April 14, 2018

A Christian Life of Grace Requires Commitment (Easter 3)

A Christian Life of Grace Requires Commitment
(Easter 3 Year B, 2018  teaching by Fr. John Gishler)

The Easter Readings remind us of the betrayal, confusion and lack of faith of Jesus Disciples. When they personally encounter Him after the Resurrection He opens their eyes and they are transformed into faithful believers. This is my story and it is your story. We all begin this lifelong transformation process as we develop a personal relationship with the risen Jesus. This does not happen unless we develop and make a real commitment or a Rule of Life that will give us the discipline to overcome obstacles to our Life of Grace. The song Ancient Words remind us of how to do this.

1. "We have come with open hearts"
My book "Going Spiritual" begins with the modern cry of people who want a spiritual life without a religion. People tend to either go religious - and end up discussing doctrine, or go spiritual and begin sharing their experiences of the Holy Spirit / Risen Jesus.
·        Encountering Jesus personally is when we are transformed from knowing about Jesus to knowing Him personally
  • ·        Begins with reading the whole Bible at home
  • ·        Knowing Bible does not make you a Christian

  • ·        Reading (Study) naturally leads to prayer
  • ·        Prayer, worship (Piety) leads to experiences - prayers answered, comfort of HS, healing, forgiveness - opens our heart
 2. "Let the ancient words impart"
Archaic word - "to convey knowledge of" that is deeper than knowing about. Know intuitively in our personal spirit. Intuitive knowing is more reliable than reason.
  • ·        Mary says my soul (mind) magnifies the lord and my spirit (personal spirit) rejoices
  • ·        Jesus / Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes (Bible reading (study)worship, daily devotions, Holy Communion (Piety) so we develop a deeper understanding and richer relationship with Jesus
3." Long preserved for our walk in this world"
I always tear up. These words connect me emotionally to 2,000 years of my predecessors facing obstacles. They showed commitment in endured suffering, persecution, death and hardship to preserve the original text of the Bible. I have spent two years writing and reliving the obstacles and persecution I have faced in my walk to pass them on to my spiritual children:
  • ·        Need a plan - a practical realistic Rule of Life
  • ·        My plan started after a divorce - read the Bible
  • ·        Began a daily reading and prayer time - Piety
  • ·        Found a nurturing church community - Action
  • ·        Premature birth got me into healing prayer
  • ·        Cursillo, Alpha, Healing conferences - Study
  • ·        Had Spiritual Director, studied spiritual direction
  • ·        Cursillo Grouping (next) kept me accountable
 Christian Life in Grace Requires Commitment

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