian teachers. When we do this constantly, we no longer discern the will of God, we participate freely in it.

Live Jesus in our hearts forever!