How to Grow in My Faith

Challenge: Commit yourself to a regular study of the faith using the Catechism.
by Father Edward Hopkins, LC | Source: Catholic.net

May 30, 2010
Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

John 16: 12-15
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth. He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears, and will declare to you the things that are coming. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything that the Father has is mine; for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.”


Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you have called me to the faith and to share that faith. I trust that you will fill me with your spirit of courage and truth so that I might faithfully assimilate and transmit the faith. I love you. I want to love you more with my prayer and with my life, and so grow in the unity of the love you share with your Father and the Holy Spirit.

Petition: Reveal yourself to me, Lord.

1. Knowledge of the Truth
The Blessed Trinity is a mystery that far surpasses our comprehension. Yet it also reveals the most basic process of faith, of Christian maturity. When we receive faith, it is like a seed that needs development: “You cannot bear it now.” The Holy Spirit guides us to a fuller understanding so that our faith can show itself in our lives. We come to a better understanding of God, ourselves, our lives and others, especially in a world that tends to distort them. We must be convinced that we need to grow, to deepen our faith, and to widen it to encompass all the dimensions of our lives. To stop learning about our faith (that which we believe) and to stop growing in our faith (that by which we believe) is to thwart the Holy Spirit’s plans over our lives. He has more to tell us! Do I believe it and seek it? How?

2. Accepting and Living the Truth
Jesus here identifies the truths of faith – as well as what the Father “has” – as “his”. So the faith is something personal to be possessed. It must be made our own! Faith is not made our own by reducing it to mere sentiment or subjective conviction. It is the same for everyone. We must adjust to it, not adjust it to ourselves. It is personal but not therefore different for each, like choices on a cafeteria menu. As Pope Benedict XVI clarified in the homily before his election: “An ‘adult’ faith is not a faith that follows the trends of fashion and the latest novelty; a mature adult faith is deeply rooted in friendship with Christ” (Homily, April 18, 2005). Do I fully possess my faith? Or do I feel it forced upon me, as though something foreign? Is my faith heartfelt as well as accepted by my intellect? Do I make it my own by accepting it, embracing it, loving it, growing in it, exercising it, defending it, sharing it?

3. Evangelization
The unity of the Trinity is not static, but a living dynamism. They live and act in unity. “He will take from what is mine.…” This has two implications. The mission of the Holy Spirit is precisely to remind us of what Jesus taught (Cf. Jn.14:26). He is faithful to his mission by teaching Christ. For us, too, possessing the faith leads to sharing it. What is alive tends to grow. "Those who have come into genuine contact with Christ cannot keep him for themselves, they must proclaim him. This proclamation must not be imposed but proposed ‘with confidence…’" (Pope John Paul II, Address of June 5, 2001). We must proclaim the one truth we have received. “He will not speak on his own, but he will speak what he hears.”  Our love for Christ can be measured by how faithful we are in transmitting his message without alteration. How great is my love for him?

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, send me your Holy Spirit so that I might better know and love you. Grant me a hunger to know you better, to experience you more deeply. May my knowledge of you set my heart on fire so that I cannot keep you to myself. Aid me in faithfully communicating you and your message of love.

Resolution:  I will (re-)commit myself to a regular study of my faith using the Catechism or the Compendium to the Catechism. 



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