Ever have one of those days where you need to be reminded of those sources of life that draw us toward Christ and help us be open to all that God has for us in the spiritual life? The Evangelical Catholic, a website that focuses on ministering to college students, lists these 10 sources. I believe the following sources are also worth keeping in mind for anyone doing ministry in the Church and very much in the ministry of catechesis. My comments are in brackets.
Interior Conversion occurs each time we turn from self-will to God’s will. Initial conversion is when one surrenders to God for the first time. Catholic theologians often refer to this as making “the fundamental option.” [The General Directory for Catechesis refers to it as the initial conversion. Conversion, however, should be ongoing and occur daily.]
To follow Jesus in true discipleship is a costly endeavor, involving self-denial in the deepest level of one’s being. [I like the way George Weigel said it: "Because it is in Mary's fiat --"Be it done unto me according to your word" (Luke 1:38) - that we discover the pattern or form of all Christian discipleship".]
Devotion to the Scriptures
“It is especially necessary that listening to the word of God should become a life-giving encounter, in the ancient and ever valid tradition of lectio divina, which draws from the Biblical text the living word which questions, directs, and shapes our lives” (Novo Millennio Ineunte). [Scripture is at the heart of catechesis - when we echo Christ in His person and His message it should be rooted in Scripture.]
Obedience to Christ through the Church
The various evangelical movements of the Church’s history have a shared experience of testing and trial at the hands of Church authorities. An evangelical Catholic finds God’s presence and guidance in such trials. [The Church exists to proclaim the Gospel whole and entire by guarding the deposit of faith and being faithful to it. Obedience to the Church is obedience to Christ.]
Communion of the Saints
We are part of the Body of Christ, which extends back to Christ and the apostles. Together, in heaven and on Earth, we are working for the healing and salvation of the world. [The saints show us how holiness and perfect charity is possible. They also show us how to live for Christ and do His will.]
A Sacramental Life
While all the Sacraments are there for us at key moments in our journey, the Eucharistic celebration is the source and summit of an evangelical Catholic life. [The sacraments give us God's very life. They are "moments in our journey" but they are also far more significant than that alone. Nothing is more significant than tapping into God's very life in order to live as one who is sufficient only in Christ and not in oneself. The Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist are ways we can continually grow in grace and holiness as well as tapping into the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.]
A Prayerful Life
God speaks to us in his Word; we speak to him in prayer. To be Christ’s disciple means to follow his example of seeking his Father in prayer. This dialogue of word and prayer is at the heart of a relationship with God. [The 4th section of the Catechism is prayer and this testifies to the significance of prayer being key to the Christian life. One cannot grow without prayer.]
A Spirit-Filled Life
The Holy Spirit is the great gift of the Father, made possible to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. The presence of the Holy Spirit within us is so remarkable that Jesus said it was better that he go so that the Spirit could come. [Without the Holy Spirit we could not be faithful to the commandments and living life in God's grace.]
An Ascetic Life
Asceticism is the practice of self-denial — the training by which our spirit gains mastery over our body and our union with God increases. [Jesus and the saints show us the importance of our walk in discipleship. It needs to be cultivated through practices of self-denial (penance).]
A Disciplined Life
To facilitate living the type of spirituality we have outlined, it is helpful to follow a guide, or commitment, for daily living — a practice that has a long and honored place in Catholic spirituality. [Consider the daily Mass readings as a guide for daily living or meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary of the day, going to daily Mass or a certain amount of personal prayer time to be a guide/commitment for daily living).]
I think each of these “sources” can be “wellsprings of grace” in the life of a disciple. These sources lead us to that abundant life promised by Christ.
Would you add anything that you believe would be considered sources of abundant life?