Our Bishop has challenged us to walk with him for the next five years on the path to set the foundation for the New Evangelization. There is no new Gospel, rather the gospel must be brought to bear in a new cultural context that presents us with many challenges.
Fortunately, Catholicism gives us an enormous variety of tools for this. They say never underestimate the impact of simple gestures through which we can express our personal relationship with Jesus. So here are just a few of the many, many little things that we can do in our everyday lives, to grow closer to Jesus and deeper into the Church.
- Make the Sign of the Cross.
- How about a family Rosary?
- Read the bible at least 10 minutes a day. That is Lectio Divina; and Saint Jerome says he who is ignorant of the scriptures is ignorant of Christ.
- Do you have a crucifix in your home in a prominent place? A statue or picture of the Virgin Mary and the Sacred Heart or Saint Joseph? Religious statues and pictures are a daily reminder we are part of the family of God.
- Do you have a catechism so we can reference the beliefs of the Catholic Church? If you talk with a co-worker about Catholicism and realize you are on a bit of shaky ground on some point, look up that point in the Catechism and next time you will know.
- After each meal pray for the Holy Souls simply, by saying “Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.”
- Use holy cards as bookmarkers.
- Wear a medal and crucifix around your neck to witness to whom you belong: I belong to the Lord Jesus!
- Say “God bless” you to people.
- How about a morning offering on the mirror of the bathroom so we can say it each morning?
- Do we subscribe to good Catholic literature or seek good websites? Do we use technology to deepen our relationship with Jesus? If you have a “smartphone” or if you use the Internet you can get the Bible, the Catechism, lots of prayers and good reading on line without buying a lot of books.
All these riches of the Church are ours, and we can put them to use in our everyday lives, to keep our minds fixed on Heaven and our hearts resting in Jesus, through whom we can grow in a relationship with the living God, in charity.
Msgr. Mark Lane’s blog has two excellent posts on the Baptism of Jesus: http://neweyesonart.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/two-baptisms-and-their-meanings-ravenna/ and http://neweyesonart.wordpress.com/2014/01/12/baptism-of-the-lord/ .