Instruction on living a Christ-centered life is written clearly in the Word of God and impressed upon further in the writings of the many saints, theologians, doctors and other holy men and women of the Church. In our formal lessons of the Catholic faith, whether as youth in religious education or as adults in faith formation classes, we are all given that same opportunity to share in a Catholic faith rich in tradition handed down through the centuries. But to maintain and practice that faith, we must continue to share and live the life Christ passed down. What we choose to read, to learn, to accept and to be open to is how we choose our walk with Christ.
“God made me to know Him, to love Him, to serve Him in this life and be happy with Him forever in the next.” When I was in catholic grade school and high school I heard some form, if not the exact same words, of this message every year. Twelve years of Catholic schools for us kids and for our parents kept us in sync with the teachings of the Church. We knew that life was different for our mom and dad then it was for us and yet the catechism we learned was filled with the same teachings, the same commandments and the same message of a God who loves us so much that He sent His Son as our hope and salvation.
When I graduated from college, a friend and I decided to backpack through Europe for a couple of months. We had no set plans, just a Eurorail card, some cash, a credit card and a backpack. We landed in Amsterdam with not a clue about a place to stay but wandered around enough to find other Americans in our similar situation. Together , we managed. We traveled through Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Switzerland, France, and Belgium. I found myself homesick most every day of the journey. The only relief I could find was in the Mass. Although I could not understand a word that was spoken except parts of the Our Father, I instantly recognized the same Jesus Christ in the Consecration. At the sign of peace and as we joined to receive the Eucharist, I recognized a familiar people who were taught to know and to love and to serve. In my heart, with these people, I was home.
Lord, help me to continue to hunger for Your Word and to grow in wisdom. Strengthen my heart by Your grace that I may be an example of Your love. Guide my path today and every day to know You, to serve You and to love You.